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Double extraction of tinctures? Yes/No? Safe/Unsafe? — The Grow Network Community
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Double extraction of tinctures? Yes/No? Safe/Unsafe?

I was reading a blog (I know you can't believe everything on the internet) about double extracting tinctures to increase potency of the herbal extract. This blogger said to do your normal extract and then do it a second time with that extract and fresh/dried herbs.

Now here is my issue, if the recommendation of dosing is based on the single extraction what would it be on the double extraction? Is this safe? What would be the pros and cons for this?

I am not practicing this method, I am just curious about why it would be done and appreciate any opinions and thoughts from the forum group.



  • dottile46dottile46 Posts: 367 ✭✭✭

    Hhhmmm, not sure I would try it. If you know the potency with the single extraction, and know the dosing for that strength I would think that it would be unnecessary to do it again.

    I think the pros would most likely be for a stronger tincture but unless you were dosing something the size of an elephant I can't think of a good reason you would need something that strong. Unless, you want a concentrated tincture that you could cut later with the same amount of alcohol. Maybe for ease of storing? Like a little tincture bottle takes up a lot of room. 😉

    The cons would be that it is concentrated, and what if you or someone else grabbed the wrong bottle? I'll just stick to the single extraction. There's too many questions popping up in my head.

    If is is material that is hard to tincture, like a woody root, you chop it to start with. If it has lots of mucilage wouldn't that just be a big gooey mess? Would the alcohol still have enough extraction ability?

    Very good question. Hope someone can shed more light on this.

  • nksunshine27nksunshine27 IdahoPosts: 267 ✭✭✭

    i think you make really good points dottile46 i heard of it being done but have so much information in my head i cant remember where, i do know that when your making lotions or salves you can add a tea to the infused oil to get good dosing in those doc jones does that for his salves and lotions

  • Marjory WildcraftMarjory Wildcraft ✭✭✭ Posts: 904 admin

    I will often do a double, or even triple extraction for tinctures of wild lettuce. The medicine is in the sap of the fresh plant just as it is flowering and I've found that doing numerous extractions make the pain killing properites quite potent. Also, because it is most sap I am trying to extract, it only takes a few days for it to be dissolvedinto the alcohol (I use at least uh, is it 180 proof? anyway really strong stuff). You want to use a high proof alcohol when using fresh plant mnaterial as the plants contain a lot of water.

    With just a few days for extraction, it is fairly quick to turn around one extraction, and do another and even a third all within less than two weeks.

    For most of my other tinctures, I only do a single extraction... yes, dosing is the issue. Most other things I don't want super strong. But a pain killer... yes.

  • dottile46dottile46 Posts: 367 ✭✭✭

    @Marjory Wildcraft I can see why you would with wild lettuce. Do you use it topically or internally?

  • Marjory WildcraftMarjory Wildcraft ✭✭✭ Posts: 904 admin

    When I am in pain, I drink it! LOL, not quite, but 2 or 3 tablespoons of wild lettuce internally.

    With my new love of kickboxing, karate, and Jujitsu... I've been in pain a lot lately.

  • dottile46dottile46 Posts: 367 ✭✭✭

    @Marjory Wildcraft I can see why you would want a stronger tincture!

  • DesireeDesiree Posts: 167 ✭✭✭

    @Marjory Wildcraft I have been using willow bark for pain management, what is the advantage of wild lettuce (obviously extra strong) over willow?

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texasseeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 633 ✭✭✭✭

    @Marjory Wildcraft I've not yet located any wild lettuce on my property. How or where can I get some to grow my own? Thanks!

  • toreytorey Posts: 1,640 admin

    For the most part, I only do a single extraction but there are some herbs that could do with the extra tincturing, as @Marjory Wildcraft has suggested with the wild lettuce. In this case the active ingredients are in the sap so when you tincture the whole herb there is a lot of bulk in the leaf material.

    For some bulky herbs it is impossible to cover the herb material with the standard ratios (1:2 for fresh herbs and 1:5 for dried). So if you can only get 1/2 an ounce of dried herb covered with the 5 ounces of alcohol, then I would tincture that amount and then do a second extraction with the remaining 1/2 ounce of dried herb.

    @desireet02 Willow barks pain relief comes from its anti-inflammatory properties. Wild lettuce acts on the Central Nervous System for pain relief; sedation of the nerves reacting to the pain. There are so many choices out there for pain relief so it helps to know the individual properties and how each one works so you can make the best selection for your type of pain.

  • nksunshine27nksunshine27 IdahoPosts: 267 ✭✭✭

    @Marjory Wildcraft I know this is a little off the subject but ive made my prickly lettuce into a edible salve. by harvesting the leaves and simmering them in water and then straining it and simmering it down till its thick then put it in the frig

    @dottile46 you can actually use tinctures topically also

    @seeker.nancy its also called prickly lettuce or common sow thistle botanical or latin name is lactuce virosa, if you still cant find any let me know i'll send ya some seeds

  • KarinKarin New ZealandPosts: 256 ✭✭✭

    @nksunshine27 wild lettuce and sow thistle are 2 different plants. Sow thistle is Sonchus oleracea, and often eaten as a vegetable, like a spinach-type of leafy green, and wild lettuce is Lactuca virosa, as you say. They do kook simiar though.

  • LesleyLesley Posts: 28 ✭✭✭

    My understanding is that some plant material needs extracting with both alcohol and with water. It's hard to find definitive info out there. I found this link if it's any use to you

    which also quotes a link to here:

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texasseeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 633 ✭✭✭✭

    Guess it needed to be Spring to find it lol. I found a patch in an old bed around a tree. I pulled almost every one because I'm pretty sure they will get mowed by my neighbors. It's because they are being nice and helping me out and as long as they miss the roses and such I'm okay lol. But the picture on the link you sent @kmartin.mail is exactly what mine looks like, yay!!! Now I need to look up it it is leaves or roots and what can be done with the other part then lol. Thank you all!

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texasseeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 633 ✭✭✭✭

    And I read further up and saw the @Marjory Wildcraft already answered that lol.

  • toreytorey Posts: 1,640 admin

    @Lesley A very good reference for medicinal mushrooms is a book called "The Fungal Pharmacy" by Robert Dale Rogers. It is a complete pharmacopeia of all things fungi. Full extraction methods are given, and yes, you are right about needing both a water and alcohol extraction. He goes into that. Most online book sellers have it.

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