Making Your Own Herbal Medicines

greyfurball
greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Herbal Medicine-Making

Have all of you heard about Marjory's latest FREE training classes she is currently offering?

It's a 4-part series where she explains making your own herbal preparations for you, family and friends right from your home.

And the best part - Oh how easy this is!

I've never really paid any attention to this subject because who has the time to add anything else into our daily life? But curiosity, and a few extra minutes the other day, made me click on the link just to see what she was offering.

Now I've committed myself to making sure I fit in each of the four videos she is offering.

It's SO EASY to prepare these things. All of them I've seen so far you can prep the medicine at the same time you are fixing breakfast, lunch or dinner. So you actually don't even have to find extra time. Just do it--in minutes--while you are getting ready to eat.

Here's the link if you have not checked it out yet:

https://thegrownetwork.com/making-herbal-medicine-registration/

Comments

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I make my own tinctures and salves! It is easy. For me, the hard part is purchasing large amounts of cheap alcohol. People talk.

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    @Mary Linda Bittle

    Ha! Yes I can relate.

    Every time I go into a state store to buy one bottle to make homemade extracts I have such a guilty conscience. Isn't it amazing what we can do to ourselves?

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @greyfurball I once got some really cheap vodka - the first alcohol I ever purchased except wine, and I was in my 40s. The clerk warned me that it "wasn't a sipping vodka", and tried to sell me something better and more expensive. I told him I was making tinctures from herbs. He just laughed and said he didn't believe in that stuff!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,623 admin

    @greyfurball Now that you are hooked, check out the 8 Module course on Making Herbal Medicine at TNG Academy.

  • ines871
    ines871 Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Please don't laugh at this. How can we prepare such Herbal remedies when family does not allow Alcohol to be used.

    There must be another way ? - oh please 🙂

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey yes, I thought I remembered seeing previously she had a lengthier course available. I imagine when we get to the last video she will mention it again. And I am sure I am going to try to sneak it in somewhere into my schedule also.

    This is so interesting and unbelievably easy.

  • greyfurball
    greyfurball Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    @rainbow

    Yes I'd heard before you can do it so I Googled it and lots of info came up but here's one link to a reputable company who gives you ideas how it can be done with alternative liquids.

    This article only covers tinctures but look around and I'm sure you can find other forms of preparations using other liquid base ingredients. Hopefully someone else will chime in here on this topic who has done it and can tell you what they used.

    Good luck with it!

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @rainbow Glycerin can be used as an alternative to alcohol; there should be online instructions. I have only used alcohol because it is easier and lasts longer.

  • Leslie Carl
    Leslie Carl Posts: 255 ✭✭✭✭

    @rainbow You can also use vinegar. The shelf life will be shorter (about a year) and it won't be quite as potent as with alcohol, but there's a lot more things you can do with it. Here's a link to a page that explains how to make and use a vinegar tincture - https://www.thespruceeats.com/avoid-alcohol-and-make-vinegar-tinctures-1762274.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,623 admin

    Module 4 of TNG's full course on Making Herbal Medicine is all about tincture making with Alcohol, Glycerin and Vinegar. But even when you are using alcohol for a tincture, you are only taking it in dropper doses (sometimes just a few drops).

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,515 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @rainbow You can make glycerites using vegetable glycerine in stead of alcohol. There's a different word for using vinegar, but I can't call it to mind right now. The word "tincture" implies that it's an alcohol extraction. Teas are simply water extractions.

    Most herbs can be done without alcohol - it's not quite the same, and not all phytochemicals are extracted as well. But it's quite doable. Here are some resources, aside from the classes you will find here on this site:



  • SherryA
    SherryA Posts: 314 ✭✭✭

    Ain't that the truth? 😀 I have been found standing in the liquor aisle for a long time trying to figure out what's the cheapest 100 proof alcohol. "Can I help you ma'am?" "Oh no, I'm good. Thanks." 🤣

  • ines871
    ines871 Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2020

    Hi @Mary Linda Bittle , & @Leslie Carl , & @shllnzl

    Sigh embarrassed myself, again: losing this discussion in which you all Cared to give your kind ideas, re Alcohol, veggie-Glycerin, &Vinegar for making Herbal medicines.

    (There's another joke re Alcohol, but that's another 1 for the "innocent Humor" -thread, lol )

    (Except for a friend's Blueberry wine), stuff like whiskey, vodka, tequila, Spirits, scotch, rum, martini, gin, hard cider, champagne, bourbon, & who knows what else... AND the "proof" stuff have me totally lost. - Other than knowing from drinking all that ^ stuff, how do you all even know what to get??

    And how is 'Veggie-glycerine' made? - Asking as I was told they put ghastly petroleum crap in there?

    So Vinegar does Not last, as long in Herbal-medicine as Alcohol, is that because alcohol is really a poison?

    And @torey - Yes , I know about the dropperful, or only gtts - but when I tried with Sweetie, he instantly knew, & I get a lecture "So I can't trust you, you say?" - Lord, have mercy, I say, to which he says "He does". LOL - of course, I say that in frustration, because until I figger all this out, I'm stuck. - So Not locating this thread, I searched www for "what Alcohol veggie-Glycerin, &Vinegar make best Herbal medicines ?" - always work the Search-engine to death trying to conjure up what I want, lol - & it spit-out https://health.usnews.com/wellness/slideshows/9-drinks-that-give-you-a-buzz-without-the-hangover I thought this might be good because along with most herbs, am ignorant re anything Alcohol. - (With 2 exceptions, I've only gone inside a Liquor-store to get their strong boxes for moving, lol - true.) in there it mentions: Hawthorn6, Mead4, Chamomile+Lavender8, Beetroot9, Kave w/ cinnamon, cardamon, ginger. Etc. - so can you mix other herbs in with those herbs?

    Again, apologies, & thank you for Caring to help me learn 🙂

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,623 admin

    @rainbow

    The free courses offered by The Grow Network, in particular the "Making Herbal Medicine" and "Home Medicine 101", are excellent for learning about the different medicinal preparations and why you would choose one over another.

    Module 4 of Making Herbal Medicine is all about making tinctures, glycerites and vinegars. Dr. Jones does a very good job of explaining different strengths of alcohol and the difference between "proof" (this is how alcohol is sold in the US) and "alcohol by volume" (this is how alcohol is sold in Canada and many other countries). He also explains why we use alcohol in medicinal preparations. In some cases there are constituents of some plants that can only be extracted by alcohol and sometimes it is the best way to preserve the herb for long term as alcohol is an excellent preservative. But as I said, Dr. Jones does a much better job of explaining these concepts than I could here. You can download the transcripts of each module of this course. Sometimes I get more out of something when I have the chance to read it as well as watch the video.

    When you sign up to the Home Medicine 101 course, you can immediately download "The Ancient Art of Raw Vinegars" e-book (127 pages of excellent info and recipes) and get access to two videos with downloads on edible flowers and what to have in your apothecary.

    Vegetable Glycerin is not made from petroleum. Vegetable glycerin is made from plant oils (soybean, palm, coconut, etc.). It is sweet and sticky like honey. Synthetic glycerin (which I have never seen sold in health food or grocery stores) is made from propylene which is derived from the petrochemical industry. Not sure what it is used for.

    I do understand that there are many people who do not wish to consume alcohol but there are many common items that can be purchased over the counter that contain alcohol and these are consumed or used on a regular basis without any thought as to the alcohol content. The list includes many cough medicines (some with alcohol content of 40%!), many mouthwashes (also with equally high alcohol content), antidiarrheals, laxatives, pain relievers, toothache and cold sore meds, and several foods including vanilla extract (which is generally 45% alcohol).

  • Leslie Carl
    Leslie Carl Posts: 255 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2020

    @rainbow There is definitely a lot to learn about tincturing herbs. Which extraction medium is best according to what type of herb you are using. How much dillution to use when dealing with alcohol and which is best for which herbs.

    As an example; here's a quote from an herbalist I found in a forum - https://permies.com/t/30400/kitchen/matter-kind-booze-tincture

    "Vodka works fine for most things. Everclear isn't necessary unless chemicals you're trying to extract are particularly hydrophobic...in other words not soluble in water. If getting the resin/sap off your hands with soap and water is a chore after collecting, use Everclear instead of vodka for your menstruum."

    "Plants that are very resinous or gummy prefer everclear ie...gumweed, juniper, myrrh, boswellia etc... Using Everclear on everything will actually cheat you out of the more water-soluble constituents in some plants. So, in essence, you're spending more money and getting a worse tincture. Vodka is either 40 0r 50% alcohol (80 or 100 proof). In other words, it's about half alcohol and half water. As a result there is "something for everyone" when it comes to chemical solvencies in the plant."

    "You can use any other type of liquor you want as well. It needs to be at least 50 proof (25% alcohol) to preserve the tincture. The highest number of chemicals will be extracted at 80-100 proof (with the exception of the the highly oily/resinous plants). When in doubt, use vodka."


    You can even mix your solvents depending on what type of constituents you want to extract. Another good quote from the same forum making mention of this;

    "I love using organic grape alcohol for my tinctures. When you use a higher quality menstruum my teacher always said, "you're starting with a medicine and going up from there". It's expensive but so worth it if you're hoping to make high quality tinctures."

    "It's usually very high alcohol content (we're talking between 190 - almost 200 proof... ) so you definitely want to mix it with water to reach the optimal solvent level (always mixing the alcohol and water together before pouring over your herbs). I believe that in Michael Moore's online resources there is a long list of herbs and their ideal alcohol:water tincturing rations."

    "If you're tincturing a plant that contains a lot of alkaloids in it... say something like oregon grape seed for instance... it won't go amiss to add about 10% apple cider vinegar to your menstruum as well to make sure you get all the goodies you're hoping for."

    "That being said... I used generic 80 proof vodka in my tincture making for years and I was never disappointed by my results."

    "I also think that using a variety of menstruums for tincturing doesn't go amiss in certain situations. For instance, an excellent 'apertif' tincture I love making is artichoke leaf and dandelion leaf in brandy. It's a great bitters to sip on before dinner to get your digestion movin' and the brandy makes it a more enjoyable 'sipper' rather than the 'just get it down' feeling I have with some vodka tinctures."

    "Apple Cider Vinegar is also a great menstuum to use for herbs you're hoping to ingest regularly as general health and well being tonics. Although you're not extracting as much as you would with an alcohol tincture you're still getting some goodies out of the plants and, again, you're starting with a medicine if it's organic, raw ACV. Can't hurt."


    Here are some links that can help you to understand more about different extraction mediums, how they work, and how to use them.

    Also, concerning using alcohol in your tincture; if you prefer not to consume it, you can evaporate the alcohol out by adding the tincture to 1/4 cup of steaming water or tea and allow it to cool, then drink it.

    I hope this answers more questions than it raises for you. 🙂

  • ines871
    ines871 Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2020

    @torey, @Leslie Carl - The whole project still overhwelms me, & then I get embarrassed when in TGN some post "how easy it is" to ... whatever. I'm usually a bright kiddo, & know it's all down to experience.

    I also continue trying to resolve oodles other challenges: financially , & family.

    I called my good friend Janice (the Photographer of my continuing Rainbows plus the other 3 garden areas) yesterday, who thankfully returns in December, YIPPIE ! - Her hubby has grown a foodForest by their home near us, & he runs around barefoot whenever he can :) - I told her that I'm trying to grow next year more herbs (than the 11+ now), & make a Herbal Home Medicine supply for us, & would she like to do it with me? - Her usual immediate response: "Sure" to most of my ideas, lol, but they don't drink alcohol either. I think he mainly goes in his 'forest' to pluck & swallow... whatever he thinks he needs for whatever. I'm looking forward to learning more from him. - Also in our WCFS-group, a couple of the guys that make their own Fruit-wines, & give classes, most likely they can answer every little question I have re the whole alcohol-world. - I am a very Detail-oriented learner, so I ask ALOT of questions...

    Again, Thank you, each for giving of your time graciously.

  • csinclair461
    csinclair461 Posts: 159 ✭✭✭

    I have made glycerites for family members that don’t want tinctures (but these do have a shorter shelf life). More and more, I am just using the herbs in teas/infusions. I don’t personally have a problem with buying/using alcohol for tinctures, but since some of my friends/family don’t want to use them, I can usually find another way for them to get the herb in a way that is acceptable to them. At same time, I do tell my family that the amount of alcohol in a tincture dose is incredibly minute. I haven’t convinced anyone yet though.