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Aloe

Tinctures

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Chatters,

 

There's no 'good one' to start with - it depends on what you see as a need within your household. However, have you thought about making herb-infused vinegars to use on salads? Same procedure. Make something that you think will taste good and be good for you. Thyme and Sage are quite tasty this way.

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I order mine from Mountain Rose Herbs. They are in the U.S., but will ship internationally. I have had very good experiences with them.

Thanks, I'll check them out :vhappywitch:

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Hi Aloe

 

Thanks for starting a great and informative thread. I've been learning about herbs for a few years now, but still sooooo much to learn, up to now I have simply made teas and put them in my food. Learnt a lot about growing them too. This year I would like to attempt to make tinctures. However as I am still very much learning about herbs, I want to start with the utmost caution. I plan to grow rosemary, mint, lavender, thyme, basil, chamomile, nettle, dandelion - grow wild and sage. I have already regularly grow basil, lavender, mint, thyme and dandelion and nettle. I have tried all of these in teas and often put them food. I have found that I have to be careful with nettle as for some reason nettle does not agree with me - makes me sick, however a little bit in tea is fine.

 

Anyone have any advice about tinctures in regards what would be best to start with first?, I don't drink alcohol very much and would prefer to use something like vinegar or glycerine instead

 

I have recently ordered some herbs from Gaia's Garden. I had ran out of my own dried herbs, will let you know what they are like when they come :smile:

 

If you don't need any herbal medicine right now, I'd do what MW said - a tincture that can be used as a salad dressing. Garlic and dried billberry in ACV is tasty on salads, and also great for colds. :)

 

Sounds like you have a nice herb garden. Is the nettle you react to stinging nettle, or a different type?

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Fascinating stuff! I'd be really interested to know how you prepare the wild yam cream as I've been having the devil of a time with the hormonal imbalances of menopause and really don't want to go down the drugs road. I would have thought hot flushes/flashes were something to laugh at until I've started experiencing them and I'm all over the place. I love the idea of your pretty bottles.

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Fascinating stuff! I'd be really interested to know how you prepare the wild yam cream as I've been having the devil of a time with the hormonal imbalances of menopause and really don't want to go down the drugs road. I would have thought hot flushes/flashes were something to laugh at until I've started experiencing them and I'm all over the place. I love the idea of your pretty bottles.

 

I took dried wild yam pieces, and filled my jar 1/3 full and then covered them with warmed coconut oil till the jar was about 2/3 full. I looked up what amount of vitamin E oil I would need to use to preserve the cream, but I can't remember at this point how much that required. I tend to look up the technical information in the books and written recipes I have when I need it and don't memorize it.

 

To extract, I put a lid on the jar and then put some water in my crock pot. I put a rag in the bottom of the crock pot to prevent the jar from cracking due to direct heat, then set the jar in the water and turned the crock pot on low. I put the lid on the pot to keep the steam in and make sure that the jar was surrounded with heat instead of letting it escape. I looked up the amount of hours it would need to process to get the best extraction of the properties, but I don't remember that part either without looking it up. I'm not at home right now so I can't get my recipe. lol

 

When the heat extraction was finished, I strained the yam out with cheesecloth. I usually keep it in the refrigerator, but had set it in the cabinet for some reason the day I took that picture.

 

I had to experiment with dosage, and I'm positive that dosage will be different for everyone (I don't treat anyone but myself so take my experience for what it's worth lol), but what I did is start with a very small amount of cream - like a pea sized drop - and rubbed it into my skin in the area over my ovaries. I then just 'paid attention' to my body the rest of the day to see if I could sense a change. I didn't, so I used the same amount again the next day, just to be sure that I didn't miss something the day before. Still felt nothing. I did it one more day though, and nothing. I skipped a day, then did 1.5 pea sized drops, and I could tell difference. I was doing this during my monthly cycle. The next time my period started, I started out with the 1.5 drops per day, and did another increase to 2 drops and could tell a big difference. Less mood swings, less cramps, and less fatigue.

 

This method and the times and measurements I used were based on hand written instructions that were given to me by an herbalist I respect, and they worked for me. If there's any errors or reasons not to use wild yam this way, I don't know about them. :)

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Guest Chatters

Chatters,

 

There's no 'good one' to start with - it depends on what you see as a need within your household. However, have you thought about making herb-infused vinegars to use on salads? Same procedure. Make something that you think will taste good and be good for you. Thyme and Sage are quite tasty this way.

 

 

Thanks Mountain witch, I love both of these herbs in teas, Thyme makes a lovely tea with honey. Your website is lovely, adding it to my bookmarks

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If you don't need any herbal medicine right now, I'd do what MW said - a tincture that can be used as a salad dressing. Garlic and dried billberry in ACV is tasty on salads, and also great for colds. :)

 

Sounds like you have a nice herb garden. Is the nettle you react to stinging nettle, or a different type?

 

 

The stinging nettle, I had dried some from my garden and also brought some dried stinging nettle form my health food shop. Reacted to what I brought, I had made an infusion of nettle and left it to infuse over night. I think I may have put too much in, not sure, will try again this year but with less this time.

 

Talking about colds, I have a really bad cold at the moment and have just had flu, feel like I have been permanently ill since early December. I am drinking lots of honey teas, quite often with a good dollop of grated fresh ginger. Going start taking my echinacea again soon. Just had my usual break from it as I always take this herb in the winter

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Very informative MW... I have not tried making anything medicinal with herbs other than the usual cuppa tea, lol. I usully just buy something from Whole Foods. This is something I will have to look into...

 

M

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Whiterose,

 

Scientifically we know that some herbs' chemical constituents extract better in water and some better in alcohol. You'd need a huge chart (like the one I have) and then have to use grain alcohol & distilled water. A pain for personal use.

 

Mountain Witch

Master Herbalist

(and a plug - the above and more can be found in my book)

 

Fantastic thread! I've been making ointments and creams but not tinctures so far.

 

Anyways, I was wondering if you could give me some information on the chart you are using to identify wich herb (chemical) is better extracted in water or alcohol. I've heard that there are differencies but I can't find any information in my books and the i-net (might look at the wrong places).

 

Thanks Luthien

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Anyways, I was wondering if you could give me some information on the chart you are using to identify wich herb (chemical) is better extracted in water or alcohol. I've heard that there are differencies but I can't find any information in my books and the i-net (might look at the wrong places).

 

Thanks Luthien

 

It's one I developed myself using a spreadsheet program. Info is cobbled together from various sources (school & others) and is specific to just the ones I make and in the quantities I make (thereby preventing me from having to do calculations every time).

 

A good starting book for various preparations is The Herbal Medicine-Maker's Handbook by James Green. ISBN 0-89594-990-3. Written with a sense of humor; great, easy-to-follow instructions; and he's got a couple of tincture charts in there, as well.

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It's one I developed myself using a spreadsheet program. Info is cobbled together from various sources (school & others) and is specific to just the ones I make and in the quantities I make (thereby preventing me from having to do calculations every time).

 

A good starting book for various preparations is The Herbal Medicine-Maker's Handbook by James Green. ISBN 0-89594-990-3. Written with a sense of humor; great, easy-to-follow instructions; and he's got a couple of tincture charts in there, as well.

 

 

Thanks, I wrote this book and the one you suggested on the pet remedy thread down so I can get these. I have been looking for good quality herb books. I have 3 others I'm studying at the moment but I think if I actually can make some things I will use with the information then I will retain it better. Thanks again you've been a doll.

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It's one I developed myself using a spreadsheet program. Info is cobbled together from various sources (school & others) and is specific to just the ones I make and in the quantities I make (thereby preventing me from having to do calculations every time).

 

A good starting book for various preparations is The Herbal Medicine-Maker's Handbook by James Green. ISBN 0-89594-990-3. Written with a sense of humor; great, easy-to-follow instructions; and he's got a couple of tincture charts in there, as well.

 

Thanks Mountain Witch, I'll have a look at the book.

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A good starting book for various preparations is The Herbal Medicine-Maker's Handbook by James Green. ISBN 0-89594-990-3. Written with a sense of humor; great, easy-to-follow instructions; and he's got a couple of tincture charts in there, as well.

 

This is on my "must have" list now.

Thanks for recommending :vhappywitch:

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Guest MissTree

I order mine from Mountain Rose Herbs. They are in the U.S., but will ship internationally. I have had very good experiences with them.

 

LOVE this company! Mountain Rose sells quality at a good price. Their herbs and essential oils are great.

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(side note: Ok, I realize the following may come across as weird and "What the hell?"...)

 

What do you think of using knee high pantyhose (new! never worn) for straining the herbs out? I know it sounds odd, lol, but I'm finding it works better & faster than muslin or paper coffee filters. I stretch one over the mouth of a tall, wide glass and then pour the herb mix in. Once it's completely cool, I pull it up and squeeze out the rest of the liquid.

And they're re-washable so I can use the same pair for quite a while. (I wash them separately from the rest of the laundry & then tuck them back in the same box as the herbs for the next venture.)

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(side note: Ok, I realize the following may come across as weird and "What the hell?"...)

 

What do you think of using knee high pantyhose (new! never worn) for straining the herbs out? I know it sounds odd, lol, but I'm finding it works better & faster than muslin or paper coffee filters. I stretch one over the mouth of a tall, wide glass and then pour the herb mix in. Once it's completely cool, I pull it up and squeeze out the rest of the liquid.

And they're re-washable so I can use the same pair for quite a while. (I wash them separately from the rest of the laundry & then tuck them back in the same box as the herbs for the next venture.)

 

They work wonderfully for a first strain, as long as there's no runs (ladders), which create large-enough holes for the herb to sneak out of. I used them often but since I no longer have to wear 'em, don't have any (and too cheap to buy them just for that). Just don't use fabric softener when you wash/dry them. Contains chemicals you don't want in your tincture.

 

I still think coffee filters are best for the final strain. Even with pantyhose, there are 'dregs' that you want to get out.

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They work wonderfully for a first strain, as long as there's no runs (ladders), which create large-enough holes for the herb to sneak out of. I used them often but since I no longer have to wear 'em, don't have any (and too cheap to buy them just for that). Just don't use fabric softener when you wash/dry them. Contains chemicals you don't want in your tincture.

 

I still think coffee filters are best for the final strain. Even with pantyhose, there are 'dregs' that you want to get out.

 

Good point! Thanks :-)

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I'm currently working on book #2 which is going to be a 'recipe' book - herbs or combinations thereof for certain situations, both medicinal and magical. For medicinal information, books by David Hoffman, Andrew Chevallier or Susun Weed are excellent.

 

Mountain Witch,

 

I can't recall if you are still working on Book #2 or it is finished. I would be interested to know, as I thoroughly enjoy your other book.

 

In the meantime, I am curious about other's thoughts on whether or not increasing the number of herbs in a particular mixture has an impact on effectiveness. I was taught to limit the number of herbs or ingredients of any kind per mixture, especially when working magically, but also medicinally. Rarely, would I combine any more than four different ingredients; yet, I have noticed that some of the recipes shared on TW list significantly more contents. I am not speaking to amount of contents, but rather number of contents; like using twelve different herbs in one recipe.

 

Any thoughts?

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Mountain Witch,

... I am not speaking to amount of contents, but rather number of contents; like using twelve different herbs in one recipe.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Magicaly I tend to go in threes or multiples thereof (3,6,9) but rarely over 9. Sometimes I vary from that, but usually I stick with it. I don't put tons of things together simply becuase after a while it gets to be too complicated and rather overkill and if I'm confused there's a good chance my potion is confused too. Sometimes the 3-6-9 might be in the WAY I do it rather than what I used. Like this morning I was working on an all purpose oil that I'd started yesterday. Yesterday I heated 3 herbs in one cauldron, 1 resin in another cauldron, and some menstral blood in a 3rd. So you have 5 ingredients, but the 3 separate sets of heating in the oil add 3 more "elements" which makes 8, and the last act of combining the 3 lots this morning made 9. But I'm weird like that :-)

 

M

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I am curious about other's thoughts on whether or not increasing the number of herbs in a particular mixture has an impact on effectiveness. I was taught to limit the number of herbs or ingredients of any kind per mixture, especially when working magically, but also medicinally. Rarely, would I combine any more than four different ingredients; yet, I have noticed that some of the recipes shared on TW list significantly more contents. I am not speaking to amount of contents, but rather number of contents; like using twelve different herbs in one recipe.

 

Any thoughts?

 

 

 

Jevne, I am more cautious in the number of herbs used for medicinal purposes. For the reasons of isolating adverse reactions and simples seem to be more effective, esp in tea infusions. For magical purposes, I am somewhat more liberal but usually do not exceed 4-5. I do make a Kyphi incense that has 16 ingredients but it is the exception to the rule..

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Personally, I like multiples of 3, in my workings.

 

I also, am prompted to the number 8 for Tarot working.

 

Regards,

Gypsy

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Loving this thread!

 

Aloe, what do you use tinctures for magically?

 

My work with tinctures hasn't been as extensive as with wild plants in general. My grandparents never tinctured anything, everything we wild harvested or grew was eaten fresh, frozen, or canned. If it was to be used for folk magic it was either dried or burned. So.. tinctures are a fairly new experiment for me - I've only been working with them for 3 years. But as far as how I use them magically.. In the tincture form the essence of the plant can be applied to cords, splashed on a poppet, added to a mixture of dried herbs.. the possibilities are endless. :)

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