Win a copy of Building Community this week in the City Repair forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • paul wheaton
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • Joylynn Hardesty
stewards:
  • r ranson
  • James Freyr
  • Burra Maluca
master gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Ash Jackson
  • thomas rubino
  • Carla Burke

Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth: Tincture Ratios

 
Posts: 20
Location: Greece
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello guys!
So nice to be here -indeed a great community!
I just bought the Herbal Medicine book by Dr. Sharol Tilgner. Whatever I may say it would be a minus to such a fantastic book! To me, it is an excellent guide as I love detail to every aspect of my life, and especially plant medicine.
The only black spot I 've noticed -and I need your help here- are the tincture ratios that Dr. Sharol is suggesting. The numbers are crazy! Eupatorium purpureum, 1:0.6 fresh - Taraxacum officinale (root) 1:0.4 fresh +D!
Did REALLY anyone managed to prepare a tincture from this book? The ratios are a little bit "whacky" if you think about it.
Any suggestions please?
 
Posts: 2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Greetings,
The numbers A:B represent the ratio between the herb and the final volume of the menstruum. The truth is that I don't know what is the preffered method of Dr. Tilgner for making tinctures.
A well-known method today amongst herbalists is the use of a percolation cone which makes more potent extracts. The company of Wise Woman Herbals -a leader in tincture making- which was founded by Dr. Tilgner, uses the "multiple maceration" method. Can't tell for sure though, which method you need to use and how this ratio can be achieved
Good luck with your plant medicine!
 
author & pollinator
Posts: 182
Location: Roseburg, Oregon
160
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Daniel,

As Derek mentioned the numbers represent plant:menstruum (liquid). Yes, they have multiple macerations. This means you put the original plant material through and then you press that out after a period of time and put more plant material through. This is a more time intensive method and takes more planning. The strengths I list will give you a very strong tincture.

Most of the fresh plants have a minimum of 2 macerations, although they can have more to get the strength listed. This is why Wise Woman Herbals has such strong tinctures. You can too if you are willing to go to the extra effort. This usually necessitates calculating out how much ultimate herb, alcohol and water you will use though. It is easier for people to simply use the folk method. With the folk method, you can also add extra macerations of herb, but if making fresh plant tincture and you get the percent of alcohol too low, due to not calculating how much water is in the plant and how much alcohol and water to add,  you can end up with not enough alcohol to preserve or extract constituents. The complete directions are in the book in the tincture making section. Learning to make a fresh plant tincture and calculating the amount of moisture in the plant, and then accounting for that moisture in the mathematical calculations to ultimately end up with the total alcohol and water to add has in my classes been one of the harder things for people to grasp, but once they get it, they now know how to make a really strong tincture. Over the years, I experimented with each herb to see how strong I could make the tincture before it would start to settle out too much. At some point the amount of herb particulate matter simply becomes too great and you can't keep it in suspension. (There are also constituent reactions that cause this at lesser strengths in some tinctures too.) The strengths I ended up with were not a matter of guessing, they were years of experimenting leading me to a specific strength. They are listed as the amount of actual herb to total liquid. The FDA made new rules at one point and told herbal companies they had to switch their labels form listing herb added:liquid added to  herb added:final liquid in product. I have no idea what the current rules of the FDA are as they could have changed again. Additionally, not all companies abided by the FDAs new rules, so I don't know what people are using on their bottles that are sold now. It also makes it hard to compare one company to another if they are using different rules to list this ratio.

As long as math is not a deterrent, I suggest you try making tincture first with dry herb and menstruum and then after you have that under your belt, make fresh plant tinctures. Fresh herb tinctures using the calculation method are much harder than dry. Keep in mind that the more dense the herb material (hard roots) is the less times it will go through the liquid usually and the lighter and less dense (fluffy leaves) the more times it will need to be macerated. When you first start with the dry herb tinctures it is a good idea with roots to only add 30-35% of the root material to the liquid initially and let it sit a few days to see if you can add more. It will take a few days for the liquid to penetrate the root material and allow you to see if it soaked up most of the liquid or if there is room to add some more dry root material. With the dry  leafy or flowery items, I suggest you add only 20% at first and wait to see how much menstruum (liquid) is soaked up. If using Mullein leaves, start with about 15%.

If math is not your thing, just use the folk method. You won't have a specific strength, but you still get an okay tincture. I don't have that listed in the book, but the directions are at my website for free:https://youarethehealer.org/herbal-medicine/making-herbal-products/tincturing-herbs-with-the-folk-method/  I also have the percolation method directions at my website if you want to try your hand at that.
 
Daniel Gélin
Posts: 20
Location: Greece
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dear Dr. Sharol,
Thank you for your detailed answer. Your hard work in the herbal community is commonly recognized by everyone. I must say, that definitely the "Herbal Medicine from the Heart of the Earth" is the absolute guide from a novice herbalist to professionals. To everyone reading this, I recommend to buy the book as the most complete guide today to herbalism.
It is amazing the fact, hat in many extracts you combine fresh and dry plant and you can get such a concentrated drug, just by using the traditional method!
And one last question, because I think many users will find a lot of benefit from the answer: can you describe us the procedure of multiple maceration-like in Medicago Sativa- of how can someone achieve the final ratio of 1:1.3 fresh + D?
I really thank you for your time, which I know it is really limited.
Kindest regards,
Daniel
 
Sharol Tilgner
author & pollinator
Posts: 182
Location: Roseburg, Oregon
160
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here it is Daniel. This is always hard for  people to understand the first time and it helps to have someone who has made tinctures this way to show you the first time.

The Formula/Calculation/Weight to Volume Method of Maceration
If you want to make a tincture that is the same strength each time, you need to use a bit of math and follow a formula to ensure you make the product the same each time. Herbalists use this method for consistency of product. An herbal production company uses this method out of necessity. You know what percent of alcohol and water you will have in the final product. You also know the strength will remain fairly consistent. This is also the method I use for most fresh plant tinctures I make at home, so I can account for the water in my product.
When using the formula method you take the amount of herb that you are going to tincture and multiply it by a set number used specifically for that herb to get the amount of solvent that will be used to arrive at a specific final product strength. Once you know the total amount of solvent you will add, you multiply that by the percent of alcohol and the percent of water you want in the final product. This gives you the total amount each of water and alcohol to add. This is fairly straight forward for dry plant tinctures. When making a fresh plant tincture it becomes more complicated as you now have to account for the amount of moisture in the plant. This necessitates, weighing a fresh plant sample and drying it, followed by re-weighing the dried herb to find out how much moisture is in the fresh plant. This moisture content is then used in your calculations to decide how much alcohol and water to add to the amount of plant you decide you will be using.

Example Of Making Alfalfa As Fresh Plant Tincture
You asked specifically about adding the actual herb into the product for Medicago sativa or Alfalfa as an example. Collect a sample of Alfalfa. Weigh the sample and dry it. I use a small oven set very low to dry it in a few hours. When completely dry, I remove it and reweigh it. The difference in the first and second sample weight gives us the moisture content that we use in our calculations. Now decide how much herb in total to use. Once that is decided, calculate the amount of alcohol and water to add, subtracting the moisture in the plant from the water. This math is lengthy to explain and is in my book in great detail. If you don’t like math, I suggest you take a class from a local herbalist who will show you how to go through this process, as it is hard for some people to grasp it without doing it with someone. If you are a math whiz, it will be easy for you. We will use a 1:1 fresh, plus dry formula here. The fresh herb will be processed through the menstruum 3 different times and the dry herb will go through a last and fourth time. Whatever that weight of fresh herb is going to be, we will start by using about 25% of that weight to add initially to the solvent. There is a lot of moisture in Alfalfa. It is about 73% in the Willamette Valley usually, although it changes depending on the climate where it is growing at the time (this change can change the amount of herb that is added each time through the menstruum). Each time you add Alfalfa to your solvent/menstruum, more water will be added from the moisture in the Alfalfa (that is okay as we take this into account in our calculations). This means the first time we add herb to the solvent, there will be less moisture in the menstruum than the last time we add herb. So,  start with a smaller amount of herb in a situation where the moisture content is really high.

When processing fresh herb, you have to account for the plants seasonality. If the season is not long enough for us to collect it multiple times currently, we may have to figure out if we can grow it at two different times in our area, stagger the crop or if we can’t do either of these things, we might be able to get the herb from someone that is at a higher or lower altitude than us. Different altitudes will usually change when it is harvested enough to prolong the time period to give us enough time to process our tincture over a longer period of time. To make good fresh tinctures we really need to have an understanding of growing the plant, harvesting the plant and where  we  might otherwise be able to procure the plant if needed. Even if we never grow or harvest the plant, it will help in ordering it from herb farmers if we know this data.
The first amount of herb processed can sit a shorter time in maceration than subsequent ones, as the solutes are being extracted into a solvent that has nothing else in it yet. Each time the herb goes through maceration it will take longer to extract usually. I gauge when it is done by how it looks, smells and tastes each time. Once we press out the first maceration of Alfalfa, we are ready to add the second fresh plant. This time we can add about 30%-35%. When the second Alfalfa maceration is pressed out, we can add the last amount of fresh Alfalfa and we are done adding fresh plant.  When this is pressed out we now add dry Alfalfa to menstruum. Dry plant is added to the extract if we feel the fresh extract is not strong enough. We are limited by the moisture in the plant as to how strong we can make the plant as a fresh plant tincture. Therefore, we may want a stronger tincture. We may want the vitality we get from the fresh plant, but as long as dry plant will add something worthwhile to the tincture (it does not always-some herbs should only be used fresh) adding dry is the way to make it stronger.  The average amount of dry I add to Alfalfa is 5%. Once this dry plant has macerated long enough, we press it out and are ready to filter it if we wish to filter (companies almost always filter, not everyone filters when made at home).

 
He was giving me directions and I was powerless to resist. I cannot resist this tiny ad:
Greenhouse of the Future ebook - now free for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/greenhouse
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic