Posts tagged ‘Tincture’

April 1, 2015

Herbal Pills vs Tinctures

Herbal pills have come under scrutiny for having no active ingredients and unhealthy additives. Pills are usually filled with dried up and ground herbs, which oxidize and weaken herbal effectiveness as essential oil content and other constituents degrade. 

  

Herbal Pills:

Are NOT as bioavailable as liquid, meaning that they don’t absorb as well or
as fast into the body as liquid forms such as tinctures

Cannot be tasted, which impairs results 

Pills are not easy to swallow. They are hard to digest and contain unhealthy binders 

Most herbal pill casings are not vegetarian, because they contain gelatin which is from an
animal source most of the time, because it is cheaper. 

Most casings and binders are not kosher 

Improper drying and over processed preparations may cause essential oils
and other constituents to degrade and herbs to dissipate, and may contain
contaminants. 

Tinctures absorb better, are more effective and cheaper. If you make them yourself then you have quality control. 

Learn how to make your own tinctures here > http://earthelixir.ca/herbs/diy-herbal-tinctures/

  

 

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February 18, 2015

Herbal Catalysts

When using more than one herb to mix a herbal tincture formulation, adding a catalyst herb is sometimes beneficial.

Catalyst herbs are strong, hot or warming herbs, that require only minimal amounts in a herbal tincture formulation. These herbs act as a circulatory stimulant to boost the effectiveness of other herbs, by increasing circulation due to heat generation. Adding a warming herb is helpful for people with poor circulation or who feel cold.

Caution is advised, because of the strength and Heat of the Herbs.

The stronger and hotter the herb, the lower the dose. Cayenne pepper and other hot pepper varieties are the hottest, so only use 1% in a formula. That’s 1ml in a 100ml formula.

If taking these herbs on their own, make sure it is a low dose for use in tincture and tea.

Consult a qualified Herbal practitioner before taking any herbal treatment.

Follow these general guidelines when preparing herbal tincture formulations with warming catalyst herbs.

Herbal Catalyst Percentages in Formulations:

Capsicum spp.- Cayenne fruit 1%
Cinnamomum spp.- Cinnamon bark 3-10%
Allium sativum– Garlic bulb 3-10%
Rosmarinus officinalis- Rosemary herb 5-15%
Zingiber officinale– Ginger rhizome 3-10%
Zanthoxylem spp.- Prickly ash bark/berries 10-20%

These are general guidelines, and many factors vary.

Consult a qualified Herbal practitioner before taking any herbal treatment.

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February 7, 2015

DIY Rose Tincture and Perfume for Nutritive Medicine and Skincare ūüĆĻ

Roses are such divine food, medicine and perfume, but watch out for those pointy, sharp thorns on the stem. It’s easy to see why it is such a universal symbol of love. ūüĆĻ

I collected some wild rose petals from my garden, for a rose petal tincture and essence. Wear gloves and protective clothing to harvest. Wild roses are better than the commercial varieties for medicinal use.

You can make your own perfume out of Rose petal flowers, as well as medicine.image

See my blog on how to make your own natural perfume from flowers. http://earthelixir.ca/2012/06/05/making-natural-perfume-from-flower-petals/

Rose petal tincture is used medicinally as a nutritive for debility. Rose has a euphoric, aphrodisiac action that soothes and relaxes the nervous system. It tones digestion, reduces inflammation, and is great to use in skincare products. It is good for all skin types, especially mature skin. It’s easy to add rose water and essential oil to make your own skincare products.

See my blog on using Rose essential oil. http://earthelixir.ca/2012/06/04/rose-essential-oil/

Rose water is what is separated from the essential oil part, and is used in cooking, baking, and for beverages.

Rose hips, collected after the flowers bloom, are delicious, nutritious medicinal food. Rose hip tea beverages and culinary soups have a pink red colour, and pack some good Vitamin C content and phytonutrients.

Here are some beautiful roses for you friends. The roses in these pictures are from my garden, so take some time to smell the roses.ūüĆĻ

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Common Name  Rose hips/ flowers
Latin Name  Rosa spp.
Family Rosaceae
Parts Used Perennial- Collect flower petals during growing season. Roses lay dormant in colder climates. Collect rosehips in the Fall. Essential oil made from flowers. 
Target Organs Digestion, Central Nervous System, Nerves, Skin
Common Uses Aphrodisiac, perfume, debility, exhaustion, nutritive, inflammation, skincare, Rosehips, rosewater, are used in cooking and beverages
Properties Aphrodisiac, antidepressant, antiseptic, euphoric, antispasmodic, nutritive, astringent, mild laxative, vulnerary, diuretic, anti-inflammatory,
Constituents Essential oil : Esters: geranyl acetate, citronellyl acetate, neryl acetate, 

Sesquiterpene alcohol: farnesol, 

Aldehydes: benzaldehyde

Monoterpene alcohols: Citronellol 15-20%, geraniol 10%, linalool, nerol 15%, cedrol, linlool  

Monoterpenes: a+b pinene, limonene, camphene, b-caryophyllene, citronellal, p-cymene  

Damask rose: a-damascenone, B-damascenone, B-damscone, B-ionone, rose oxide  

Other: vitamin C, tannin, pectin, carotene, fruit acids

Cautions Do not use during pregnancy. Thorny plant, caution while harvesting.
Dosage Tincture: 1-4ml Tea rose hips, flowers

 

January 24, 2015

Traditional Medicinal Uses of Pine Tree Needles

White pine aka Weymouth Pine and Northern White Pine, is a tree native to Canada, and is favoured for woodwork carvings and furniture construction.
This soft pine is the provincial tree of Ontario, Canada and is one of the most commercially valuable trees for eastern North America.

The tall straight trunks made excellent naval ship masts, and some of the largest trees were reserved for the Navy. This made Eastern Canada the world centre for wood harvesting in the 19th century, that is until the Giant Pines became extinct from over harvesting.

The Native Iroquois considered this tree a symbol of their strength and endurance. The tree tips were boiled to make a nutritious tea. 

Scots pine aka Scotch Pine is used in the same way as White Pine and grows world wide, but doesn’t grow very well in North America. It is not used in the lumber industry, but it makes a good Christmas tree. Different Pine species are used medicinally in the same way.

Both Pine needle Essential oil and Pine needle Tincture treat coughs and colds. Pine opens up breathing passages and resolves congestion created by phlegm, mucus and catarrh. It opens the chest, relieves wheezing and is good to use for respiratory infections, inflammation and pain.
Pine is a cardiovascular and adrenal tonic, which makes it good to use to restore strength and alleviate fatigue.

Use the essential oil externally in steam inhalations for sinusitis or upper respiratory conditions like catarrh. Mix with base oils like hemp, coconut oil for chest or body rubs, or mix in the bath with carrier or in an Epsom salt, baking soda scrub.
Use the Pine needle tincture or cough syrup internally at acute dosages for coughs, colds and infections.

Caution is advised when using the essential oil in massage, it can irritate skin in large doses, because it is very drying. Do not use during pregnancy.

Pine should not be confused with Turpentine essential oil, which is made from the resinous pitch of fir and pine, and sometimes other trees like spruce, it is a medium strength remedy.

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Common Name Pine needles herb
Latin Name Pinus strobus (White Pine) 
Pinus sylvestris (Scots Pine) spp.
Family Pinaceae (Pine Family)
Parts Used Perennial tree pick young twig tips of evergreen tree needles
Target Organs Digestion, lungs, liver, urogenital, respiratory, adrenals, cardiovascular,
Common Uses Respiratory: relieves phlegm, opens sinuses,
coughs, colds, flu, congested sinus with headache, infection, dry and damp lung phlegm, bronchitis, tight chest, upper respiratory catarrh
Adrenal: Tonic to adrenals and uterus
Cardiovascular: Tonic to vascular system
Digestion: gas, spasms infection, catarrh, 
Immune: infections, arthritis, gout, inflammation, pain, 
Nutritive
Deodorant, foot perspiration, hygiene,
Properties Adrenal tonic, antibacterial, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, inflammatory- general local, antioxidant, antispasmodic(digestive, respiratory, general), antiviral, astringent, bronchodilator, carminative, decongestant, diaphoretic, diuretic, drying, relaxing/stimulating expectorant, haemostatic, nervine, relaxant, vascular tonic, vasodilator, uterine tonic
Constituents Essential Oil:
Monoterpenes up to 80% content, a+b pinene, limonene, borneol, bornyl acetate, cardimene, phellandrenes, pumilone, Pinicrin,
Esters: bornyl acetate
Monoterpene alcohol: borneol 2%
Other: Vitamin C, glucose, galactose, resin, tannin
Cautions mild remedy do not take during pregnancy.
Dosage Tincture: 1-4ml 
Tea: 1-2 tsp. infuse

Trees of Ontario – Linda Kershaw. Lone Pine publishing, 2001
The Energetics of Western Herbs- Peter Holmes.

October 20, 2014

Wormwood the Infamous Ingredient In Absinthe

Wormwood is an ingredient used in the infamous alcoholic drink absinthe, also known as the green fairy. It is an extremely bitter herb and absinthe was traditionally poured over sugar cubes to sweeten the taste.
When used on its own, it is a powerful medicinal herb. It’s main taste is bitter, which is good for stimulating the digestive axis of the stomach, liver/gallbladder and intestines. As its name suggests it expels internal worms, while it also provides immune support.

It is best combined with aromatic carminatives like peppermint, anise, fennel, ginger, chamomile, bergamot, thyme for taste and balance, just like the ancient recipe absinthe.

I prefer wormwood macerated in red wine to temper the bitterness. Steep it for at least a couple of weeks, and then strain. I take a single teaspoon once a day, for a week. Take small doses before or after meals as an aperitif. A tincture formulation is good, but the tea infusion might be too bitter to swallow. It is Not advisable to add sweeteners, the taste cannot be masked. It is better to taste the bitters to stimulate secretions for maximum medicinal power. This is a medium strength remedy so caution is always advised. Be careful dancing with the green fairy.

Use Artemisia species medicinally in the same way, including mugwort, annual wormwood, southernwood, but wormwood is the most bitter.

Wormwood is native to Europe and Western Asia and established in the temperate regions of North America.

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Wormwood herb starting to show its tiny yellow flowers from my garden.

Common Name

Wormwood herb
Latin Name

Artemisia absinthium
Family Asteraceae
Parts Used Perennial herb pick aerial parts, flowering tops bloom in July/August summer
Target Organs Digestion, stomach, nervous, urinary, reproductive
Common Uses Digestion: cooling bitter stimulant, digestive conditions, infections, poor digestion, promotes bile, indigestion, dyspepsia, flatulence, IBS, inflammation, parasites worms-pinworm, roundworm, threadworms, constipation, colic, poor appetite, anorexia, food poisoning, toxicity, headache, nausea

Stomach: all conditions,

Liver/gallbladder: congestion, infections

Moxybustion

 

Properties Cold bitter digestive, astringent, pungent, antibacterial, hepatic, liver decongestant, carminative, stimulating digestion immune, cholagogue, laxative, stomachic, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, tonic, nervine, antimicrobial, anti-emetic but emetic in large doses, vulnerary,
Constituents Sesquiterpene lactones, volatile essential oil, thujone, thujan, cineole, linalol, chamazulene, camphene, cadimene, monoterpene, pinene, phellandrene, azulene, bisabolene, flavonoid glycosides, rutin, quercetin, organic acids, amino acids, phenolic acids, polyacetylenes, lignans, ascorbic acid, tannins,

Cautions Medium strength: contains thujone a neurotoxin with narcotic properties. Large doses can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, restlessness, tremors, convulsions. Long term use may lead to liver and kidney damage. Not recommended during pregnancy, lactation, infants, or if kidney or liver damage is present.
Dosage Use in formulations (herbal combinations) up to 25% of formula. continuous use should not exceed two months.
Macerate in red wine or vermouth: 1 small teaspoon a day for a week
Or used as an aperitif small sips before or after meals to aid digestion

Tincture: 1-2ml dilute with water 1 oz before consuming.
Mix a formula with aromatics, do not add sugar or sweeteners

Tea: 3-5g (Very bitter) infuse

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January 10, 2012

How to Make and Take Herbal Tinctures

Tinctures absorb better, last longer and are more convenient and cost-effective than pills.
Everybody should know how to make their own Herbal Tinctures for health purposes.

Herbal Tinctures are a mixture of alcohol and water.
Any type of alcohol is used such as wines, sake, brandy, or vodka (ethanol and pure grain alcohol), which most people use.
*Under no circumstance should rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) be used or consumed as it is poisonous, even small doses.

The word ‚Äėproof‚Äô beside the number on the alcohol bottle is representative of double the actual alcohol percentage; for instance 80 ‚Äėproof‚Äô is 40% alcohol.
If you have a permit license to buy ethyl alcohol you can mix the water in separately. First mix your ethyl alcohol with water to dilute it to the proof you want.
Or use vodka or your choice of alcohol.

The mainstream ratio to use is 40% alcohol to 60% water.
Some countries consider 45% the ratio to be considered a tincture. You can also increase that ratio as high as 50% alcohol and 50% water or as low as 20% alcohol and 80% water depending on the desired strength. An herbal essence has an even lower percentage of alcohol in it. The higher the alcohol content, the more stable and longer shelf life.

You will also need good quality organic or ethically wild crafted herbs (not irradiated). You can buy herbs online, in a store or it is best to grow your own.
Next, get mason jars or large brown glass bottles with seal-tight lids.
If you are using dried herbs, fill the bottle 1/3 to 1/2 full with dried herbs. With dried roots, fill to 1/3 full because they are going to expand and need extra space. The usual ratio is 1:4 for plant material vs liquid, or use 1:2 or 1:5.
Fill the remaining space in the bottle with the alcohol water mixture leaving a little room at the top for shaking purposes.

Once complete, let the mixture marinate in a dark, cool cupboard or box, for about 4-6 weeks. Be sure to gently shake the bottles every day.

After the herbs have marinated for a month, strain the mixture through
unbleached hemp, cotton or muslin natural cloth.
I prefer to press the root mixture in a press, but if you are using herbs a good hand squeeze will do.

Bottle the liquid and correctly label it and put the date on it. This is now your mother tincture. You can portion some of the liquid into smaller bottles or ideally in dropper bottles for greater convenience.

Herbal tinctures will last for years.

Taking an Herbal Tincture

Taking your Herbal Tincture is very easy to do.
Dosages vary depending on the strength of the herb. The dosage goes
down as the strength or heat of the herb increases. Dosages can
range anywhere from one drop to one teaspoon, or 1-5 ml, but as a
general rule use one drop per pound per person. In general for
adults 2-4 dropper squeezes or a teaspoon to start will do. Pour
the herbal tincture into a measuring cup or shot glass using the
dropper or a teaspoon, and then add water until it reaches one
ounce. The herbal remedy is easy to consume in one gulp or shot.
You can also put the tincture directly in your mouth but it is strong so be cautious!
Chase it with some water.
It can also be mixed with tea herbal infusions or juice.

For bitter herbs I like to marinate them straight in red wine and take a spoon a day.
Create your own flavoured wines.

Those who are trying to avoid alcohol put the tincture in hot water to boil the alcohol off, like how you would prepare a tea. Cider vinegar may be used instead of alcohol entirely, and adds flavour to culinary dishes.

Taking it hot, it has a more diaphoretic, warming effect.
Taking it cold it has a more tonic effect.

As a general rule:
Take herbs
on an empty stomach for the most absorption and effectiveness.
Take vitamins, minerals, supplements with a meal for better absorption
and to avoid stomach upset, unless otherwise recommended on the
bottle. Take breaks from herbs so that a resistance does not build
up.

How often do I take herbs?
How often you take herbs depends on what your goal is.

Acute conditions such as fighting a cold:
take herbs 4-8 times a day at an increased dosage.

Chronic conditions:
take 2-4 times a day at a lower dosage. Night time
blends for sleeping requires a single dose before bed

Female herbal treatments:
1-2 weeks followed by 2-3 week breaks.

In general take
herbal tinctures in cycle of three weeks of taking tincture
followed by a break for a week for chronic conditions or health
improvement.

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