The term tincture refers to a preparation with alcohol, vinegar, wine or glycerine. Herbal tinctures are alcoholic or water-alcoholic. Alcool is a better solvent than water for extracting plant constituents. In general, tinctures are solutions that contains at least 45 percent alcohol with the ration 1:4.
These are the ratios of herbs to menstrua:
The dosage depends on the herb. Tinctures are more concentrated than either infusions or decoctions.
The concentration of alcohol varied between 40 percent to 60 percent. One of the best choice is a eighty-proof vodka that is a 40 percent alcohol by volume. Hundred proof represent a 50 percent alcohol by volume. Only 30 percent alcohol is sufficient to preserve a tincture. For the dried plant preparation, 40 percent is adequate. But with the fresh plant, because of the juice, maybe a 50 percent is more judicious.
Tincture recipe for dry plant : Grind dried herb to a powder. Weigh the plant. Place the powder into a large jar with a top. Add the alcohol. Stir the mixture well and add enough menstruum to the wet herb (¼ inch of extra menstruum sits atop the herb). If the her is floating, add ¼ inch below the herb. Cap jar tightly and check the jar after one day to check the menstruum. Some herbs absorbed it. You can add extra liquid if it happen. Shake the tincture for 14 days. Day 15, pour off the clear tincture from the top. Press the remaining wet pulp and combine these two liquids. Filter. Bottle.
Tincture recipe for fresh plant : Chop and weigh the fresh plant into a small pieces and stuff them into a canning jar. Filling it to the top and pack the herb into the jar very tightly. Add 190 proof ethyl alcohol. Filling the jar to the top and make sur all the herb is covered by the alcohol. Cap jar tightly. Shake the tincture for 1 days. Day 15, decant the liquid, press the remaining wet pulp and combine the two liquids. Filter and bottle.
Maceration consists by extracting soluble constituents by simply soaking them in a solvent. But percolation is a process of extracting the soluble constituents of an herb by the slow passage of a solvent through a column of dried powdered plant which has been packed in a percolator.
The percolation process offers a tincture in 24 hours whereas maceration ordinary takes 14 days, sometimes longer. Percolation is easier and faster to prepare more highly concentrated dry plant tinctures and fluid extracts. The soluble constituents of an herb can be collected more completely by percolation than by soaking or pressing. The liquid left in the residue is pure menstruum.
To prepare the percolation, you need a percolator cone. The transmogriefied water bottle that will sit upside down could be a glass canning jar. You can also need a packing rod.
Reference : James Green : The herbal medicine–maker’s handbook: a home manual
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