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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fresh Plant Tincture Tips Using Simplers Method

Please feel free to incorporate the following suggestions into your medicine making!

Simplers Method is a popular way to make fresh plant tinctures.  Its pretty simple. After harvesting some beautiful, vital, local fresh plant material,  snip or chop plant material into small pieces and stuff a jar. 
  •  I find beginners tend to be hesitant about what "stuffing means"  lets use the word "packing" instead.  Pack the jar as full as you can, so that the plant material is solid-feeling in the jar. 
  •  Make sure to leave a little space at the top.  Sometimes a rock is helpful to keep the material down. 
  •  Fill the jar with alcohol at the appropriate %. If you do not know what the appropriate % would be Vodka being 40% and everclear being 96%, I recommend looking at Michael Moore's website and books like Making Plant Medicine or Herbal Constituents.  
  • Make sure to leave a space at the top so that the herb has about an inch of solvent(alcohol) covering it. This ensures that your plant will not be exposed to the air and allow for any oxidation--which usually manifests as brownish looking bits.
  •  If you have a vitamix, I like to empty this combined mix into it and macerate it for a minute or two.  I turn up the knob slowly and make sure the cover is on well, then let put it back int the jar.  Depending on the plant material, you can blow out your engine if you try to blend the tincture in a regular blender, so be aware.  
  •  Seal, label with Latin binomial, date, % of alcohol and method used(Simplers)--and where the plant was obtained.  
  • Store in a cool dark place and shake often for a full moon cycle.  Some folks think that in a pinch many tinctures can be ready as soon as two weeks after making.  Taste your tincture--see how the flavor ripens, or changes as it extracts.  Once the flavor is stable, usually the tincture is ready.  

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