Maggie Pope
is a Medical Herbalist

Practising in
Bridgwater, Somerset

Get in Touch Maggie Pope

May, 2012

Walks, Talks and Courses 2012

 

 

 

Tincture Making

It’s was about time.

I had bought the alcohol.

I had read the books.

And to be fair, I had been taught how to do it at Uni.

But out in the community, on my own, I never quite mustered the courage to go out and pick herbs and tranform them into my own tinctures. Instead, I have been buying them in from herbal medicine suppliers, [yes, there are such things…].

A tincture is a form of herbal medicine. You get the herb, put it in a mix of alcohol and water to extract medicinal constituents, leave it for a couple of weeks, then strain and bottle.

I chose dandelion leaf [Taraxacum officinale folia] from my garden lawn. I knew there had been no pesticides sprayed, we have no cats or dogs, and to be fair – it’s just beyond my patio….

I picked 200g of the fresh leaf. This is what it looks like;

You have to pick it over, take out bugs, check for blemishes, and generally ‘garble’, as James Green says in ‘The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook’ .

So, I sorted it out carefully

and snipped the end stalks off.

And then I weighed it…

 Next step was to snip it up small. This would have taken all morning with a pair of kitchen scissors, so I fed it through my Kitchen Aid blender handful by handful:

This was quicker, but still took a while.

each load of leaves was comminuted

[useful word, look it up]

into a small amount at the bottom.

Until eventually, I had a bowl full of fresh, lush green-ness!

So then, I measured the alcohol. 25% ethanol with 75% water.

Put the mashed  herb in a clean jar,

poured  in the menstruum [that’s the water and alcohol mix]

 shook it about and sealed it up

And there, my friends, you have it.

This jar will sit in a dark place for 2 weeks.

I will give it a little shake every now and then, to mix it up.

And then, I will strain it and bottle it.

If I remember, I will take pics and post them up.

If you want to try using herbs, buy these 3 books!

1. Wild Drugs by Zoe Hawes  [available from Amazon]

2. Practical Herbs by Henriette Kress [available from her website www.henriettesherbal.com]

3.  ‘The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook’ by James Green [available from Amazon]

Progress!

Lots of plants waiting to go to the allotment

 

So, been busy [daughter married and all], but some things have been done.

 

First, we have a greenhouse – presently in bits in my garden – but still…

 

Secondly, we have a shed – presently in bits on the allotment – but still…

 

We have dug over a vast expanse of the site. Well, my husband dug and I watched.  Also helped by my lovely Henry [12].

 

About a couple of weeks ago I put in Potatoes, Onions, and Peas!

And a week before that I planted Raspberries!

Therefore, all in my garden would be lovely – except a lot of my little plants got eaten by SLUGS. So we have strewn eggshells round the most recent plantings and will see how we get on.

Before the slugs

‘Resting’ before being planted

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