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Fluid Herbal Extracts

Author: Lori Herron

Fluid extracts are used both to concentrate and preserve the active ingredients of an herb, enabling it to be used whenever necessary, i.e. when the herb is out of season.

Fluid extracts are considered by many herbalists to be the preferred way to preserve water soluble active ingredients. If possible always use fresh ingredients.  When properly made one fluid ounce of fluid extract equals one ounce of fresh herb. Always use accurate measurements to ensure consistency and the effect of a given dose.

Equipment needed - Large non metal or stainless steel pan with lid, water - not city water, heat source, measuring jug, vegetable glycerine.

Ingredients - In this case, to produce 4 oz of Dandelion root fluid extract - 4 oz washed fresh Dandelion roots 3 quarts water (total amount) 2 fluid oz vegetable glycerine

Directions:  Chop Dandelion roots into approx. 1\4 inch pieces. Put into pan with 2 quarts water. Bring to a boil and then cover pan and allow to simmer until water is reduced to one quart. Take off heat and strain through a cloth squeezing out all excess liquid.

Place remains of herb back into pan and add one quart water. Save fluid that was strained and put to one side. Reheat pan to boil and simmer herbs again with the pan covered until liquid is reduced by half to 1 pint. Strain through a cloth discarding the solid remains.

Now combine the two strained liquids, return to the large pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer until liquid is reduced to 2 fluid ounces. These will take several hours...

You have now extracted all the water soluble ingredients from 4 oz of Dandelion roots and concentrated them into 2 oz of fluid. Remove this liquid from heat and allow to cool. Add 2 oz of vegetable glycerine and mix well. Pour into a dark glass bottle, stopper tightly and store in a cool place. Treated with care this fluid extract will last at least one year.

Ed. Note - Glycerine is an essential fatty acid and is generally a by product of soap manufacturing. It is used as a preservative and stabilizing agent. Never add glycerine to hot liquids as it is temperature sensitive and will coagulate. Always mix with cold or warm liquids.

Copyright 1996, 1998 by Lori Herron and Alternative Nature
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