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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » How I make herbal tinctures for the Buhner protocols

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Author Topic: How I make herbal tinctures for the Buhner protocols
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Member # 33166

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I have treated myself successfully with the Buhner herbal protocols for lyme and babesia and am currently treating for Mycoplasma pneumonia.

I make my own tinctures which is a fraction of the price and I know what has gone into them. Some of the protocols are for a year and I did not want to go a year and wonder whether a protocol may have failed because I used ineffective tinctures.

Here is how I do it:
How I make the tinctures:

I’ve tried the vodka and brandy approach and have found that they are inferior to 190 proof alcohol combined with distilled water. Usually the best proportion of water to alcohol is about half alcohol and half distilled water. The Stephen Buhner books tell the optimal alcohol/ water ratio for the herbs he recommends. I also use “Making Plant Medicine” as a reference for the same. I’ve tried Everclear and do not like it. I’m sure they use chemicals and it shows. I use 190 proof organic grape alcohol that I get from in Oregon. I buy it by 5 gallons to cut down on price but it is very expensive. Regardless, the final product is a fraction of what it would cost to buy tinctures already made. That same business has other cheaper organic alcohols that would probably work just fine but I have not tried them.

I buy the herbs I need mostly from but also from,, and I usually get them pretty whole and grind them in my Vitamix dry grains container for maximum freshness. Powdered or fine herbs could be used to eliminate the need to grind. I put the herb, usually 4 ounces, into a quart canning jar. Then I add alcohol and distilled water, tightly put on a canning lid, and shake. I then put the jars in the basement in the dark and shake them every day. As the liquid is absorbed and the fluid level in the jar goes down, you may need to add more liquid in same as original proportions. This generally happens within 3 days. If I’m in a hurry, I macerate the herbs for two weeks before filtering but usually I macerate them for six weeks. It’s important to label the jar with name of herb and date. You will forget.

After 6 weeks, I separate the herb from the fluid using a filter that I made. I made my filter by using a quart plastic yoghurt container. Into it I sat a pint plastic cottage cheese container, the bottom into which I had drilled drain holes (about 27 holes of 3/16th diameter). Next I nest an unbleached coffee filter into the pint container. I pour the raw tincture into the pint container and wait for the fluid to filter out. Then I put the filtered fluid into a separate jar but keep the herb. There are good minerals and substances remaining in the soaked herbs.

To capture all the essence I can, I squeeze the strained herbs with an Oxo potato ricer that has in its bottom a circular, unbleached muslin cloth that I cut out for the task of covering the ricer holes. After squeezing out the fluid, discard the solid herb. I may do a second filtering, as needed, putting the tincture fluid, including the squeezed fluid, through my coffee filter to eliminate more of the residue as needed. The filtered fluid will likely still contain some residue. So after, I let the herbs sit for awhile to allow the residue to sink to the bottom, then I pour the upper clear fluid into a separate jar and put the rest, which still has some residue, into a smaller container. I let that settle again and keep the clear part, repeating as long as separation is viable. Eventually I dump the now very small amount of liquid containing the residue out. I’m not sure that getting rid of the residue is necessary but I prefer it and it does help with cleaning the amber bottles for reuse.

It’s important to protect the tincture from light so I generally use pint amber bottles:

About buying 190 proof alcohol: Washington state and in Oregon both require a liquor license permit to purchase 190 proof alcohol.
I obtain a permit from the state when I am low on the alcohol and I email it to as required before the purchase. The license is good for a year. I presume does not require a license from a state where one is not required.

The reason I give to my state's liquor licensing people to justify my need for the alcohol is that I am experimenting with a new product. This is in keeping with a website that I have featuring chocolate. The fee for the license in my state is only $5.

I've figured that, even with the expensive alcohol that I buy, the cost is about 1/4 what it would be if I purchased the tinctures online and I do know that what is in mine and that it is of a very high quality.

Good luck everyone.

Posts: 598 | From Spokane, WA | Registered: Jul 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Frequent Contributor (5K+ posts)
Member # 9256

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Please break up your posts into 2-3 sentence paragraphs, as there are people on Lymenet who cannot read large blocks of text due to neurological problems from Lyme.

To do this, click the "Edit Post" button above your post to the right, make your changes, then click "Edit Post" at the bottom. Thanks.

Posts: 8466 | From Illinois | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 743

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Thanks for sharing!

Opinions, not medical advice!

Posts: 93615 | From Texas | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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