Working as I do in hospice, and often doing hands-on patient care with reflexology, Reiki and/or essential oil products, I'm constantly exposed to all sorts of nasty microbes. I decided it might be a good idea to make myself an internal cleanse tincture that could eradicate any and all viruses, fungi, microbes or anything at all that might either cause inflammation, dis-ease in my intestinal tract or lodge itself in my system somewhere just waiting to show up at a later date. So my first trial consists of Echinacea root, Calendula flowers, Ginger root, Pau d'arco bark, Black Walnut hull, Chaparral leaf and a pinch of Goldenseal root. As usual, it's all in glycerin. I have to say that even that tiny little pinch of Goldenseal has added an unmistakable pungent quality to the tincture that's not quite unmanageable but it sure borders on it. I've only taken a dropperful twice thus far but the first time, I started sweating (mind you, I'd also just gotten home from the gym so perhaps I was still hot) and the second time, my stomach gurgled for about 10 minutes, but other than that, no ill effects. Sure hope it's doing something useful internally. I'll take it again next weekend - I think it's a bit strong to take every day - and see how I fare. I may or may not change the recipe. I'm trying to decide if I want to offer it on my Tincture page and I think it's too strong for anyone else right now so I may want to make some adjustments and tone it down.
I have a tincture page under construction on the web but a friend of mine expressed an interest in the headache tincture I have listed. Even though the page is not ready to go, I have the recipes all worked out so I made some and sent it to her. All of my tinctures are in glycerin for a couple of reasons: I don't drink so I don't want to use alcohol and I'm not overly fond of apple cider vinegar either. Glycerin is pretty painless on the tongue since it adds a bit of sweetness to the mix, but even if the mixture is still not particularly pleasant, it can then be put in water, juice, tea or (if you cheat like I do) your morning coffee. This one has Chamomile, Peppermint, Lemon Balm, Gingko and Feverfew. I would not have thought of adding Gingko but Dr. James Duke says there was a study that showed that headaches often improve with increased cerebral blood flow and since that's what Gingko does, he would recommend it. On that recommendation, I've included it in my recipe.
This weekend I worked on a tincture (in a glycerin base) for a friend of mine. In this 4oz tincture bottle, I started with about 3oz of glycerin and 1.5 oz of water mixed together. I always use a little more because the herbs often soak up enough that if I use exactly 4oz, it doesn't end up filling the bottle. Into this, I added 1 tablespoon each of Lemon Balm, St John's Wort and Gingko and 3/4 tablespoon of Licorice root (based on James Duke's recommendation). I let it steep in the double boiler about a half hour and then strained it into the bottle with a nice dropper so she can either put it directly in her mouth or add it to water, tea or juice.
One advantage of working in hospice is that I get to play with all the therapy dogs. This is Asher, a Corgi.