Everclear?

neo_herbalistFebruary 10, 2008

Hello everyone. I'm completely new to these forums and the world of tinctures as well! After some research, I have decided that I want my substrate to be Everclear since it seems to be the most potent and effective. So my first question shall be... where can I obtain Everclear in Vancouver, Canada?

Thanks so much in advance for your help!

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apollog

I don't know about BC - I believe every province in Canada sets their own rules on alcohol sales, and I am on the opposite corner of the continent. :)

I wouldn't worry too much about getting very high proof liquor (Everclear is 190 proof, or 95% alcohol). Ordinary vodka and rum work well for most herbs. If the herb has an unusual component that isn't at all soluble in 40% alcohol, then something like everclear might be better. If you are using fresh herbs (instead of dried), then a somewhat higher proof liquor might be in order. But most recipes and dosages you will find are for a less alcoholic brew, and they work fine.

Even for very oily (non-polar) compounds, a pure water extract (tisane or tea) can be effective. Steeping the herbs in cider can also work well, and the acidity substitutes for alcohol as a preservative. There are also non-alcoholic tinctures that use glycerin or olive oil ... dried herbs should be used for that, as covering fresh herbs with oil can lead to anaerobic fermentation, which could lead to botulism or other hazards.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 10:35AM
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Heathen1(10a)

Hope you like alcohol, because 15 drops of herb infused everclear will give you a buz! or to a lightweight like myself. I used Bacardi 151 and it was PuhLENTY. Plus, if you intend on making a significant amount of tincture, everclear may be prohibitively expensive.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 8:34PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

You have to wonder how much of the popularity of some patent medicines of years past (herbal or otherwise) was due to their alcohol content. I think Lydia Pinkham's used to contain a good shot of booze with every dose, and many others had a hefty alcohol content - useful if you lived in a "dry" state.

Even now, over the counter meds sometimes have a lot of alcohol (including Nyquil). No wonder the stuff helps you sleep.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 10:34AM
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sparrowhawk(z4 ME)

You should be fine making most preparations with 80 - 100 proof alcohol. The only thing that should really be extracted in everclear that I can think of would be milk thistle seed.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 9:00AM
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agarcia3_unm_edu

Hello, I too am in search of a great extraction method and have come across many forums and instructionals in my research. Because of my wide variety of sources however I seem to have run into some contradictions. I was hoping this forum may be able to shine some light on a few of these questions:

How do I know whether/ when to use dried or fresh herbs? Is one more potent than the other?
Should I use 190 proof alcohol or 100 proof? Can ever clear over be too much as far as extraction is concerned? Some even suggest using a ratio of 1 part herbs, 1 part evercelar and 1 part water.
I have found that the ratios don't differ much (usually 1:2-3)but the steeping times range from 3 days to 3 months. Does this depend on the alcohol and can they be steeped for too long?
Should they be placed in a warm or cool climate, I have come across many saying that sun and heat is detrimental
After extraction I have seen some suggest an evaporation process which involves placing the tincture on a small baking pan and leaving out for a few days resulting in a resin that can be placed in capsules and ingested. Is this better, stronger/ more potent. And is this method
preferred over tinctures?

Remember I am searching for the MOST potent form of extract alcohol content is irrelevant. If i have to take a shot of everclear to get to the true essence of an herb I will. Thanks I hope the answers to these questions can provide a much more concise guideline to making tinctures.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 10:30PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Many times there is no answer, unless a scientific study has been performed no one even knows if the herb does anything (this does not stop people from claiming to know). If you can find what it is you are looking for in the herb you can contact a chemist and find out about its likely solubility and find out if it survives the drying process or find out how it survives the heating process.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 12:23AM
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lucy(6)

"You have to wonder how much of the popularity of some patent medicines of years past (herbal or otherwise) was due to their alcohol content. I think Lydia Pinkham's used to contain a good shot of booze with every dose, and many others had a hefty alcohol content - useful if you lived in a "dry" state.
Even now, over the counter meds sometimes have a lot of alcohol (including Nyquil). No wonder the stuff helps you sleep." as Eric Oh said... Don't you get it - the herbs are just an excuse to have a drink, but you all are believing the hype that they matter (in the face of such strong stuff).

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 5:36AM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Homeopathic medicine is allowed to be delivered in 95% grain alcohol, that probably contributes to its efficacy more than the homeopathic active ingredient.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 5:50PM
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limhyl(z8 NC)

I highly reccomend a book called "Making Herbal Medicine" by Richo Cech. It lays out which herbs should be extracted in what menstrum and whether they are best used fresh or dried.

Theresa Lim
Honey Thyme Herb Farm

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 6:08PM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

I don't think a teaspoon of alcohol a couple times a day is going to do much toward getting high or drunk. I'm sure it can be abused but so can prescription drugs that causes high,s.
Is there a difference in what gets someone high?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 5:15AM
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bare4winds69

Everclear is my choice for extracts, I found a formula in Mother Earth News about 20 years ago.

The rule of taking 15 to 20 drops or a teaspoon sort of goes out the window for safty reasons depending on the herb or herbs your mixing together.

When using everclear and depending on how much
herbs you have mixed with it, you would probably use 2 to 5 drops mixed with about 1 ounce of water, then hold in your mouth for a few minutes or more will get it into your blood stream faster.

The rules I find to work well are as follows: leaves,
fresh or dried 2 weeks. Soft roots (marshmallow) and soft bark, 3 to 4 weeks. Average root, 4 to 6 weeks. Hard roots and hard dried roots like (stone root), up to 8 weeks.

If your going to mix water into your extract, do it when your pouring it into the the 1 or 2 ounce bottle your serving from.

Pure Everclear extracts will last a good 15 to 20 years. I did not like the results from Vodka.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 11:15PM
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apollog

>> "You have to wonder how much of the popularity of some patent medicines of years past (herbal or otherwise) was due to their alcohol content. I think Lydia Pinkham's used to contain a good shot of booze with every dose, and many others had a hefty alcohol content - useful if you lived in a "dry" state.
Even now, over the counter meds sometimes have a lot of alcohol (including Nyquil). No wonder the stuff helps you sleep." as Eric Oh said... Don't you get it - the herbs are just an excuse to have a drink, but you all are believing the hype that they matter (in the face of such strong stuff).

During prohibition, there is no doubt that many 'medicines' were consumed for their alcohol content. Doctors commonly prescribed whisky and other alcoholic beverages at that time - here is an interesting editorial from 1921:
http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9C06E6D6113FE432A25757C2A9629C946095D6CF&oref=slogin

Nyquil and such are loaded with anthistamines, which are much more powerful in aiding sleep than a 1/4 or 1/2 shot of alcohol. Histamine in the brain is associated with alertness, and antihistamines that cross the blood-brain barrier are famous for causing drowsiness.

10 to 15 drops of a typical herbal extract may contain less alcohol than a chunk of freshly baked bread or a very ripe banana. If someone wants to avoid all alcohol for reasons of health or faith, go with glycerin extracts (and eat only stale bread). But most people that take tinctures are not doing it to get an alcohol buzz.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 10:27AM
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