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Recommended Alcohol Percent For Tincuring  RSS feed

 
Steven Feil
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Location: South Central Idaho
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Alfalfa leaf – 40-50%
Angelica root – 70-75%
Arnica flower – 50-70%
Aspen Bark – 50-60%
Barberry root – 50-70%
Bayberry bark – 35-60%
Benzoin gum – 95%
Bethroot – 60-70%
Betony – 35-50%
Bistort – 35-50%
Black cohosh root – 60-85%
Black walnut hulls – 40-50%
Bladderwrack – 25-50%
Blessed thistle herb – 45-60%
Blood root – 55-70%
Blue cohosh – 40-70%
Blue flag root – 65-90%
Blue vervain leaf/flower – 40-50%
Burdock root – 40-50%
Burdock seed – 60-70%
Broom flower tops – 45-65%
Buchu leaf – 50-65%
Calamus root – 50-65%
Calendula flower – 50-80%
Cascara sagrada – 18-22%
Catnip leaf – 50-60%
Cayenne fruit – 80-95%
Cedar berry – 65-75%
Chamomile flower – 45-65%
Chaparral herb – 68-75%
Chaste berry seed – 40-60%
Chickweed herb – 35-65%
Cleavers herb – 35-65%
Collinsonia – 40-75%
Comfrey leaf – 50-65%
Comfrey root – 25-50%
Corn silk – 35-65%
Cow parsnip seed or bark – 65-70%
Cramp bark – 50-60%
Dandelion root – 35-65%
Devil’s claw – 55-75%
Devil’s club – 50-70%
Dong quai/Tang kuei – 20-65%
Echinacea root – 45-75%
Elder flower – 35-60%
Elecampane root – 45-70%
Eyebright – 35-70%
False unicorn root – 45-70%
Fennel seed – 60-70%
Feverfew leaf/flower – 50-74%
Figwort leaf/flower – 50-60%
Fringetree bark – 55-70%
Garlic bulb – 65%
Gentian root – 35-60%
Ginkgo leaf – 55-75%
Ginseng root – 26-70%
Golden rod – 45-60%
Goldenseal root – 50-65%
Gotu Kola herb – 25-60%
Grindelia buds & flowers – 65-70%
Hawthorne berry – 40-70%
Hops strobile – 50-75%
Horehound herb – 35-65%
Horseradish root – 40-55%
Horsetail herb – 35-65%
Hydrangea root – 30-50%
Hyssop herb – 35-60%
Inmortal root – 35-50%
Juniper berry – 60-75%
Kava Kava – 60-75%
Licorice root – 20-65%
Lomatium root – 66-72%
Lobelia herb – 40-70%
Ma Huang herb – 20-65%
Maidenhair fern – 60%
Marshmallow – 20-65%
Milk thistle seed – 70-95%
Motherwort herb – 45-70%
Mugwort – 40-50%
Mullein flowers – 35-70%
Mullein leaf or root – 50-60%
Myrrh gum – 85-95%
Nettle leaf – 35-50%
Oats – 40-65%
Ocotillo – 70%
Oregon Grape root – 45-70%
Osha root – 60-75%
Periwinkle 35-50%
Passion flower – 40-65%
Peppermint leaf – 45-60%
Pipsissewa herb – 35-60%
Plantain leaf – 35-50%
Pleurisy root – 40-50%
Poke root – 40-65%
Prickly ash bark – 55-70%
Propolis – 65-95%
Pulsatilla – 70%
Red clover flower – 40-65%
Red raspberry leaf – 35-50%
Red root – 32-37%
Sage – 50-75%
Saw palmetto berry – 50-80%
Shepherd’s purse – 40-65%
Skullcap herb – 46-65%
Spikenard 50-60%
Squawvine – 35-65%
St. John’s Wort leaf/flower – 56-65%
Toadflax – 50-65%
Turkey rhubarb – 35-50%
Usnea Lichen – 70-95%
Uva Ursi – 40-65%
Valerian root – 55-65%
White oak bark – 15-50%
White pine – 60%
White willow bark – 35-50%
Wild geranium root – 35-55%
Wild ginger root – 60-75%
Wild indigo root – 50-65%
Wild yam root – 55-65%
Witch hazel bark – 40-65%
Yarrow flower – 35-60%
Yellow dock root – 40-50%
Yerba manza root – 40-65%
Yerba santa – 60-74%
Yucca root – 65%
 
Adam Klaus
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Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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The big missing thing is fresh or dried herb? Fresh herbs have so much water in them, that it dilutes the alcohol percentage, so you want to use more alcohol in the menstrum. I find that in general, using everclear with fresh herbs yields better medicine, for this reason. With dried herbs, vodka works better, because much of the water in the vodka goes to rehydrating the dried herb. Of course, YMMV.

What was the source for your numbers, just curious?

thanks for posting
 
Steven Feil
Posts: 242
Location: South Central Idaho
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I do not remember the source. I think I got it from Doc Jones.

Based on the percentages listed I would believe that it is for dry herbs, primarily.

One thing you can do is alter the RATIO of herb to menstruum.

While 190 proof is preferred, lower percentages will get the job done. The goal is to have a percentage of alcohol that is AT LEAST 30% to preserve the tincture. Starting with 50% might be best. While maybe not the BEST or most EFFICIENT menstruum, it would get the job done sufficiently.

Like Doc says: Don't make it complicated. People have been doing this for hundreds, if not thousands or years. Science just gets in the way some times.
 
Robert James
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Thank you for posting this, I have a bottle hidden away just for this, I haven't done anything yet, it will be my first attempt.
 
Steven Feil
Posts: 242
Location: South Central Idaho
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Take a look at this tread for some ideas

http://herb-talk.com/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=1339
 
Jessica Gorton
Posts: 274
Location: Central Maine - Zone 4b/5a
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My go-to for numbers like these is always the wonderful Michael Moore, here is his Materia Medica. There are tons of valuable and free texts available on his website...I could get lost in there for hours and days!

As for fresh vs dry, I've always understood the numbers given to be the percentage of alcohol that you have at the end of the tincturing process. That means that you need to take into account the amount of water in the plants when you are doing fresh tincturing (with dry herbs, the alcohol percentage you start with should be the same you end up with). That's why so many people use everclear for their fresh tinctures - because the water in the plants is going to lower the final proof of your tinctures. There are ways you can mitigate this if you don't have everclear on hand, mostly by letting the plant material wilt for a day or so before tincturing, to remove some of the water.

All that being said, I think Steven is right. As long as you end up with something that has at least 30% alcohol in it, it will be shelf stable, and you are going to get a lot of the good medicine from the herb even without a perfect alcohol percentage.
 
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