Lisa Allen wrote:Usnea releases more of its medicine due to the heat of the hot water, not the water. If you place it in boiling water for awhile before wringing it out and putting it in Everclear (which is what I use, the alcohol is around 95%), that should make one kick-rear-end tincture in 6 weeks! I have used it for lungs when infection is involved (Bronchitis, etc.) and kidney stuff (actually UTI) and since it is also antifungal, it works very well with yeast infections, better than other things I have tried in the past. And you really don't need many drops in a dose (and as mentioned, you may not want to)!
Usnea Lichen (Usnea) 1:5, 50% alcohol
DRY PLANT TINCTURE: Maceration.
If the Materia Medica calls for a [1:5, 60% alcohol] tincture, it means
this: your solvent is 60% alcohol and 40% water (the water is presumed),
and one part of herb by weight has been invested in five parts of solvent
by volume. Let me run you through one. You have four ounces of dried Blue
Cohosh roots, which you then grind and sift down to a fairly consistent
coarse powder. The four ounces (1) must be mixed with 20 ounces of solvent
(5). The solvent is 60% alcohol, the rest water, so you mix 12 ounces of
ethanol and 8 ounces of water to get the final volume. Mix both together in
a closed jar, and shake the mixture up for a couple of minutes twice a day.
After 10-14 days of this, let it set another day, pour off the clear tincture
from the top, and squeeze as much out of the sediment as your press or wrists
allow. The 20 ounces of solvent (called menstruum) and 4 ounces of herb, may
yield up 13-14 ounces of tincture (by wrist) and up to 17 ounces (by press);
the rest is immutably held in the sediment (called marc). This remnant
moisture is full strength tincture, and eventually this knowledge drives one
out of four herbalists stark raving nuts. The resultant attempts to
constantly upgrade hydraulic presses rivals the feeding frenzy at computer
Weight-to-volume tinctures are made by carefully considering two aspects of balance: the balance between the weight of the marc and the volume of menstruum, and the balance of alcohol and water in the menstruum. We write this balance as a ratio and a percent, like 1:2 75%, which is basically a shorthand recipe letting everyone know how we made the tincture.
Usnea Tincture (Steve Buhner method):
-Chop/grind usnea lichen into small pieces/powder, place into crock pot.
-Cover lichen with 2.5 times the amount of water (eg. 5 ounces herb to 12.5 ounces water)
-Keep on low heat for 48 hours.
-Add mix to mason jar and then add the same amount of pure grain alcohol as water (eg. 12.5 ounces of water and 12.5 ounces of alcohol).
-Label jar with date, alcohol used, where the plant was collected, and any other info.
-After 2 weeks strain off the plant material and compost.
Store tincture in dark, cool place. Take 60 drops 3-4 times a day to fight virus or infection.