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Echinacea for venomous snake bites  RSS feed

 
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Here's my experience using echinacea for some rattlesnake bites.  From the research I've done, echinacea is effective for all venomous bites.  Brown recluse, black widow, hobo...there are probably a few other stories that were shared.  But I'm going to share my experience with rattlesnake bites.


Two days ago my horse was bit by a rattlesnake.  Actually, both of my horses were bitten, but only one of them had any real swelling.  The second horse that had been bitten must of had a “dry” bite, because the first horse who was bitten took all the venom.  He swelled up considerably, and my filly who had the dry bite had very minor swelling. <—I’ve been medicating both of them, but he gets most all of the doses throughout the day.

Two mornings ago I awoke, and the first thing I do is go outside and feed my horses.  There was no noticeable swelling at this time.  After feeding them I go to work on my property, a few hours later I get back to my domicile and my boy was at the water, he turned and knickers at me and I saw it….the right side of his muzzle was swollen to the size of a large pomelo, “…the size of a very LARGE grapefruit…”.  I knew instantly what it was, so I go to my herb cupboard and get out the echinacea tincture.  I began dosing him every 30 minutes for the first two hours.  And I think I started out with 18 droppers full, then tapered to an average of 9 droppers full throughout the day.  I gave a dose every hour.  The first four doses were mixed with half a melon in the blender.  Then the rest of the first day I was soaking hay cube cookies in water mixed with the echinacea tincture.  The cookies would absorb the echinacea water.  I was using 18 droppers full in the hay cubes and splitting the doses between my horses.  By the end of the first day the swelling had reduced by at least half.

Day two, I began giving the tincture mixed into a watery fruit smoothie.  The bite is on his upper lip, just barely on the inside of his mouth.  And there was some tissue that was turning dark so I wanted to get echinacea directly on the bite area to stop any formation of necrotic tissue.  So I figured that the watery smoothie would be better than soaked hay cubes.  This worked excellent, and by the end of the second day the swelling had reduced by 80-85% and the dark looking tissue that goes necrotic began to recede considerably.  I was giving a dose every hour, but I had to run to town to pick up more tincture, and he didn’t get a dose for roughly 4 hours.

Day three, this morning.  It’s been 48 hours since the bite and the swelling is reduced by probably 90-95%.  I’m going to continue to give watery smoothies with echinacea throughout the day.  I have enough tincture to last through the day but will probably be driving to town again to pickup some more.

As of right now I’ve used 7oz of tincture, and I plan on giving at least two more 1oz bottles today.  The snake was a small one, and if you don’t know, the small ones tend to release the most venom because they haven’t yet developed much control over their venom flow while biting, so I’ve been told.  So my horse ended up with a full tank of venom into his lip.  And my filly didn’t get hardly any...probably just the residual venom on the fangs.


Last year my dog was bit by a rattlesnake…also on the lip.  I didn’t know about echinacea at the time so I took him to the vet for the antivenin.  That night while he was at the vets I began researching, and that’s where I learned of echinacea….and all the dangers of going the allopathic route.  I guess that giving the antivenin has a high percentage of being fatal.  When I picked him up the next day he was SEVERELY drugged up…I was quite concerned.  I took him home and threw away the drugs they gave me.  I immediately began giving him tincture sandwiched in raw ground beef every hour.  I think I used two 1oz bottles and may have opened a third throughout two-three days.  For him the swelling was drastically reduced by the first day, and by the morning of the third day the swelling was completely gone, and all of the dark tissue that goes necrotic had diminished.  Plus I didn’t feed him his normal meals, the only thing he was eating had been the tincture sandwiched in meat.  Fasting aids in recovery quite considerably, but I needed to get the tincture in him somehow.

The most common thing I hear from people in the area who’ve had animals bitten by snakes is how much necrotic tissue forms and how long it takes before their animal is showing any signs of recovery.  I often hear of dogs at 6 weeks out still suffering from a bite…and yes I tell them of echinacea.  I’ve only had one person actually take my advice…and their dog was recovering by day three….they didn’t administer with the frequency I kept suggesting.  By the second or third day, they understood….and they began giving it more frequently…but still no where near as much as I kept recommending.  And they were afraid of putting the tincture on the bite mark because it may sting a little….I tried to say that the venom in their tissue was causing way more pain than a little sting from some alcohol tincture would cause….yet they were still concerned.  They left town on day four or five after the bite.  The dog was getting much better, but still recovering.  This bite was on the lower leg, by a big snake, with multiple bites.


Some important things about administering the echinacea.  It’s a very mild herb, so you can use a LOT of it.  The proper way to administer it is with frequency instead of just quantity.  Give frequent doses instead of just one or a couple of large doses.  I started off giving a dose every thirty minutes, then I give a dose every hour….except while I’m sleeping.  If you can also get the echinacea directly on the bite mark…do it, it will put medicine localized directly where needed.  Echinacea is an herb to use as needed instead of constantly.  If you use it only in cases where it’s needed then it will be very effective, but if you use it every day as a “preventative” it won’t be very effective when the time comes that you actually NEED it.  <—no experience with that statement, just something I’ve read.

My timer has gone off about ten minutes ago….so if the post is all jumbled and a little confusing, I haven’t had time to go through and clean it up a bit…but I think it makes enough sense.
 
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I am going to keep my lips away from tall grass and brush piles.
 
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Excellent post Joshua, Phila'waye (thank you) for this informative post.

Tincture of Echinacea is wonderful stuff and good for all venomous bites.

Want to make your own Tincture of Echinacea?

What you need:
1. 1 quart mason jar with lid and ring
2. Enough chopped Echinacea to half fill the mason jar to the rim (this is stems, leaves, flowers, root)
3. 1 full bottle of vodka (you can also use moonshine but the vodka is fine for making tinctures)

How to make it:

Stuff mason jar with chopped stems, leaves, root and flowers to the mid point of the jar. Pour vodka over the Echinacea to fill the mason jar. Place jar lid on and screw the ring on.
Set in semi- dark place (kitchen cabinet or top of refrigerator) once a day give the bottle a rock or roll then place back in place.
Repeat last step daily for 4-6 weeks.
Place filter paper or real cheese cloth into strainer placed over a wide mouth mason jar, pour the tincture vodka through and bottle up into the size bottles you want to store it in.
discard the spent Echinacea in your compost heap.

There you have it, a potent tincture of Echinacea.

Redhawk
 
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Joshua, great information.  I had no idea.

Redhawk, any idea how long the tincture lasts after being bottled, or the best way to store it?  Rattlesnakes are uncommon here, but I know of people being bitten by venomous spiders and the brown recluse bites can have pretty major side effects.  I lost a friend that was bitten on the leg by one.  I would love to have some on hand for emergencies.
 
Todd Parr
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Dale Hodgins wrote:I am going to keep my lips away from tall grass and brush piles.



Aren't you the guy that pees outside a lot?  

Just a thought.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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I fill 2 oz. dropper bottles (brown glass) to the rim and the caps have a PTFE sealing liner. The tincture last a year at full potency when stored in a dark, cool place. You can always use a small box in your refrigerator for dark, cold storage which would extend the shelf life even further.
It works on all venomous snake bites including copperhead, all rattlesnakes, and cottonmouth snake bites, black widow, brown recluse and the guy that taught me how to make it used it on Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum) bites in Arizona.

Like Joshua mentioned the way to use it is hourly and use more than you think you might need. (it is hard to overdose)

Be sure the vodka is at least 80 proof (40%) I usually use moonshine and proof it down to 85 (small tight beads) but that's because I have easy access to the moonshine.

Redhawk
 
Dale Hodgins
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Todd Parr wrote:

Dale Hodgins wrote:I am going to keep my lips away from tall grass and brush piles.



Aren't you the guy that pees outside a lot?  

Just a thought.



Yes, most of my pee strikes the ground directly or is poured from a Starbucks cup, that was filled while I'm in a vehicle. My signature used to say, "The world is my living room and urinal."
.........
This reminds me of the joke about the two friends who are out hiking, when one is bitten in that area. When the doctor tells him what must be done, the friend on the phone tells the other that he is going to die, unless they can get him to San Francisco really quickly.
 
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Interesting. I would like to have some reasearch backing this up or for which venomous snakes echinacea works.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Here you go Angelika, there are others out there if you do a search for Studies on effectiveness of Echinacea.

The NIH has done a few studies. as has the Maryland Medical Center.
They recommend small doses many times per day as the way to take it.

NIH: "The medicinal value of phytochemicals contained in Echinacea is clearly evident and indicates that these agents, as well as phytochemicals not yet discovered in other herbs, may be valuable tools to combat tumors.
The use of Echinacea as another natural cancer treatment is now being recommended, literally, “alongside — or indeed in place of — conventional therapy".
Can help with uveitis, or eye inflammation. It’s a good idea for people who struggle with chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis to regularly consume the herbal tea.
Echinacea angustifolia is the recommended species to help with the specific ailments related to ADD/ADHD; Anxiety, Depression, Social phobias.

Published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, the University of Connecticut performed a meta-analysis study that evaluated 14 studies and determined that:
• Echinacea cuts the chances of catching a common cold by 58 percent.
• Echinacea reduces the duration of the common cold by almost one-and-a-half days.
Craig Coleman, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice and lead author of the study: “The take home message from our study is that echinacea does indeed have powerful cold prevention and cold treatment benefits.” As I’ve discovered, it’s one of several effective natural cold remedies.
According to Dr. Coleman,
The significance of that finding becomes clear when you consider Americans suffer from one billion colds annually and spend about $1.5 billion annually for doctor’s visits and another $2 billion annually on non-prescription cough and cold treatments.

The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service reports that the immune system seems to be strongly influenced by the level of the echinacea dose. It appears that 10 milligrams of echinacea per one kilogram of body weight, taken daily over a 10-day period, is effective as an immune system stimulant.
In addition, the medical journal Hindawi has published material suggesting that echinacea stops viral colds. However, the most significant results of echinacea benefits with regards to the immune system were the effects when used on recurring infections.

Echinacea purpurea was used by the Great Plains Indians as a painkiller.
It’s especially effective for the following types of pain:
Pain in the bowels
Pain associated with headaches
Pain associated with HSV (Herpes)
Pain associated with gonorrhea
Pain associated with measles
Snake bites
Sore throats
Stomach ache
Tonsillitis
Toothache
Some common ways to use echinacea to combat pain is to drink the herbal tea, or even make a paste out of the ground herb and rub it directly on the area that is affected.

In a paper prepared by Armando González Stuart, PhD, about herbal safety, it describes how echinacea has been used by various Native American tribes to treat:
Arthropod bites
Eczema
Inflammatory skin conditions
Psoriasis
Snakebite
Skin infections
Stings
Wound healing
It can also be used to regenerate skin.


I have many more studies on file but this should be fairly convincing for most folks.

Each of the different varieties of the Cone Flower (all are Echinacea) are used by my people for different ailments, we have used this herb for 2,000 years (most reports published state 400 years).
Forms we use are: tincture (started in the mid 1800's), tea, paste, salve, oil (started in mid 1700's), and extract (soak chopped up parts in water then strain and reduce).
All parts of the plant are used but not in every instance. The root is used for paste, tincture, salve and extract along with the entire top part of the plant, the flowers and stem/leaves make teas.
Sometimes only the root is ground into the paste for application to skin wounds.

Redhawk
 
Joshua Parke
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just an update.....

I used probably 17oz of tincture total.  It took roughly 5-6 days before nearly all the swelling was gone. It was probably day 6 that I stopped giving doses so frequently, but I still gave maybe 4 doses per day, and it was on the 9th day that I stopped giving any doses. The formation of dark necrotic tissue I've read about and seen pictures of was virtually non-existent.  On the first day, there was necrotic tissue forming, but those first doses pretty much stopped it in its tracks and it began receding just as quickly as the swelling went down.  By day two I'm guessing, I didn't notice any of the dark tissue anymore.  On day two I took a 1 liter bottle and poked a tiny hole in the lid then I filled it half full with water and put probably 1oz of tincture in there.  Then I would use the fine stream and hold my horses head low and I would gently squirt a stream onto his lip/bite mark.  It was a little bit of a hassle to do this without a halter, so I didn't do it a whole lot, maybe only 6-8 times, I still have probably half the water left.
 
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This is so interesting - thank you!  We have no venomous snakes where I live, and serious spider bites are rare, but I do long kayak trips on desert rivers where they are common, and I am most often solo.  I've never felt I had really good first aid for bites, which is pretty uncomfortable when you're 50 miles or more from any help.  I've read that plantain can help and it grows in many places, but on most of these rivers I've been unable to find any.  On my most recent trip in southern Utah I was with a friend who had a UV flashlight - we found lots of scorpions, as well as black widows everywhere. Never saw a rattle snake, but they were no doubt there too.  I'll definitely be tossing a few bottles of Echinacea tincture into my first aid kit from now on.
 
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Thank you for the detailed description of how you used the tincture. We can count in reduced doses for humans. I totally agree with your about frequent doses during acute situation. Another great thing to use internally and externally is either bentonite clay or activated charcoal, they pull out the poisonous substance from the tissues and carry it out. It is also best to change poulstices made with them frequently at first. DMSO is great as well.
 I personally would use a combo of several remedies, whenever possible, but it seems like Echinacea alone did the trick.
 
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You might also consider echinacea in potency– that is as a homeopathic remedy. Also you can get different homeopathic remedies made from  snake venom (Crotalus, Vipera, Lachesis, Cedron, Elaps, Bothrops...) from Helios, in England, if they aren't available without a prescription here.

Here's an article about a rattlesnake-bitten dog being treated with homeopathy:

http://thefalknerschool.com/2014/10/21/homeopathic-adventures-in-treating-a-rattle-snake-bite/

and another with a useful snake venom kit (includes echinacea). http://www.thedogbreederstore.com/Venomous-SnakeInsect-Bite-Recovery-Kit_p_136.html

 
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Hyaluronic acid holds cells in tissues together, the sticky stuff between the cells--snake bites are of two types nerve venom and tissue dissolving using hyaluronidase--the enzyme that dissolves hyaluronic acid and allows the venom to penetrate into the tissue. Echinacea contains protective phyto chemicals to reinforce the hyaluronic acid and keep the venom from penetrating-- I would also use it topically on bites and stings.

Echinacea was the original "snake oil" and sold by practitioners who traveled from town to town allowing themselves to be bitten and then taking their "magic" elixer (it was originally shown to the white man by the native Americans)  Samples were sent back to famous natural healers in Boston in the 1800s and when it cured one of their wives of cancer they got very interested.

It's ability to stimulate the immune system accounts for it's use in all sorts of colds. flu and just about anything else, but it is a stimulant and a specific, taking it as a tonic is counterproductive as the immune system stops reacting to it. So it is best used just before one is exposed or as soon as possible after exposure.

It was widely discredited by the 1920s as "modern medicine" started debunking all the old wives' tales, but the joke was on them, they didn't yet know about the immune system and therefore could not understand the action of one herb on so many different diseases as it was claimed to have. As the immune system started to become more understood, it was eventually restored to credibility.

I seldom use it, but it is one formula I am sure to have on hand and also sure to know where it is--I may not find a key to my truck for weeks, but the echinacea is the first cabinet on the right, first shelf as you come into my kitchen.

Good tincture should make the tongue and throat tingle, feel numb, the sensation is difficult to describe, but if you don't notice that sensation, throw it out and get some good stuff (or make it). (there's lots of sub standard stuff being sold as echinacea)

 
Bryant RedHawk
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Quite right Bob, the best tinctures are the ones you make your self, this is true of any herbal.
Most of what is on the commercial market have little if any of the advertised herb in them, meaning they are worthless.

My wife's oncologist and I were looking into several different herbals to see if they might help her with her chemotherapy results and he was rather impressed when I told him I would be making the medicines myself from our own herbal garden.
 
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Dale Hodgins wrote:I am going to keep my lips away from tall grass and brush piles.



Admittedly, this potential for Rattlesnakes is what has spooked me about the idea of a building a Hugelkultur brush pile and then finishing it later.
Looking at a animated illustration of one, it looks like an Rattlesnake Igloo

 
Bryant RedHawk
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One other thing about Echinacea and most medicinal herbs, each part of the plant usually makes a different medicine and then there are combinations of the parts for yet another medicine.

Echinacea is divided into Flower petals, whole flower, leaves and stems, roots and then the whole plant. Each of these make different treatments for different ailments, conditions.

When making a tincture for snake bites you need fresh roots, leaves and stems, these are ground up then the tincture is made from those macerated materials.

The best tincture of Echinacea will be made in "Moonshine" with a "Proof" of around 105 or 110 (<50%, >65%)
Place the macerated leaves, stems and roots in a jar and cover with the moonshine, cap and shake once an hour for the first 6 hours then as it steeps over the next 7 days, shake it up at least twice a day (morning and evening are the normal times).
After the seventh  day, strain the tincture into a clean bottle(s) and cap tightly, store in darkness and once you open a bottle, it is best to keep it cool (fridge).
I like to use dark brown Boston bottles for large quantities or 30 to 60 ml dark brown specimen bottles (available through most scientific supply houses such as fisher scientific.

Redhawk
 
bob day
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Those are great directions for the tincture, but I will add what I was taught. First,  a fresh herb will contain water which will dilute the alcohol so the use of 190 proof (95%) is pretty much essential if you want a good storage life, and alcohol tinctures that finish around 100proof (50%) will last a very long time. Glycerin tincture can also be made using a concentrated tea that is further reduced in volume by slow , low heat simmering, then glycerin added --that tincture will definitely have a limited shelf life, but even so, if well made it will last several years, and I agree about decreasing potency--light, heat and  oxygen are the primary enemies of all tinctures.

Sorry to hear about your wife, without knowing specifics I will suggest this website, searches there could possibly yield the latest research on whatever you are dealing with.

I would certainly suggest anything to help the liver, Milk thistle comes to mind as a protectant, but there are many others for general support--Garlic.
 
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Joy Oasis wrote:Another great thing to use internally and externally is either bentonite clay or activated charcoal, they pull out the poisonous substance from the tissues and carry it out. It is also best to change poultices made with them frequently at first. .



I use a paste made of powdered charcoal and water on bites to draw out the poison. I had a brown recluse bite with the usual bulls-eye rings. That took multiple applications of poultice. It would go away, but then recur.

But if a bite gets infected, you can stop it dead with tea tree oil.
 
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I was told early on to treat Echinacea roots gently, brushing away the dirt rather than washing the roots. when making a tincture to avoid washing away active principles.

Activated charcoal is a great cleanser, inside and out, adsorbing all sorts of chemicals, both organic and inorganic (good and bad). If it was all I had I might use it on a fresh bite, but I would keep it separate from other herbs I might be inclined to use, as it would just as readily soak up those phyto chemicals.

Plantain has become my go to herb for bee stings and other insect bites (along with a quick strong dose of Echinacea if the stings are serious) About two months ago I was stung multiple times in about 15 places  and even though I have never had serious reactions in the past I take those large doses of wasp venom seriously. So I made up a slurry of plaintain leaves and water and got a friend to apply it with bandaids holding it in place all over my body. My eyebrow was the first place treated with a bit of plaintain leaf I had chewed up and hastily applied as I was gathering the fresh plantain, but then it never got the better poultice and I forgot about it till later that night when my eyebrow was really starting to bother me. by that time the hasty poultice was long gone so I took some of the left over poultice and held it against my eyebrow for about 15-30 minutes and by the end of that time the pain was gone.

Garlic oil or goldenseal powder would be my topical first choice for infection (or to prevent infection)

Plantain, marshmallow  or poke root to draw out necrosis, tumors, etc. I've heard of reversing gangrene using hot marshmallow poultices frequently refreshed.




 
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This thread came to the dailyish email with perfect timing. I made my first echinacea tincture this fall, and was wondering what the hell I did wrong. It has white threadlike growth around the roots, almost resembling mycelllium. Also had a slight amount of bubbling, which concerns me. I would expect bubbles with any type of fermentation, but when submerged in vodka? I thought botulism would not be able to reproduce in that concentration of alcohol, but perhaps I was misinformed. I've been checking it and pondering tossing it, but thought Permies might be the place to get an answer. I'm sure there are more appropriate threads for this question, but here we are, who can help?
 
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That can be saved but it will take some effort. Let me list what you will need to do to save the tincture.

1. Pour into a clean, container, all the vodka from the Echinacea, cap and save for later.
2. rinse in cold water the Echinacea root(s)
3.  buy some of one of these " everclear" or "moonshine that is above 110 proof.
4. pour the high proof alcohol you bought over the rinsed root(s)
5. steep for 7 days then pour off the alcohol with the previously saved vodka.
6. set up a small still and distill your mixed liquids. save that and use as tincture.

Redhawk
 
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casey - did you use dried echinacea?

I just looked at the tincture I've had macerating for a few months, and it has a layer of white liquid.  I used an equal combination, by weight, of dried leaf and root.  It was originally one jar.  I had weighed out too much leaf/root and stuffed it into one jar then filled it with vodka.  Which of course I knew was going to be over stuffed, so I split it into two jars after getting more vodka.  Curious that only the one jar has the white liquid....it must of already been in suspension in the vodka before I spooned some of the leaf/root into a different jar.  It was maybe only few days before I separated it into two jars.?  I am going to press them at the same time and combine the liquid.  I may have to pull a little of that liquid layer out with a dropper and see what it is.  I'm kind of curious if it's the stuff that makes the mouth numb/tingle.

Another idea I just had...the jar with the white liquid is the original jar.  Maybe most of the roots fell to the bottom of the jar after having vodka added and being agitated for a couple of days.  Then when I spooned some of it out into a new jar, most of the root was left behind in the original jar..??  If I made two separate tinctures, one root only and one leaf only, that may reveal something.?
Echinacea-Tincture.jpg
[Thumbnail for Echinacea-Tincture.jpg]
 
Bryant RedHawk
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There are four tinctures you can make from Echinacea, each has a different purpose and chemistry.

1. flower (whole) this can be made with low proof alcohol such as vodka.

2. root this one needs high proof alcohol and is traditionally made with Moonshine that has not been proofed (full strength, 90-95% alcohol)

3. root, stem and leaves  this one also needs to be made with high proof alcohol to get full extraction

4. whole plant again, because of the root being part of it you need high proof alcohol.

Those that are made with high proof spirits can, once decanted (pressed and filtered is an other option) be diluted to 80 proof.

This is an interesting read with lots of information Echinacea, chemistry of

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bob day
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Yes, I would be interested to know what that white layer is too, as I have never seen it before.  Mostly I would just do a very high alcohol extraction of cut up fresh roots--maybe shredded directly into the white lightning to avoid as much oxidation as possible while increasing the surface area., then filtered out at two weeks and pressed dry.

It's pretty obvious the white threads are fungus, the solution of vodka was grossly weakened, either caused by fresh roots diluting the vodka, or possibly some of the polysaccarides (main immunostimulant fractions) reacting with the alcohol taking it out of solution  (to my knowledge vodka seldom (never?) exceeds 50% and mostly comes in around 40 %  which is the bare minimum for a lasting tincture), and one last possibility, an uncovered tincture can lose alcohol to the air   BTW, if I had a tincture that had gone that far south I would not try to salvage any of it-the root is so debilitated, even if you did get rid of all contamination it wouldn't be worth the time and extra alcohol-the alcohol remaining has an unknown proof and unknown contaminants.

If you are buying alcohol in liquor stores for your tinctures, you will pay a little for the variety (except perhaps in very high end spirits), and among all the middle brands you will pay mostly for the actual alcohol content, the higher the proof the more you pay. Taxes on alcohol are 90 % of the finished price of the stuff--it is very cheap to make  but taxes....

I would rather buy everclear or whatever your local white lighting is called (some states can't sell it by law) even if it is twice the price-- then dilute it down according to the water content of my herb.

Note that water used should always be distilled (or deionized or reverse osmosis) clean rainwater (if you can find any ) is pretty good, deep well water will have many more minerals and interfere with extraction.
A PUR filter on rainwater has given me TDS (total dissolved solids) readings as good or better than the whole foods RO water, so that might be a good source to consider for fresh teas, etc.

Long term solutions can tend to develop microclimates of sorts with different concentrations of everything. that is one reason why shaking during the extraction process is important.

Bryant, that was a great link, although somewhat more of a laboratory, instruction manual for standardization and commercialization of various components, it was quite informative nonetheless and I was interested to see the variety of echinacea does make a difference. Although it was pretty complex and deserves a lot more study to get specific guides as to preps for specific effect.

We were taught to use the angustifolia variety, although in small print it seemed all varieties were about the same. But according to this paper it appears purpurea does have some specific strengths. so the overall takeaway was that any species will do, but when talking about the hyaluronidase in snake venom (which I mentioned earlier)  they were somewhat specific about the angustifolia variety as being effective against it but did not mention the other two, so that may be something to consider when choosing what echinacea to grow and process, although not mentioning the other two varieties may have just been for lack of any specific information, not that the other varieties were ineffective

Obviously lots of questions remained since the article cites so many different studies (some of them quite dated) and I would like to know the methodologies of those studies, and more of the specifics--ie species,  time of harvest, etc that generated the results quoted.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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I grow purpurea and angustifolia myself for medicines, I also distill my own spirits.  I totally agree with you bob, that one does leave some huge desires (there are lots of studies out there that are current on the internet, some you have to pay for, others are free from the authors).
 
Joshua Parke
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I figured I would pull a couple of drops from the white layer of my tincture.  Just a few minutes ago I pulled the jar out of its closet, and the white layer has sunk down into the herbal layer.  Most likely from moving it yesterday to get a picture.  It's still at the top of the jar but it's mixed into the top layer of herb as well.

The white layer has a distinct flavor...woody??  I would guess that the white layer is coming from the roots.  The rest of it is overpowered with the taste of leaf.  And I didn't have any flowers to put in mine...just leaf and root.  Mine tastes terrible.  LOL  I'm not a big fan of that green chlorophyll taste in tinctures.  But my tongue is numb/tingly.  It will probably taste better when I mix the different layers together.

I have once read that the time of year for gathering herbs has significance.  For example, using echinacea one would harvest leaves in the spring, flowers in the summer, and roots in the fall.  The idea is to harvest from the plant as it is focusing it's energy on that area.  I have no experience with it, just wanted to share.

I have seen high proof grape alcohol on the internet a couple years ago.  It's price was reasonable, but what made it worth noting is that they sell it as gallons instead of pints.  Lemme see if I can find the site.... the site looks a little different, but I think it's the same one I saw a while back....they have more stuff now.  It's organicalcohol.com  I still haven't ordered any, so I don't know what it's like.  I just don't make that much tincture.
 
Gail Gardner
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bob day wrote:Activated charcoal is a great cleanser, inside and out, adsorbing all sorts of chemicals, both organic and inorganic (good and bad). If it was all I had I might use it on a fresh bite, but I would keep it separate from other herbs I might be inclined to use, as it would just as readily soak up those phyto chemicals.



True. I keep the powder on hand for poultices and the capsules for internal issues. I did once drink the powder mixed in water for what seemed like food poisoning at the time. I hurt so bad it was worth it - but not really what you want to drink.
 
casey lem
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I did not use dried, it was fresh root, lightly washed, rough chopped, and covered w/ 80 proof vodka. The whiteish layer did resemble the picture above, but emerging from the bottom, from the pieces of root. I have checked it and all is clear now! Bubbles gone as well. I suppose since I had not been stirring it that the bubbles could have been the remnants of whatever microbes were left on the roots. From what I've been able to gather botulism cannot reproduce in alcohol 80 proof. If anyone knows otherwise, please let us know. I don't think I'm going as far as the construction of any stills, it's just a quart jar. Thanks for the replies! Perhaps the moderator should move these posts to a renamed topic so as not to derail the original thread.
 
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