Fluid Extracts

Fluid extracts are used both to concentrate and preserve the active ingredients of an herb, enabling it to be used whenever necessary, i.e. when the herb is out of season.

Fluid extracts are considered by many herbalists to be the preferred way to preserve water soluble active ingredients. If possible always use fresh ingredients.

When properly made one fluid ounce of fluid extract equals one ounce of fresh herb.

Always use accurate measurements to ensure consistency and the effect of a given dose.

Equipment needed:

  • Large non metal or stainless steel pan with lid,
  • Water (not city water)
  • Heat source
  • Measuring jug
  • Vegetable glycerin

Directions to produce 4 ounces of dandelion root fluid extract:

  • 4 ounces washed fresh dandelion roots
  • 3 quarts water (total amount)
  • 2 fluid ounces vegetable glycerin

Chop Dandelion roots into approx ΒΌ inch pieces. Put into pan with two quarts water. Bring to a boil and then cover pan and allow to simmer until water is reduced to one quart. Take off heat and strain through a cloth squeezing out all excess liquid.

Place remains of herb back into pan and add one quart water. Save fluid that was strained and put to one side. Reheat pan to boil and simmer herbs again with the pan covered until liquid is reduced by half to one pint. Strain through a cloth discarding the solid remains.

Now combine the two strained liquids, return to the large pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer until liquid is reduced to two fluid ounces. These will take several hours.

You have now extracted all the water soluble ingredients from four ounces of Dandelion roots and concentrated them into two ounces of fluid. Remove this liquid from heat and allow to cool. Add two ounces of vegetable glycerin and mix well. Pour into a dark glass bottle, stopper tightly and store in a cool place. Treated with care this fluid extract will last at least one year.

N.B. — Glycerin is an essential fatty acid and is generally a by product of soap manufacturing. It is used as a preservative and stabilizing agent. Never add glycerin to hot liquids as it is temperature sensitive and will coagulate. Always mix with cold or warm liquids.

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