I know I haven't posted anything in ages but I am a busy woman. I have been delving back into my herbs again, mainly herbal teas for myself and I have been making some glycerin extracts-with many more to come to my store soon!
Glycerin makes a really powerful herbal extract, stronger than alcohol based infusions. Plus they taste delicious and really help to make the taste of many herbs much more tolerable. I do my glycerites with a combination of glycerin and distilled water. Why you ask? Water IS the universal solvent-though glycerin itself is great for extracting the healing power of herbs, the addition of a little water makes for a more thorough extraction. Besides, it thins out the glycerin and makes it slightly easier to strain out the spent herbs. I use 3 parts glycerin to 1 part distilled water. I just filled a quart sized canning jar so I have some to work with since I am fixing to make a ton of them! The benefits of using glycerin far outweigh the disadvantages-the extract is stronger, it is sweet so it helps to disguise the taste of bitter herbs, it is safer to administer to children and pets than alcohol and it makes it possible for anyone who has any kind of problem using liquor to be able to enjoy the convenience of herbal extracts. Even in alcohol based extracts, adding a little glycerin can help to stabilize them (use it this way at about 10%). The downsides are that it is much more of a challenge to strain and it has a shorter shelf life (generally 1-2 years). But they work so well and are so easy to use you should have no problem using it up before it goes bad. Plus glycerites are great for extracting nutrients!
Lately I have been making an herbal tea with red raspberry leaf, red clover blossoms, some eleuthero root (AKA Siberian ginseng) and a touch of licorice root. I mean making it by the quart, storing it in the fridge, taking it to work. But only using it early in the day because the eleuthero will keep me awake. Tonight when I started a new batch of tea, I also started a glycerite version. I can keep a bottle of the final product in my locker at work so when I forget my tea, or haven't had time to make any, I can stir a spoonful of my glycerite into a glass of water. I already have a bottle of my berry blend in there-hawthorne berries, schisandra berries and rosehips. That blend is sweet, tart and a pleasure to use. Plus I am getting a blast of vitamin C and phytonutrients that are good for my heart and a little energy and immune boost.
I am going to be making some custom blends for my family and for myself. I have a Deep Sleep blend going right now. It's a formula created by Rosemary Gladstar with hops, valerian root and a little lavender. Some other blends I'm considering:
Rejuvenating-with Gotu Kola and Ashwaganda root.
An energizing tonic blend with guarana, kola nut, Asian ginseng, eleuthero, rhodiola, astragalus and maybe some cacao nibs. Great for a morning and mid day energy burst but also long term stamina.
DEFINITELY doing my nerve tonic blend with chamomile, skullcap, oat tops, lemon balm and lavender. Very relaxing and healing to frazzled nerves.
How about an anti-flu blend with elderberries, schisandra berries and rosehips? Rosehips are the best source of vitamin C...............
Maybe a menopausal support blend with some adaptogens and red clover.
Tell me what you think. Is there a formula you'd like?