Print Topic - Archive

BTD Forums  /  Supp Right For Your Type  /  homemade extracts - OK or not?
Posted by: ginnyTN, Friday, January 24, 2014, 4:05am
For a long time (years) I've made my own extracts.  Example: Vanilla extract.  Now I am also making extracts from hibiscus flowers and from hawthorn berries.  All commercial extracts that I've seen contain alcohol.  I use vodka.  

I have crazy blood pressure and am taking hawthorn capsules ( 3 per day), Histona (2 per day), 1 tsp. each of the two above extracts twice a day and that combination "sort of" keeps things under control.  

When I mix the tsp. of each of the two extracts in my morning and evening tea I also put in a tsp. of ARA6 granules..  

NOTE:  I used both the hawthorn berries and the hibiscus flowers as long-steeped tea for months and that did NOT help my blood pressure, so I don't want to go back to doing the "tea thing" with them, especially since my local naturopath told me the extracts are exponentially more effective than teas.  

MY QUESTION:  Since distilled alcohol is listed as an avoid, am I causing more problems than I'm solving by using the extracts?  



Posted by: Lola, Friday, January 24, 2014, 5:46am; Reply: 1
learn to make water-based extracts
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Friday, January 24, 2014, 5:26pm; Reply: 2
First of all, make sure that whatever you're extracting is compliant to begin with. Vanilla extract would be an avoid if vanilla is an avoid for you.

Secondly, just how much extract are you using at a time? The rating for "liquor, distilled" assumes you're having at least a full shot of the beverage. If you're only having 1/4 teaspoon at a time, I just don't know if that rating really applies. I see from above that you're having 4 teaspoons of vodka a day, which is far less than 1.5 ounces (9 teaspoons) that's considered "one serving." So that comes to "one shot every 2 days" and that might be enough to be problematic. Is there a way you can remove the alcohol before ingesting, that won't interfere with the potency of the herbs? Would boiling work?

I'm not sure if it makes a difference what the alcohol is fermented from, since it's been distilled and any lectins may be fully filtered out. Still, it might be a safer idea to use tequila (made from agave, neutral for all) for future extracts, rather than vodka (which can be from potatoes or grains.)
Posted by: PCUK-Positive, Friday, January 24, 2014, 7:55pm; Reply: 3
Some say that alcohol extracts more of the herbs goodness. personally i use the whole herb if i'm doing it myself.

do you put it under your tongue or just swallow it?

I add some of my herbs to my kombucha which has a tiny bit of alcohol in it, tastes nice ;)
Posted by: ginnyTN, Saturday, January 25, 2014, 1:18am; Reply: 4
Quoted from Lola
learn to make water-based extracts


The only information I can find on line that comes even close to "water based extract" is a tissane (tea type) infusion.  This is what I was doing and it didn't seem to help my blood pressure.  

My naturopath made a jar of elderberry extract in glycerine for my husband to use since I can't find pure elderberry concentrate anymore.  Hubby used it.  I can't handle the sickening sweetness of the glycerine.  

I do NOT want to go back to using prescription BP pills, which didn't work either unless I combined them with the hawthorn capsules and the Histona.  

In fact:  No combination of anything seems to work without the Histona.  

AND the Histona by itself doesn't work.  There seems to be a synergistic effect between the Histona and the other things.

I'm still having to take 1/2 of a BP Rx pill occasionally, even with all the other things.  That equals 5 mg. of lisinopril in each half pill and in combination with the other things, it makes my BP too low for about one day.

Really frustrating!



Posted by: ginnyTN, Saturday, January 25, 2014, 1:31am; Reply: 5
Quoted from ruthiegirl
First of all, make sure that whatever you're extracting is compliant to begin with. Vanilla extract would be an avoid if vanilla is an avoid for you.


I hear ya, gal!  My new Swami lists vanilla as a black dot, so my 5 bottles of homemade vanilla extract are waiting for me for a couple months until I can use it again from time to time.  Had I realized it would become a black dot I wouldn't have made so much.  Oh well............

Quoted Text
Is there a way you can remove the alcohol before ingesting, that won't interfere with the potency of the herbs? Would boiling work?


My naturopath told me to be careful to not boil the extracts or I would destroy some of the benefits of the herbs.....Perhaps I need to get the tea water hotter before adding the extracts, and let it sit so the alcohol can vaporize.

BUT I'm not sure that would make the extract OK because I don't know if it is only the alcohol or the lectin/whatever which is left even after the alcohol itself vaporizes.........THAT was my main concern.  



Posted by: shoulderblade, Saturday, January 25, 2014, 8:21am; Reply: 6
Quoted from ginnyTN

My naturopath told me to be careful to not boil the extracts or I would destroy some of the benefits of the herbs.....Perhaps I need to get the tea water hotter before adding the extracts, and let it sit so the alcohol can vaporize.

BUT I'm not sure that would make the extract OK because I don't know if it is only the alcohol or the lectin/whatever which is left even after the alcohol itself vaporizes.........THAT was my main concern.  


Alcohol is considerably more volatile than water so a solution would not have to be boiled in order to remove it. If there is no protein/lectin component there is no problem. If there is it will be left behind as a residue.

Posted by: PCUK-Positive, Saturday, January 25, 2014, 1:54pm; Reply: 7
perhaps change your diet a bit more to reduce BP? maybe add some minerals. magnesium, zinc perhaps.
Posted by: Dianne, Saturday, January 25, 2014, 2:33pm; Reply: 8
My friend is a herbalist who makes tinctures commercially, his advice is to pour 1 tsp of the extract into a glass that has a wide mouth, pour boiling water on it and let it cool down. This helps the alcohol to gas off some. It is more efficient to make tinctures using alcohol rather than water and preserves it better.  :)
Posted by: ginnyTN, Sunday, January 26, 2014, 4:34am; Reply: 9
Quoted from Dianne
My friend is a herbalist who makes tinctures commercially, his advice is to pour 1 tsp of the extract into a glass that has a wide mouth, pour boiling water on it and let it cool down. This helps the alcohol to gas off some. It is more efficient to make tinctures using alcohol rather than water and preserves it better.  :)


Thank you, Diane.  I will try doing it that way.  And HOPE that by removing the alcohol I have removed the problem of ingesting "distilled liquor".  I still wonder if there is something left that is bad for me after the alcohol is gone, though????

Posted by: ginnyTN, Sunday, January 26, 2014, 4:40am; Reply: 10
Quoted from PCUK-Positive
perhaps change your diet a bit more to reduce BP? maybe add some minerals. magnesium, zinc perhaps.


I am going to pick up some items from my naturopath this coming Tuesday and will ask her about the magnesium and zinc - what kind and how much she thinks might help my BP.  She has already approved the 4 things I'm taking now.  She did question the Histona but I told her about the synergistic effect it has with the other things, so she didn't argue.  

I have to be careful of how much magnesium I take - it gives me diarrhea big time if I'm not really careful.  

I'm almost totally compliant on the Swami diet (95% anyway, with high emphasis on beneficials and especially diamonds) except for not being able to eat as many servings of most things as are called for "per week".  Just can't hold that much! So perhaps the extra minerals would be helpful.

If I could take my BP morning and night for four days in a row and find it was not over 130/75 at any time I would celebrate big time!  
Posted by: PCUK-Positive, Sunday, January 26, 2014, 11:37am; Reply: 11
I was thinking more alone the line of Epsom salts baths for magnesium or magnesium chloride baths, this avoids the diarrhoea but i would also take a small amount of say magnesium citrate or even chelated starting with 100 mg a day and building to whatever is comfortable perhaps 200mg a day the second week . a little zinc is usually enough.
Posted by: ginnyTN, Monday, January 27, 2014, 12:02am; Reply: 12
I would dearly LOVE to soak in a nice tub of epsom salts water, but a couple years ago I had recurring urinary tract infections that got so bad they popped up every month.  Along with taking the proper probiotic for my body and cranberry capsules and whole cranberries, I had to stop taking baths. Frankly, I am afraid to try even one nice soak in a tub now!  I hate showers, but am finally getting used to them.  

I read somewhere that just soaking your feet and ankles in epsom salts is enough to add extra magnesium to your body?  Is this true?  If so, I'd try it because this winter is horribly cold and I can't seem to get my feet warm at all........a nice extra warm soak might be a good thing if that is enough of "me" to help the magnesium problem.  
Posted by: md, Monday, January 27, 2014, 1:34am; Reply: 13
ginny,

I used to sprinkle cayenne powder in my socks to warm up my feet, until I realized that if I wear my tennis shoes in place of slippers, my feet stay warm.
Posted by: ginnyTN, Monday, January 27, 2014, 4:38am; Reply: 14
(woot) - it's not too comfortable to wear tennis shoes in bed..............(clown)

Seriously, I can handle the cold feet during the day but they keep me awake sometimes for a couple hours at night until they finally warm up.  And, yep, I wear fuzzy sleep socks, and also wrap lower legs and feet in heavy fleece.

Guess I'm hopeless.  
Posted by: Victoria, Monday, January 27, 2014, 6:10am; Reply: 15
I make my own tinctures, even though I don't 'drink' alcohol.

I use 1/2 alcohol (everclear), 1/4 vegetable glycerine and 1/4 filtered water.  I let it steep for minimum of one month and strain.

I like Ruthie's suggestion of using tequila.  :)

For cold feet at night, try putting an electric heating pad in the foot of your bed for a while before you lie down.  Let the area get nice and toasty warm.  Then shut the electricity, remove the heating pad and immediately get in bed.  Put your feet into the warm space and relax.  :D
Posted by: Victoria, Monday, January 27, 2014, 6:38am; Reply: 16
Another thought on the alcohol for tincture idea.

When I can afford to buy a gallon ($139), I'd like to get organic grape alcohol from Alchemical Solutions.
Posted by: ginnyTN, Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 4:08am; Reply: 17
Quoted from Victoria
Another thought on the alcohol for tincture idea.

When I can afford to buy a gallon ($139), I'd like to get organic grape alcohol from Alchemical Solutions.


Thanks for that information.  That price would be the same as paying $24.47 for a .75l bottle of organic wheat vodka.  I think the last time I bought the organic wheat (which was really only part wheat) vodka I paid $22, so it wouldn't be much more money for a definitely higher quality product.

THEN if you factor in the 190 proof vs. the only 80 proof of the vodka, it is actually way cheaper per ounce!

The main problem is that I don't need a gallon of 190 proof alcohol.  BUT I will talk to my naturopath.  She might go for splitting one with me even though she normally prefers glycerine.  I'm going to see her tomorrow so if my old brain remembers, I'll bring it up.   :o

Posted by: ginnyTN, Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 4:13am; Reply: 18
Victoria,
Thanks for your suggestion of the Everclear, but I think I would prefer the grape alcohol if I go the 190 proof route.

And I would really love to warm my bed with a heating pad in the foot area, but I have a memory foam mattress and am afraid I would melt or otherwise damage the foam   ?!?  I know you can use an electric blanket on low but not sure about a heating pad.  
Posted by: Victoria, Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 4:44am; Reply: 19
Quoted from ginnyTN
Victoria,
Thanks for your suggestion of the Everclear, but I think I would prefer the grape alcohol if I go the 190 proof route.

And I would really love to warm my bed with a heating pad in the foot area, but I have a memory foam mattress and am afraid I would melt or otherwise damage the foam   ?!?  I know you can use an electric blanket on low but not sure about a heating pad.  


Yeah, I do agree about the grape alcohol.  And you're right, it isn't really overpriced compared to smaller bottles of other alcohol.  And it's organic.  And grapes sound better to me than wheat or corn-based.

How about a hot water bottle, maybe, to warm your bed before your feet get into it?
Posted by: shoulderblade, Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 6:38am; Reply: 20
Quoted from ginnyTN

I read somewhere that just soaking your feet and ankles in Epsom salts is enough to add extra magnesium to your body?  Is this true?  If so, I'd try it because this winter is horribly cold and I can't seem to get my feet warm at all........a nice extra warm soak might be a good thing if that is enough of "me" to help the magnesium problem.  


I have also read that this is the case and it would seem quite reasonable to me. I will have a search around in the next couple of days and see if I can find a source on it. It would be a good way to kill two birds with one stone.

Edit. That was easy. I found sources that confirm that both Mg and SO4 can be absorbed through. From Wikipedia:

Quoted from Wikipedia
Bathing in a 1% solution of Epsom salts (about 500g of Epsom salts for a standard size bathtub of 60 litres) is a "a safe and easy way to increase sulfate and magnesium levels in the body"


Epsom salts are also of value in gardening. Apparently Peppers need Mg in order for the flowers to fix so that adding a little to the water supply will ensure a good crop.

Posted by: ruthiegirl, Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 2:02pm; Reply: 21
Your body is likely very low in magnesium, and possibly other minerals as well. See if you can get a hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) done- it will tell you what's going on with minerals in your body, so you can figure out a supplement routine to get them back into balance.

When you get too much magnesium in your gut at one time, diarrhea results. This doesn't necessarily mean that your body has enough magnesium- just that the bowels can't absorb any more right now. Taking smaller doses, spread out throughout the day, leads to more magnesium absorption and fewer GI problems. People vary as to what form of magnesium is well absorbed. Some do very well on magnesium citrate, while others find that other forms work better.

Milk of Magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) is sold as a laxative, but when taken in small enough amounts throughout the day (half a teaspoon at a time, not the 2 tablespoons they suggest for laxative use) it's fairly well absorbed. I put 3 tablespoons of Milk of Magnesia into 1 liter of carbonated water, and let it sit until the magnesium reacts fully with the carbon dioxide (about an hour.) This changes into a non-carbonated beverage with magnesium bicarbonate, which I then dilute and drink all day long. It's inexpensive and generally well tolerated and well absorbed. Carbonated water is an "avoid" for As, but it's not a problem when used this way because there's no carbonation left when you drink it.

Also, absorbing magnesium through the skin is helpful. Magnesium sulphate (epsom salt) or magnesium chloride work well in a foot soak or in a whole bath. Magnesium chloride can also be used in a spray bottle- spray it on your skin, let it dry for about half an hour, then shower it off if you find it uncomfortable. Mag chloride is much better absorbed than mag sulphate. Magnesium chloride solution is called "magnesium oil" because the solution has an oily feel; there's no actual oil in it.

I think you should keep on using the homemade herbal extracts, at least in the short term. I think the benefits of the herbs outweigh any negatives from the alcohol, at least until you're able to do some more healing. Hopefully, with mineral supplementation, dietary changes, stress management, and appropriate exercise (yoga, etc) you'll no longer need the herbs after a few months.
Posted by: ginnyTN, Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 2:53am; Reply: 22
Thanks all - I appreciate all the helpful input a lot!

It is still bitterly cold here which makes the humidity so low that it feels cold even when the inside room temperature is 71 or 72 degrees when we are awake (expensive to keep it that high!).

Last night it took me way over an hour to go to sleep because I absolutely could not get my left foot even half way warm. I tried wool socks plus heavy fleece and even rubbing it vigorously, but still it felt like it was encased in an ice pack.  I think tonight I WILL use the foot bath pan with magnesium and nice almost hot water just before I go to bed!  I can stay up later tonight because don't have to get up to go anywhere in the morning.  We couldn't go anywhere if we wanted to with the streets so icy..........   ::)

I don't have a hot water bottle anymore.  Will get one.    
Posted by: ABJoe, Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 3:14am; Reply: 23
Quoted from ginnyTN
Last night it took me way over an hour to go to sleep because I absolutely could not get my left foot even half way warm.

Have you tried the iodine patch test to see if you need more iodine?  Iodine is necessary for proper thyroid function...
Posted by: ginnyTN, Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 3:21am; Reply: 24
My naturopath does 2 different computerized procedures when I go in.  It has totally amazed me how accurate those results are:  Things I knew were wrong but no one else did pop out on the printed sheets!  

I'll ask her about the iodine thing. However, we eat plenty of sea veggies - I put quite a bit of granulated kelp in about everything I cook, so I think my iodine level is fine.  

I don't have any other thyroid problem symptoms either......and I have had cold hands and feet all my life. It's just worse in the winter.  
Posted by: ABJoe, Wednesday, January 29, 2014, 4:08am; Reply: 25
My mom, BT A also, quite often had cold hands...  I don't know that she has ever found a solution either.  It may be that some people just don't have nice warm hands and feet all the time...
Posted by: ginnyTN, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 3:43am; Reply: 26
Just wanted to give you all an update about my ice cold feet problem.

Last night I filled a square pan (looks like a dish pan) with fairly hot water from the tap, set it in the tub and sat myself on the edge of the toilet with my legs over the edge of the tub and feet in the pan.  I put in some Epsom salts but since I had to add water (cool at first, then hotter), I'm not sure how much good the Epsom salts actually did. And since that position wasn't at all comfortable I didn't soak as long as perhaps I otherwise would have done if I had a great big bucket or kettle to use.  

My feet were SO cold that my toes were actually white!  I had to start with my heels and gradually lower the rest of the feet into the water or it would have been painful.  

However, after "x" number of minutes I could submerge my feet and ankles and after another "x" number of minutes my toes were PINK AGAIN!  And my feet were warm, warm, warm.

Then I put on my wool sleep socks, brushed my teeth and climbed into bed instead of doing other stuff as I usually do late at night.  Result:  I was able to go to sleep quickly and comfortably!  

I will do this again.

NOW, I can work on the magnesium problem..........


Print page generated: Friday, October 31, 2014, 7:04am