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Infusion
Double Extract

 

Infusion
    An infusion is the soaking of an herb in hot water for an extended time (longer than it would take to make a tea). Some herbs, like some roots, barks, or mushrooms, are a bit stubborn about giving up their chemistry to a short soak in hot water but a longer soaking for several hours can get the job done.
    There is another important point to be made and this is a good spot to make it. There's a common recommendation made for people who don't want to consume any alcohol but want to use herbal tinctures, which is to put the amount of tincture to be consumed in a cup of water and boil it for a few minutes, cool the mix and drink it. I've read criticisms of this method that concerned me. First, when ethanol and water mix they develop a bond that keeps the alcohol from boiling off even above the boiling point of the alcohol. I'm sure that at a full boil for a long enough time it would eventually boil out, but here's my other concern. Some of the chemistry in herbs can be damaged by boiling temperatures, and you may lose the very things that you were hoping to get from the herb by using this method. Look here for more on this topic: herb-pharm
    Glycerine is an alternative to alcohol but I don't like glycerites because I think glycerine's extraction potential is very low compared to that of ethanol. Vinegar might be a good alternative menstruum. Just consuming the vinegar itself would probably be good for us.

 

Double Extract
     My procedure for making a double extract is to do an alcohol extract in a sealed container (I use ½ gallon Ball canning jars) for 7 weeks. I shake up the contents every day for at least the first week and several times a week thereafter until the 7 weeks is up. Then I strain the contents of the batch . The liquid that I get from this straining is the tincture . I measure the volume of the tincture, put it into a refrigerator and start the infusion (water extraction). The water extraction usually takes 3 to 5 hours depending on how long the reduction process takes (the reduction is why I measured the volume of the tincture earlier, to be able to match that volume with the volume of the decoction) and then I strain this extract. The liquid that I get from this is the Infusion.
I put it into the cooler also. I wait until the infusion has cooled down until it's about the same temperature as the tincture and then mix them both together. There are two reasons that I put both extracts into the cooler before mixing them: 1 I want the water extract mixed with the alcohol extract as soon as reasonably possible to stop any deterioration that normally occurs with any tea that's left sitting for too long (fresh tea is always best), and 2 There's some kind of strange chemical reaction that can sometimes happen when mixing a cool tincture with a much warmer infusion that causes a film to develop that floats on the surface. I'm not a chemist and don't know the details about this but I know how to prevent it. I've read that the film is harmless but just yukky looking. I've seen this happen with Reishi. OK, so now, after mixing the tea (infusion) with the tincture I've got the finished batch now ready to bottle and store.

adaptogenic -
from: http://www.chiro.org/nutrition/FULL/Adaptogenic_Herbs.shtml
An adaptogenic substance is one that demonstrates a nonspecific enhancement of the body's ability to resist a stressor. The term was first introduced in 1947 by Russian scientist N.V. Lazarev to describe the unique action of a material claimed to increase nonspecific resistance of an organism to an adverse influence. In 1958, I.I. Brekhman, a Russian holistic medical doctor, and his colleague I.V. Dardymov, established the following definition of an adaptogen: It "must be innocuous and cause minimal disorders in the physiological functions of an organism, it must have a nonspecific action, and it usually has a normalizing action irrespective of the direction of the pathological state." [1]
As it turns out, many herbs have exactly these properties. In keeping with the definition, modern herbalists say adaptogenic herbs are plants with properties that exert a normalizing influence on the body, neither over-stimulating nor inhibiting normal body function, but rather exerting a generalized tonifying effect.
At the core of an adaptogen's scope of actions is the ability to help the body cope more effectively with stress.

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), shiitake (Lentinus edodes) and maitake (Grifola frondosa) mushrooms may not be adaptogens in the classic sense, but each has adaptogenic, antitumor and immune-potentiating properties. [39] Reishi and shiitake traditionally have been used as tonics, while reishi has been called the elixir of immortality.

from: http://www.secrets-of-longevity-in-humans.com/adaptogenic-herbs.html
Adaptogenic herbs have multiple functions and are also usually considered herbal aphrodisiacs.
Every ancient culture had at least some adaptogenic herbs present in their pharmacopoeia. This is something that is missing and much needed in today's fast paced modern society. Adaptogens are anti-aging herbs that are beneficial to the whole body. They never have one specific action, but will actually balance various bodily functions. To put it simply is that adaptogenic herbs help a person adapt to the stresses of day to day life.

 

 

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