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View Full Version : a nice article on beginner's plant alchemy



solomon levi
11-25-2009, 06:52 PM
http://www.jwmt.org/v1n9/prima.html

MarkostheGnostic
01-17-2010, 08:27 PM
http://www.jwmt.org/v1n9/prima.html

Hey!
Thanks for this article! I just learned a thing or two. After beginning my first real lab Operation on plant planetary signatures, I began with Saturn, using Horsetail. My first setback was in 'accidentally' buying powdered Horsetail (late one night) instead of the dried plant. So, I then had to buy and fashion a fine mesh stainless steel screen for the aludel flask to hold the powder.

Last week I was dismayed because after the hours of Saturn (3.5) were over, I did not have a separate layer of 'essential oil' [Sulphur] in the receiver. So, this week, I took the hydrosol and re-distilled it from 250 ml, down to 39 ml, at 95 degrees C., and still, no separation. The article's author states that Saturnian plants will yield very little Sulphur, and this was the answer to my quandary! His article was so clear, that I am taking his statements to be accurate.

The Mercury awaits decanting & filtering, with the residual Horsetail to be Calcined. The bulk of the Horsetail has been burned and awaits Calcination, Solution, Separation, Coagulation [crystallization]. Lastly, recombination and cohobation, (oh, and imbibation :).

So, thanks again for supplying an answer to my unspoken question. Doubt has been transformed into encouragement by it!
- MtG

solomon levi
01-19-2010, 06:25 PM
:)
You're welcome Marcos.

I recall the PON material saying that hexane was needed
to extract horsetail....

http://www.alchemywebsite.com/pon-22.html


We have lots of horsetail growing around here in the Pacific NW.
I'd like to work with it this spring. I might try acetone before hexane.

MarkostheGnostic
01-20-2010, 04:24 AM
I endeavored to drive out the essential oil with steam distillation, the volatile Sulphur. Inasmuch as I just began to learn some organic chemistry, and have no biochemistry, I prefer to avoid these hydrocarbons for now. Gonna imbibe eventually. Besides, Paracelsus didn't have Hexane to work with :D. The Mercury is being produced by red wine ethanol, and the burned plant, soon to be combined with the evaporated 'phlegm' from the distilling flask will be Calcined for the Salt.

I rigged a chimney for the crucible - a large plastic oil funnel to which I afixed my vacuum pump, which now draws through an activated charcoal/polyfill trap.

Thanks for the link! Most thoughtful. Tomorrow though, sleep beckons.

-Mark

MarkostheGnostic
01-21-2010, 02:01 AM
Hmmm. Hexane IS a useful solvent. Gonna consider it.

ScalerWave
06-30-2011, 12:33 AM
Great link ! I would like to read more personal experiences with the 7 herbal tinctures and practical Alchemy experiments.

Karl
06-30-2011, 05:11 AM
I endeavored to drive out the essential oil with steam distillation, the volatile Sulphur. Inasmuch as I just began to learn some organic chemistry, and have no biochemistry, I prefer to avoid these hydrocarbons for now. Gonna imbibe eventually. Besides, Paracelsus didn't have Hexane to work with :D. The Mercury is being produced by red wine ethanol, and the burned plant, soon to be combined with the evaporated 'phlegm' from the distilling flask will be Calcined for the Salt.

I rigged a chimney for the crucible - a large plastic oil funnel to which I afixed my vacuum pump, which now draws through an activated charcoal/polyfill trap.

-Mark

Hi Mark-

Your crucible/chimney arrangement sounds great- very ambitious- maybe I don't fully understand your set up but I hope the plastic oil funnel doesn't pose a fire hazard. A large automotive aluminum funnel might be safer.

I am completing an Ens from horsetail. The oil of tartar is richly coloured after a few days- I haven't added the spirit yet. I'm also assisting an older alchemist with his work with equisetum. We are gathering enough to use horsetail salts to cast a lens- horsetails are mostly silica (glass former) and combined with potassium carbonate (flux) at 1200 deg you get glass. He is following some obscure references that glass can focus the quintessence in matter. I'm also doing an ammonia extraction of horsetail as a clothing dye. Cool that your are working with it as well. I seem to meet many who are.

That is a good article Solomon Levi. Everyone seems to have problems with calcining at some point. I obsess over designing an athanor.

Brennus
08-08-2011, 02:45 PM
Fantastic link,my problem is I can't afford all the lab equipment needed for the operations for alchemy so I have to find a way of performing the operations on a very low budget!
I've bookmarked the link.

ScalerWave
08-08-2011, 08:05 PM
Yeah that article is pretty good. You don't need a bunch of lab equipment to do plant alchemy. So far all I've used is mason jars, a coffee grinder, a mortor and pastle too but man... the coffee grinder was sweet, a bottle of Everclear 190 proof, herbs from Herbco.com (best prices I've seen).

True Initiate
08-08-2011, 09:39 PM
How do you guys perform cohobation on a budget? I have once performed it in a sand bath with electrical power for 3 weeks and the elecrtic bill was 200 Euros more than usual!
Right at the moment i trying to find the cheapest way possible to maintain the constant temperature at about +- 30C.

The first idea is to use some kind of candle stove.
http://img285.imagevenue.com/loc354/th_839389306_wbst_vchenplum_new_122_354lo.jpg (http://img285.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=839389306_wbst_vchenplum_new_122_354 lo.jpg)

The trouble is those cheap candles need to be exchanged every few hours so maybe Oil lamp will be better?

What's your opinion?

True Initiate
08-08-2011, 09:56 PM
Fantastic link,my problem is I can't afford all the lab equipment needed for the operations for alchemy so I have to find a way of performing the operations on a very low budget!
I've bookmarked the link.

I am sure you can build a destillation equipment in your kitchen.
Look at my thread:
http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?1693-Destilliation-setup-for-neophytes
http://img272.imagevenue.com/loc549/th_840314432_Picture90_122_549lo.jpg (http://img272.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=840314432_Picture90_122_549lo.jpg)

Here is another source of inspiration:
http://habondin.narod.ru/eng/html/alembic.html
http://img260.imagevenue.com/loc479/th_840282653_oil3_122_479lo.JPG (http://img260.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=840282653_oil3_122_479lo.JPG)

For calcinations you can use any metal vessel, dish whatever:
http://img14.imagevenue.com/loc210/th_840464336_ak4_122_210lo.jpg (http://img14.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=th_840464336_ak4_122_210lo.jpg)

Karl
08-09-2011, 02:45 AM
How do you guys perform cohobation on a budget? I have once performed it in a sand bath with electrical power for 3 weeks and the elecrtic bill was 200 Euros more than usual!
Right at the moment i trying to find the cheapest way possible to maintain the constant temperature at about +- 30C.

The first idea is to use some kind of candle stove.

The trouble is those cheap candles need to be exchanged every few hours so maybe Oil lamp will be better?

What's your opinion?

Mine is a cooler- I wired a light through the drain hole. A 20 watt incandescent bulb keeps it at a constant 38 deg. and I wrap the glassware in black leather to protect it from the light.

For circulation I use a coffee warmer pad- very little electricity is consumed and it can be on for weeks.

Thanks for those photos True Puffer. I love seeing your setups.

MarkostheGnostic
08-14-2011, 03:32 PM
Hi Mark-

Your crucible/chimney arrangement sounds great- very ambitious- maybe I don't fully understand your set up but I hope the plastic oil funnel doesn't pose a fire hazard. A large automotive aluminum funnel might be safer.

I am completing an Ens from horsetail. The oil of tartar is richly coloured after a few days- I haven't added the spirit yet. I'm also assisting an older alchemist with his work with equisetum. We are gathering enough to use horsetail salts to cast a lens- horsetails are mostly silica (glass former) and combined with potassium carbonate (flux) at 1200 deg you get glass. He is following some obscure references that glass can focus the quintessence in matter. I'm also doing an ammonia extraction of horsetail as a clothing dye. Cool that your are working with it as well. I seem to meet many who are.

That is a good article Solomon Levi. Everyone seems to have problems with calcining at some point. I obsess over designing an athanor.

Very late response, but, you were right about the funnel. It didn't burn, it melted. A large metal funnel IS the way to go, since I don't want to build a fume hood, cut a hole in my ceiling, and join a vent-pipe to my existing clothes-dryer vent in the attic that goes through the roof.

MarkostheGnostic
08-14-2011, 03:34 PM
:D I love the alembic!