View Full Version : Alcohol free Tinctures

01-04-2009, 12:57 AM
This is a Phoenix-thread (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=7) from the old site (http://alchemy-forums.forumotion.com/forum.htm) created by Arcanium.

The other day when was reading a magazine I came across an article about using vegetable glycerin in place of high proof alcohol to make medical tinctures from our green lion. The basic procedure that was used was simply soaking the plant material in a jar for two months and then straining it leaving only the liquid. I was hoping to starting experimenting with this in a couple of weeks to see if it could be used in alchemy. In the mean time I just wanted to hear any of your thoughts about it. Unfortunately I can't upload but I can answer any questions about the article. The article was really simple. It only had the procedure itself, information that only pertained to plant itself (strains to use etc.), and testimony. If I'm able to I'll upload the information itself. I'm thinking this most likely won't work. The only reason I believe it works in the article is because the components in our green lion are fat soluble. I'm not familiar the properties of plants to know if this will work on any thing else, if any one can answer this I would greatly appreciate it. An interesting side not is that vegetable glycerin is used in cough syrup so I'll be looking into it's purpose in that and seeing if there is any value to it be itself.
I've never thought of that. I suppose it should work, but straining the mess might prove to be troublesome since glycerin is a decently thick liquid. This isn't too much of a problem if you use a pressing device to squeeze out all the remaining goodies after most of the glycerin has been strained (use a high mesh stainless steel strainer, or just buy one of those stainless steel tea balls and take it apart - you'll have two decent strainers then).

I suppose it would be best to put all this in a flask or glass jar and heat it gently (40c or less) for a few weeks. This should help the extraction process, and also convert some of the lesser gold to mature gold (or was it the other way around)?

Of course, what's most interesting about this is glycerin is a fatty oil, so the gold laden glycerin should be orally active in this state - which is not exactly the case with alcohol extracts. I will give it a try sometime. I noticed a bottle of glycerin laying on a shelf a few days ago. As I was walking by it I thought to myself: "I wonder what I could use this for?" Seems like the answer came to me!

I suppose it would be best to use the term, "our green lion," or "our living plant," to describe this matter. I hope you don't mind, but I went ahead and made the specific changes to your original post. Now nobody will be none the wiser!

Also, it should work for other plants too, but the only catch is this: the actives must also be fat soluble, just like those in our green lion.
What advantage would the vegetable glycerin have over aqua vitae? The reason the latter is the most commonly used solvent for this purpose is that it dissolves almost everything in there, which probably includes more than just the chemicals you want, but there are other techniques of re-extracting those.

Keep in mind the risk of decomposition with certain solvents. Chloroform, for instance, has been shown to cause much more rapid decomposition of the desired substance than aqua vitae.

As vegetable glycerin is a nonpolar solvent, and, really, any nonpolar solvent will attract the lion, it should work... but, as BeautifulEvil said, removing it might be an issue. I'm just not sure what the advantage would be, when aqua vitae does quite well.

Also... two months is kind of a lot. If you're doing it at room temperature, two weeks is standard... one alchemist who showed me his method used isopropyl alcohol and left it in the freezer overnight only -- he explained that by keeping it at a temperature well below the freezing point of water but above the freezing point of the isopropyl alcohol, it prevents the water-soluble parts from dissolving. Another very powerful method is to reflux the plant for, say, two hours. Refluxation is a little more dangerous, of course... you'd need ventilation, a fire extinguisher, and to be able to sit with it for the two hours in case something goes wrong. But, the extraction will be damn near complete when done that way... after you strain the plant matter, wash it twice to collect any that remains in it before drying.