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herbal extractions for sprays

Posted by Tom Kleffman 
herbal extractions for sprays
March 09, 2019 11:15AM
As a dumbed down version of extracting oils from things, I am curious how a simple tincture extraction would work, which you would then evaporate the alcohol off of? Just pack glass jars tight with the stuff you want the oils from, top off with cheap vodka, let sit for a few months, then with light heat evaporate the alcohol off. should be able to do at a cool enough temperature not to change the structure of the oils and other organic compounds, strain it through a coffee filter, and you at least have something to play with.

Tom



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/09/2019 05:55PM by Michael Phillips.
Re: Holistic Approach to Fireblight
March 09, 2019 04:48PM
Hey Tom,

Not 100% sure what you're looking to tincture or how you want to use it, but I am not sure why you'd want to evaporate the alcohol off. I'm certainly not the herbalist in my family, but I do learn by osmosis - you take whatever it is you want to tincture, chop or grind it up finely, put it in 190 proof alcohol, let it sit for a few days to a few week to months (this is where I am not sure how long is long enough, though I have heard from a local herbalist that you've extracted everything you're going to extract within 10 hours). After the requisite time, you strain the tincture once through a coarse filter and a second time through a coffee filter, then dilute with distilled water to make it palatable, and voila you have your tincture [of course this is an over simplification, nonetheless.....]. Can you answer the three questions up top and help me understand what it is you're trying to accomplish? I've quickly read back through the fire blight thread, but can't find a reference to tincturing.

Mike Biltonen, Know Your Roots
Zone 5b in New York



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/09/2019 05:57PM by Michael Phillips.
Re: herbal extractions for sprays
March 10, 2019 03:13AM
I should have posted this in the fireblight/hop oil area. <grin> meant to. not sure how I screwed that up. I just would not want to be adding high proof alcohol to any sprays I was putting on plants. Would just want the oil extraction. It was specific to just a garage mechanic approach to using hop oils in sprays.

Tom Kleffman
currently building a fruit orchard from scratch on the Bayfield Peninsula of Wisconsin, 4 miles south of Lake Superior, dead center of the snow belt, zone 5.
Re: herbal extractions for sprays
March 10, 2019 10:00AM
Hey Tom,
Yeah, I wouldn't want to put high alcohol anything straight onto sensitive plant material (e.g., apple blossoms). However, if using a tincture you'd be diluting it so much that any alcohol would be negligible. That is, if you're using it homeopathically. But never use it straight onto a plant. Again, depending what plant material, in this case hops, you could make a decoction that doesn't use any alcohol or oils to extract the natural terpenes and other antibiotic materials from the hops. You can do the same with other plants that have antibiotic and SAR properties for a similar effects. But it really is the terpenes in the hops you're after.This way you could use a decoction in higher concentrations without any negative ramifications (at least not that same as using an alcohol based tincture in the same concentration). Maybe someone with more experience in making decoctions or preparing plant materials for this approach can chime in, but that's how I would approach this - either i) use a tincture in homeopathic dilutions or ii) decoction in higher more allopathic concentrations. A third approach would be to make simple compost tea with hops, the same as you would make a tea with other plant materials like nettles or horsetail, and apply that. Say hi to the snowy northland. I spent 8 years in eastern Minnesota growing apples. I'm still cold.

Mike Biltonen, Know Your Roots
Zone 5b in New York
Re: herbal extractions for sprays
March 11, 2019 02:49PM
I have a question about this, why would you not just ferment the hops like we do the comfrey, nettle, horsetail, etc? I am intrigued about the hops, will search for more info!

VistaRidge orchard, Quilcene, WA zone 8a est. 2012
235 Cider and heritage apple trees, 72 varieties,
Re: herbal extractions for sprays
March 11, 2019 04:31PM
My thought exactly. Though you may be able to extract more of the good stuff with a decoction, but then again you could also denature the good stuff, too. Plant teas - fermented or otherwise - seem the way to go with plant material.

Mike Biltonen, Know Your Roots
Zone 5b in New York
Re: herbal extractions for sprays
March 11, 2019 06:02PM
First off, Tom, since I (as one of the forum moderators) wasn't quite able to identify your intent with the above in the holistic fire blight thread, I directed this conversation into its own post. Still, a general discussion about herbal extraction is a good one to have. Which isn't to say someone else can't start a hops-inspired fire blight thread with a practical bent. The foundation for such a discussion should obviously start with the dual-track information found in Holistic Approach to Fire Blight . . . which had become a lot more dual-track than I had realized.

Constituents found in herbs are either water-soluble, alcohol-soluble, and to a refined extent fat-soluble. The folkloric method of making a tincture utilizes 100 proof vodka to cover the first two bases: 50% water, 50% alcohol. That said, rarely would a grower think about investing in a nearly full barrel of vodka to make an orchard spray remedy.

Case in point, the resveratrol to be found in the rhizome roots of knotweed, be it the pervasive Japanese Knotweed in North America or the equally pervasive Giant Knotweed in Europe. Interest here lies in the fact that Regalia (an immune-stimulant product) has been found useful by some (but not all) growers in thwarting Cedar Apple Rust. This same remedy plays a healing role with tick-induced Lyme Disease in humans. Some herbalists say to use a tea infusion (water-soluble) while other say a tincture (alcohol soluble) is required to get to the active principle. The folkloric method covers both bases. Yet here's a place where an acetous extract -- using apple cider vinegar -- might effectively straddle the line and make a home-grown orchard extract of knotweed rhizomes a reasonable venture for growing healthy fruit. Note that's said with a FULL SPECULATION ALERT attached!

Nutrients tend to be water-soluble, and thus why the fermented plant extracts for homegrown calcium and silica sprays are so righteous.

Resins require fat-soluble thinking. Please note the distinction between the fats in seed oils which must be cold-pressed and those resins in leafy hops which started all this. The calendula flower is a case in point: A folkloric calendula tincture yields an entirely different constituent profile than a grain alcohol extract of the same plant. The resin content requires a 195 proof menstruum in order to be drawn into solution, yielding an entirely different medicine profile than the 50-50 extract. To be honest, I think Karn's solubility contribution within the other thread on "holistic fire blight" provided important clues.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
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