Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Usnea Tincture

Today I had a bit of an experiment making an usnea (old man's beard) tincture. I tried grinding it in the food processor, to no effect. It is incredibly tough. I calculated the weight to menstrum (vodka) ratio as a 1:4, then found I did not have a large enough glass jar. So I divided it into 9 to fit into 1 L jars. The ratio didn't work, though, because the herb is so light that it takes a full jar to come to a small weight, and the alcohol was only a bit at the bottom. So, I threw out the calculations and made it as I would make a fresh tincture, pouring the vodka over the plant and covering it. I shook it and will shake it every day for the next 28 days (tinctures are made with a lunar month), then strain it. Usnea is anti-fugal, specific to yeast infections, and anti-bacterial.

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