Making Fresh Passionflower Tincture
I had been waiting for my passionflower plants to get big enough this summer so that I could make a new batch of tincture. After returning from an end of summer vacation, I saw that it was time, and that I should not wait any longer to get it done.
It is best to harvest the plant when it is just starting to flower. I had plants in various stages, some very young and bright green with flower buds, some in full flower, and as I was harvesting, I even found a couple of passion fruits!
I harvested the younger leaves, vines, tendrils, and buds. Before getting started I took a moment to let the plant know my intentions in harvesting it - to make a tincture for myself and my family to help quiet our minds for restful sleep.
Before long, I had what felt like the right amount. I took the harvested plant inside, shook off any hiding bugs, and began cutting it up to weigh it. I started with a knife and cutting board, but switched to a pair of kitchen scissors which I found did the job much better.
When it was all chopped up, I weighed it and it came out to exactly 500 grams. What a nice even number. Since I wanted to make a 1:2 extract, I could use 1000 mls as the total amount of menstruum. Menstruum is the term used for the liquid that is used to make a plant extract. In this case, I wanted my menstruum to be 75% alcohol and 25% water. Since I had grain alcohol, which is 95% alcohol, that meant if I used 800 mls of it and 200mls of water, I would end up with a 76% alcohol menstruum. Not to get overly technical, but if I had used 75% of the grain alcohol, it would actually have turned out to be closer to 72% actual alcohol content due to the fact that the grain alcohol actually contains 5% water.
After getting the alcohol and water measured, I began the blending process in my Vitamix. If using this method of blending fresh plant product into twice as much liquid, I think the Vitamix is essential. When I was only half way through adding the passionflower to the alcohol/water solution, I felt sure it wasn't all going to blend in. If I had been using a typical kitchen blender or any kind, I am sure it would not have worked. But the Vitamix is quite extraordinary at blending when the task seems darn near impossible.
It took awhile, but I finally got it all blended up.
I transferred the tincture to 2 glass quart jars, labeled them, and put them in a closed cabinet. It is best to keep tinctures in a cool, dark place. I've been agitating (shaking) the jars daily to maximize the extraction, and am looking forward to trying it out soon!
My name is Jillian Bar-av and I am a registered herbalist and licensed nutritionist who works with busy women to help them have the energy to do what they love. I specialize in conditions that affect the reproductive system and urinary tract, such as PCOS and Interstitial Cystitis. I believe that it takes healthy people to create a healthy planet, and I want to make a difference for both.
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