Remarks on making tincture according to the weighted method

photo for remarks about tincturing using the weighted method

Sometimes I get questions that are so good I dedicate a blog to them. One such question is about making tinctures using the weighted method. As those of you who proceed to make those tinctures may have noticed, it’s not that straightforward with every plant. Especially when dealing with certain plant parts, it seems impossible to completely cover them with menstruum. As a result, there are some remarks to be made about tincturing using the weighted method.

Standardised tincture recipes with high potency

First and foremost, I want to emphasise the following. All tincture recipes in the Plant vademecum and the Herbal Grimoire are according to of the weighted method because these are the only uniform recipes we have. They have emerged from relatively recent agreements on preparing standardised medicines by professional herbalists. Their goal was to develop a standard potency, a method through which one could reasonably assume that constituents would be present in the same ratio. I say reasonably because the quantity of plant material is, of course, not the only variable when creating plant medicine. I also write about this in the book.

They also used relatively much plant material in order to make the standardised preparations potent. After all, they were intended to be used as medicine prescribed by doctors and other medical specialists. They had a slightly different relationship with plants than some other herbalists. A plant was primarily seen as a raw material, and therefore they did not hesitate to mechanically pulverise a plant to strengthen the remedy. In short, there are plants that do not allow grinding them up finely enough and completely cover them with menstruum without using aids. In those cases, using power tools was and is not shunned.

Weighted method tincturing sometimes requires extra tools

So, following the official recipes is certainly possible, but occasionally you will need aids. And therein lies the crux, the reason why I think some people may experience problems with the proportions of the weighted method. Especially when processing voluminous plant parts like flowers, I understand it very well. Because of their structure, it is virtually impossible to get flowers fine enough for a weighted tincture without whipping out your blender.

As I mentioned before, not all herbalists have the same relationship with plants. Some have difficulty pulverizing plants with electrical aids out of respect and love for the plant, and I completely understand that. That is why with some plants, I actually prefer not to make weighted tinctures; I would have to handle the plants so roughly that I simply choose not to.  And maybe it’s irrational but I prefer using my own energy. So, in those cases I prefer making a traditional tincture. This method can be found in both the Plant Compendium and the Herbal Grimoire as well.

Follow your instincts and make a traditional tincture if this suits you better

Keep in mind that the levels of constituents in a traditional tincture are often lower, so you may need to rediscover the best dosage. That being said, I am convinced that the respect and love for the plant that comes through in choosing a traditional tincture does indeed influence the efficacy of the tincture. However, you will need to experiment to see what strength your tincture has become. Instructions on how to do this can be found in the book and on the website in the information about making traditional tinctures. Make notes to remember the dosage that worked. So, my advice to you is to follow your instincts and make a traditional tincture if using rough methods on your plant material just to make a weighted tincture does not feel right.