Guide To What It Takes To Make Money With Potpourri And Elixirs
Made With The Right Ingredients, This Is A Lucrative Business
Make money with potpourri and elixirs by harvesting wild or cultivated herbs, you can create wonderfully scented, aromatics for health and vitality.
Aromatic balms and potions fulfill a basic human desire to find allies for preserving health and vitality and promoting long life.
A special bond exists between herbalists of all ages and those who feel the call to experience these colorful and aromatic potions, elixirs, and salves.
This guide tells you what you need to know to create your own herbal remedies for sale online and off.
A good way to find out more about creating effective herbal products is to visit herb shops, natural foods markets, and even pharmacies to smell and taste their products, feel the texture, and observe the coloring.
A salve maker who has made thousands of jars of calendula salve or a tincture maker who has created thousands of bottles of echinacea bot know how to make a product that tastes good, looks good, and works well.
And soon, you will too!
Get The Gist Of The Jargon
Most capsules, tablets, tinctures, salves, creams, and even herbal shampoos contain extracts.
For example, when you make a tea on your stove, you’re making an extract.
When you simmer herbs in a pan of water, the active ingredients are released from the plant into the tea.
The following definitions of terms related to extraction help explain this process.
- The Solvent: when you make a tea, you add water to the herbs. The water is the solvent, also called the menstruum. A solvent is a liquid that can selectively remove certain active ingredients often called active compounds, such as alkaloids, from herbs. Besides water, other solvents include alcohol, glycerin, and liquid carbon dioxide. The art of extraction is choosing the right solvent system for each herb to maximize its effectiveness.
- The Marc: After a batch of herbs is extracted with water or another solvent, the liquid is thoroughly pressed from the spend herb. All the liquid is then collected and bottled or further processed. The dry, spent herb material is known as the marc. The marc is usually composted to make fertilizer for growing more herbs.
- Maceration And Percolation: The process of soaking herbs in a solvent for a period of time, often about two weeks, is called maceration. Pouring or forcing a solvent through herbs packed into a large funnel in order to pull out the active ingredients is known as percolation. Herbalists use either of these two methods to make herbal extracts.
You Need Tools Of The Trade
To make herbal products at home, you need a few pieces of basic equipment such as a blender, coffee grinder or seed grinder, and a double boiler.
You can often find these items on Amazon (see link below).
Blender Or Grinder
Use a blender to reduce plant material dry or fresh to the smallest particle size possible.
Doing so increases the surface area of the herb that’s exposed to the solvent during the extraction process.
In the case of expensive herbs like ginseng, you want to get as complete an extraction as possible, so blending and grinding are particularly important.
A good blender is one of the most important tools for the home herbal product maker.
Although any high-quality blender will do, try to find one with a very high speed and a strong motor.
A Vita-Mix has an extra-strong motor, which is reversible to help disentangle herb roots and stems that may get caught in the blade.
the heavy-duty motor also gives a more complete breakdown of all the plant material.
A small seed grinder or coffee grinder available on Amazon is handy for reducing small quantities of dry seeds, root slices, and leaves to fine powders.
A small grinder usually yields a finer particle size than a blender, but it can only process a small amount of herbs or other materials.
And food processor can be useful for shredding fresh roots, seeds, and leafy material.
Pots And Pans For Boiling And Toiling
To simmer roots, barks, and flowers, you need a pot or pan.
You may want to use different kinds of pots and pans, such as the following, for making different kinds of herbal products:
- Quality Stainless Steel Pot: Works nicely for making herbal products. Use one with a heat-dispersing handle.
- Pyrex Glass: Great for cooking herbs and herbal oils.
- Coffee Pots Made Of Quality, Heat-Resistant Glass: Excellent for making tea because you can see the color of the tea and judge the strength of the tea by its color.
- Double Boiler: Useful for melting wax and other ingredients without overheating or scorching them.
- Crockpot That Allows The Temperature To Be Set To About 100 Degrees: Good for making herbal oils because it keeps the oil warm, thereby increasing the extraction and concentration of the herbs in the final oil.
Jars And Containers
You can find a wide variety of jars and containers for your herbal products.
Think about obtaining the following types:
- 1 Or 2-Quart Canning Jars: For extraction and storing herbs. The rubber seal keeps oxygen out, preserving the freshness of the herbs.
- 1, 2 Or 4-Ounce Boston Amber Round Bottles With Droppers: For tinctures. These bottles are available online.
You can make labels for your products by hand, on your printer at home.
Labels for your laser or ink-jet printer are available in an amazing variety of shapes and sizes from an office supply store or paper goods catalog.
A food dehydrator is a good investment for the home herbal producer maker because you can:
- Use it to dry flowers, leaves, root slices, and other herb parts quickly and still preserve valuable active plant chemicals and color.
- Make potent extracts of both dried and powdered teas.
- Dry kitchen spices, such as oregano and bail.
Miscellaneous Tools For The Trade
Following is a list of other useful items you may need to make herbal products:
- Mortar And Pestle: A mortar and pestle is a traditional device used to grind small quantities of herbs into a coarse or fine powder by hand. Reducing herbs to a powder speeds up the extraction process, which is the process of removing the active chemicals from plants.
- Muslin, Linen Or Cheesecloth: You can use these fine-mesh cloths to filter tinctures or oils, separating the spent herbs that have all medicinal chemicals removed from the finished oil or tincture.
- Funnel: A funnel is helpful for pouring finished oils or tinctures into small-mouthed bottles, such as a 1-ounce dropper bottle.
- Scale: A weighing scale in grams or ounces is essential if you want to keep track of exactly how much herb you used to make a batch of tincture or oil. Knowing the weight enables you to make your next batch of liquid oil or alcohol/water blend. Keep good records by writing these amounts in a small notebook.
- Candy Thermometer: A candy thermometer helps you know just when to turn the heat off from a batch of herbal candy like horehound candy for coughs and pour it into the molds. If you pour the liquid candy too early, before all the water is removed, your finished candy will be sticky.
- Candy Molds: Candy molds are available in a variety of different shapes on Amazon. Plain, round ones are good because candies of that shape are easy to wrap with a little waxed paper and put into a small box to carry in your pocket or purse.
Stocking Your Pantry
To make herbal products such as tinctures, salves, or creams, you need a variety of supplies both to create the extract and then perhaps to thicken it.
Be sure to stock the items listed in the following sections:
- Sweet Almond Oil: A light oil, less greasy than olive oil, and a favorite for making medicated oils. Almond oil is especially soothing, and it helps relieve dryness and itching.
- Apricot Kernel Oil: A light oil more delicate than almond and often more expensive. Apricot kernel oil is blended with almond or other oils at about 10 to 50 percent of the total to lighten it up. This oil is excellent to use if you have sensitive skin.
- Avocado Oil: A heavy, long-lasting oil for the skin. Avocado oil contains vitamins for the skin and adds a rich, dark green color to salves, creams, and other products.
- Carrot Oil: A light oil that slows aging of the skin.
- Castor Oil: A heavy, highly therapeutic oil. The oil contains toxic protein-like compounds called lectins, which when applied to the skin are absorbed and stimulate a local immune response to help break down a tumor or cyst, supposedly Use up to 20 percent in an oil blend.
- Cocoa Butter: Obtained from the cocoa bean and used in lotion, cream, lip balm, and soap. Cocoa butter contains highly saturated fatty acids, so it’s heavy and resists rancidity. It also smells of chocolate, which is good news to chocolate lovers. If you find the smell of cocoa butter overwhelming, use no more than 15 to 20 percent in your product.
- Coconut Oil: Tropical oil that’s semi-solid at room temperature. Use it to thicken your creams and other skin products and to give them body. Coconut oil is one of the most stale oils and doesn’t easily go rancid in your products.
- Grapeseed Oil: An almost colorless, vitamin-rich oil that’s easily absorbed. The oil is made from the seeds of the fruit. Grapeseed oil has a good texture, making it ideal for massage oils.
- Olive Oil: The finest all-around oil fro making medicated oils. What could be more natural than crushing the olives to release the nutritious and heart-friendly yellow-green oil? Many other oils require solvent extraction or heating during extraction, even when the product says expeller-pressed or cold-pressed. Olive oil stays fresh longer than other oils and is excellent for people with naturally dry skin. Olive oil is a heavy oil that sometimes has a decided scent of olives. If the scent and oily feel are pleasant to you, fine, but they may make you feel like a walking salad.
- Jojoba Oil: A wax that’s traditionally used as a hair restorer, but that’s also an excellent moisturizer for dry skin. It’s usually diluted by half with other oils for massage oils.
- Palm Kernel Oil: A heavy oil, containing mostly saturated fatty acids and a a good quantity of vitamin A, which is a natural skin protector and cancer fighter, supposedly. Add palm kernel oil to products to give them a thick, creamy feeling and to protect your skin.
Choose cold-pressed organic oils whenever they’re available.
Also, try using organic oils rather than commercial oils, which are made with harsh solvents that extract the oil from the seed mash.
Grain alcohol is absolutely the best solvent and delivery system to carry an her’s active constituents into the bloodstream.
Vodka is the most effecti distilled liquor for making tinctures or alcoholic herbal extracts.
For home use, tinctures and elixirs can be made with 100-proof vodka, which is the most widely available.
Keep in mind that 100-proof vodka actually contains a little less than 50 percent ethanol by volume; 80-proof vodka contains a little less than 40 percent.
Even better than vodka is pure grain alcohol, which is distilled from corn.
Pure grain alcohol is 190-proof, or a little less than 95 percent pure alcohol.
The reason it’s not 100-percent pure is because absolutely pure alcohol always pulls some moisture from the air, and the solution stabilizes at 95 percent.
Other kinds of alcoholic beverages such as rum and brandy a ren’t ideal because they already contain coloring pigments, flavoring compounds, sugars, and other compounds.
The proportion of alcohol to water is often adjusted in order to selectively pull out the desired constituents.
For instance, resins such as bee propolis and the active constituents of milk thistle are only alcohol-soluble.
Using a solvent with a high percentage of pure ethanol or grain alcohol yields the best extraction.
For ginseng, which has active steroid like compounds that are mostly water-soluble, you’d choose a solvent that contains a fairly low percentage of alcohol, 45-50 percent alcohol to 50-55 percent water.
Good-quality glycerin from vegetable sources is widely available in natural-food stores and Amazon.
Glycerin adds body and a little sweetness to herbal preparations such as cough syrups and elixirs.
It’s often added to creams and helps bring oils and tinctures together in a smooth, easy-to-apply blend.
For folks who like taking a liquid herbal product, but don’t want alcohol, glycerin can dissolve certain plant constituents and act as a reasonably good preservative.
Many flavored herbal glycerites, especially those for children, are available in natural-food stores and herb stores.
These products are helpful for parents who want a good-tasting, liquid preparation that’s easy to disguise in juice.
In these products, flavorful essential oils like orange or cinnamon are often added to the glycerin and herb blends.
On the downside, glycerin isn’t as good as solvent or preservative as alcohol.
Further, glycerin can be drying and irritating to the mucous membranes when used undiluted as can alcoholic preparations.
Finally, glycerin isn’t as effective a carrier of the active herbal constituents into the body as alcohol.
Moreover, the experts warn that glycerites are recommended only for children or for people who can’t take any alcohol.
Beeswax is used to harden salves and creams and turn them into a suitable consistency.
Here’s what you want to look for when purchasing beeswax:
- Wax that’s pure and free from chips of paint, dirt, rocks, and dead insect parts.
- Wax that’s light amber color and has the fragrance of honey.
You can buy beeswax on Amazon.
You can achieve an appealing, inviting smell in your herbal body products through the use of essential oils, which are extracts of plants containing essential oils.
Try the citrus family members such as orange, lemon, and grapefruit, mints, peppermint and spearmint, wintergreen, and lavender.
Other items you may need for making herbal products include:
- Honey is soothing to the throat and is a common ingredient in herbal cough syrups and throat lozenges.
- Brown Rice Syrup is available in natural food stores and is used in the same ways as honey. It’s less sweet with more complex sugars. Brown rice syrup is a good choice if you have diabetes or another blood sugar imbalance, supposedly.
- Asorbic Acid is also know as vitamin C powder. It acts as a mild preservative for herbal creams.
- Borax is a natural substance commonly used for washing clothes that you can use to help oily and watery ingredients mix together. It makes your herbal creams creamy.
Now that you know the ingredients and equipment, you can master the art of making money with potpourri, tinctures elixirs, creams, infused oils, bath salts, salves, liniments, and much more.
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