Earth - Air -
Fire and Water
The Art of medicine consists in the
extracting and not in the compounding; it consists of the discovery
And now Dear Student we approach the crossing that bears your name, it has a fig tree and a clear cold spring, the more to contemplate the choices before you. You can choose to return from whence you came carrying with you the uneaten fruits of the mental journey .. or there are three major roads, each with many byways. I feel that any would serve you well, as you become what you were meant to be.
The 3 major roads are called Spagyric, Homoepathic and Galenic .. the byways are the web that binds each system to one another .. therefore understand that whatever road you choose, you are honor bound to weigh the wisdom contained in the other paths .. in that way you will weave a balanced synthesis as you become what you were meant to be.
Hermetic concepts which are verifiable in nature have been presented as frameworks upon which one may hang ones own understanding.
It is not the medical system employed that makes a healer; it is the healer�s empathy with those he/she serves and who has the humility to offer all up in the service of a higher cause. It is most certain that one will not find a greater teacher than Nature. Science, in comparison is a pale shadow .. numerology, in a velvet cloak, and the destruction wrought by science lies all around, in nearly every field of human endeavor, and in particular the agricultural and medical systems both human and veterinary. The boundaries, those safety barriers of nature have been smashed. Vitalism had been smeared and denigrated with predictable results. For when the mind commands the heart it produces bitter fruit.
Ivan Illich authored a book called Medical Nemesis in which he made the following statement:
A radical monopoly feeds upon
In the 32 years that have elapsed since the book was published we may see the harsh glaring reality of today, just how well orthodoxy has enslaved a large proportion of the population of the Western world. Some 40 years before that book was published, Harry Benjamin ND in a satirical polemic also hit out at these purveyors of disease and the disastrous germ theory: http://www.herbdatanz.com/germtheory.htm ..
The orthodox system and its tools are at best still crude, and its willingness to openly experiment upon us is a most alarming development, add to this the Orwellian double speak .. such as .. we are battling disease on your behalf .. Perhaps 95% of the worker ants from surgeon to janitor may believe that, but they all must answer to the top. Where sits a person with a glass bead abacus, who must answer to a higher position in the pyramid of power. All the way up to the top where one may hear the clacking of a crystal bead abacus .. silicon chips producing numbers that rule us all .. we are dreadfully abused by this medical system .. there is not an orifice or body cavity that they do not invade with the cutting and burning and excisions and the Frankenstein like transplantation of body organs and promising to grow new organs from stem cells. Where on earth have we come to if we consider this to be a normal state of affairs?. Truth to tell .. as a specie we are physically and mentally rotting from this constant predacious blood sucking.
As you prepare your Spagyric remedies remember it is not the protocol that is used, for there are many published works concerning techniques both orthodox and other systems. Plant Alchemy or Spagyric being no exception. In the realms of vegetable stones, longevity elixirs and the like .. in those things I have no interest, and have tried to teach those things that are necessary for a healer. And here let us remember the words of the historically vindicated Culpeper .. The Peoples Plant Doctor.
"Many a times I find my patients
disturbed by trouble of Conscience or Sorrow, and I have to act the Divine
before I can be the Physician. In fact our greatest skill lies in the
infusion of Hopes, to induce confidence and peace of mind."
We have spoken of whole plant remedies, this concept is carried to the herb in its living form .. just prior to flowering the root is in peak condition and has not yet exhausted itself in the production of flowers and seed. The flowering of plants is on, or near the point of full moon. If in the Southern hemisphere, and one has cultivated European plants, then it may be found that such plants commence to flower on the waning of the moon which will reach its peak 2 days into the waning. It takes time to adjust to a different magnetic spectrum. When working with the plants the hermetic rule of thumb is .. 3 days before the full and 3 days after full. That window of time is 7 days wide and denotes the waxing and waning potencies. The correct time to harvest the herb, root as well, is on the formation of the flowering buds. The leaf and root will be in their prime.
For Annuals, obviously harvest first year .. Biennials and Perennials, harvest in the second year. For those plants whose concentration of the misnamed active principal is to be found in flower, seed or fruit .. the whole plant should be taken .. when a plant enters senescence with its mission completed, some but not all soluble constituents are recycled to the root, the bulk of the plant is returned to the earth, its purpose spent, and with it goes its own peculiar balance of cell salts .. Cell salts that are deficient in Galenic preparations.
Plants taken near a water source such as spring or creek, or after rain will be engorged with water. The standard ratio for dehydrated root is 3:1 but may be more than 5:1 in those circumstances. That also pertain to the plant in its entirety, so if one wishes some precision in order that a remedy can be reproduced then the weighing of the fresh plant is essential and all such matters must be recorded in your journal as must the final dried weights .. if an error is made at this point .. the error will be compounded at each stage of the preparation.
As a specie we have cooked our food to render it more easily digestible and also to mitigate its physiological effects .. the hunter gatherers moved in large groups or tribes with the seasons as they tracked the migrating herd animals to a different eco-system .. the roots, berries, fruits and leaves, gathered along the way, some of which in the raw state, had to be modified so that they became less physiologically active and by fire the tubers and fleshy fibrous roots yielded that magic ingredient .. Starch .. the base of the animal and human food chain .. this allowed each individual to get the right amount of energy commensurate with the group task performed and without the side effects that would be engendered by raw plants. Be sure they understood the need of a good wholesome mixed diet of what nature presented for the season. The keeper of the sacred fire would perform the alchemy needed to make that possible and this in the same manner with flesh food by breaking down the collagen and the toxins found in raw meat with fire. Nowadays the keeper of the sacred fire is an alchemist of food with which she skillfully feeds her brood building and nuturing their health. That is in the nature of things .. read again the Catechism of Paracelsus, attempting to symbolically relate some parts of that to your work.
On the balance of probabilities these hunter gatherers would not make a kill of meat every day, so to ensure supplies of food whilst on their annual migrations they would surely plant seed at certain places .. no doubt where fresh water and fuel was to be had. And so over countless annual migrations these plantations would have grown in size and with selected plants for seeding, the art of plant genetics took root. Let us not confuse a technology with intelligence because our ancient ancestors were the masters of fire .. not all .. just a handful of initiates .. fire was their technology .. and this was carried onward to the Neolithic peoples .. both races were far closer to the source of the Sacred than we.
There must have come a time when it became obvious that the energy expended on the annual migration far outweighed the energy needed for a settled agriculture .. it must have been then .. all those generations of the husbanding of the knowledge of seeds roots and grain became a flower and settled agriculture ushered in the new age. Remember that our cultivated varieties of fruit and vegetables once had wild ancestors .. the untamed ancestors in every realm are very potent for better or for worse.
Fire is a versatile instrument, and in its many manifestations, is used for great good and great evil .. beware of what you think when making a preparation .. because fire amplifies the thought. A most useful Hermetic Aphorism is .. �Beware of the Vulgar Fire�.
When the harvest is ready to be dried always remember that the wrong type of heat with a prolonged high temperature can be very destructive and completely ruin a seasons work, for example direct radiant heat such a grill or even worse, micro waving herbs to dry them .. at those kind of temperatures molecules are smashed and all kinds of chemical reactions are set in train. Fire in all of its many manifestations, requires discretion in its use. Badly dried material has never produced a good remedy. If your nose tells you the herb is past its best, then the nose is invariably correct.
To determine the plant part which contains the maximum amount of the required substance one may turn to the official monographs. The Herbdata Library contains many plant and other monographs which are all classics in their own right and closely follow and vindicate the �Folk� use of those plants.
To those you may turn with confidence if seeking information on individual plants. But always remember that one is looking through the eyes of Orthodox Pharmacy in those days when Orthodox Galenic Pharmacy was still practiced as an art. Our interest lies in the precision of measurements that were employed rather than the methods of extraction. So to those doughty Galenic Pharmacists we must doff our hat at the elegant manner in which they balanced the Science against the Art.
The orthodox official preparations are in the main single plant tinctures or extracts. They knew Paracelsus had it right. Common Pharmaceutical wisdom of the time understood that the preparation of shotgun remedies (Polypharmacy) was always a messy business, in that there was always some undisolvable coagulation that would need to be discarded .. rarely could they escape a triple filtering in order to make the preparation presentable .. a prime example of this is the Glycerites .. it was also Pharmaceutical wisdom that chemically standardized tinctures or extracts had an inferior action to those that had been produced as a ratio of weight in weight, (w/w) e.g. 1:4. (Arbitrary Standardisation) The standardized orthodox tincture was synergistically downgraded by adjustment of the so called active principle, whereas the tincture prepared by arbitrary standardization has a better synergistic pattern and consequently a smoother physiological action rather than the swift kick. However in those days the Pharmacist was subservient to the Doctor .. how things have changed, and not for the better I may add.
The maintenance of those synergistic patterns is essential if one is to claim the remedy to be a Spagyric remedy. The Spirits must be obtained from the body of plants of the same specie .. these spirits are then used for the extraction operation which in most cases will be by maceration alone .. the expressed marc is used to separate the heavy metals from the plants soluble cell salts by means of calcination. The cleansed crystallized soluble cell salts are then added to the preparation which must undergo the correct rotation procedure for various natural cycles e.g. 7 day, 14, 21 28 day, 40 day which is the philosophical month and equaled the Anchorites 40 day fast in the wilderness for word of God. 5 levels of exaltation. 40 days represent the higher natural limits of its potency .. one may experiment upon ones self with higher potencies before attempting to use them on another. If one is going to experiment with higher potencies than those shown then it is recommended that your exaltation coincide with the longer natural cycles that occur in the annual turn of Earth around the Sun. These cycles of exaltation increase the penetrating power of the remedy and just as in Homeopathy, the higher potencies must be used with discretion. The Spagyric Mother Tincture is 1:7 (Φ7) which is the equivalent of the Homeopathic Mother Tincture (1:10)(Φ). From there one may proceed by the Hahnemann process of potentation but maintain the 7 cycle succussion at each elevation instead of 1:10 (Hering) or 1:100 Hahnemann. The equivalent Hering is 1ml in 7. The equivalent Hahnemann is 1ml in 70 ml. However it must be said a true Spagyric must of necessity be prepared by Exaltation rather than succusion. This Spagyric exaltation of the remedy neatly solves the Homeopathic problem of the change of Menstruum from Alcohol to water. To produce a homeopathic (sucussed) remedy that maintained the synergy of the preparation then one would need prodigeous amounts of alcohol which could prove to be very expensive. One may not change a menstruum without a change of the magnetic matrix within which the original remedy is held. Water, alcohol and the hydro-alcoholic menstruum have entirely different properties from one another.
The only solvents used are alcohol and double distilled water, the reasons for that have already been discussed in an earlier chapter. A range of solvents are prepared by using the spirits and water in various proportions. It is the alcohol which is the fast acting solvent that removes the oils and resins and many other constituents of the plant, the downside is that it also hardens tissue .. all correctly dried herb will contain a little residual moisture usually too low for enzyme action .. high strength alcohol absorbs the water from the tissue at speed as it advances .. this causes the channels and passages (capillaries, veins and arteries) of the plant tissue to contract and collapse and in doing so impede the leaching extraction process .. it is usual to find hydro-alcohol solvents, for they are the best and will capture those things which are left behind when used individually.
Hermetic Philosophy refer to Water as the �Universal Menstruum�, and rightly so because it enters into every single life process as we understand it .. the only constraint on the solvent powers of water, is time .. with time it will dissolve anything. When added to alcohol it extends its solvent powers embracing those things that alcohol cannot. It also acts as an adjuvant that modifies the hardening effect of the alcohol.
When you choose a menstruum for your purpose consider carefully if the plant contains oleo-resins .. and if so .. a high strength alcohol will be needed, 80 % v/v or 90% maximum .. this is where the procedure of imbibition is resorted to, this to mitigate excessive hardening of the tissue, the reason of this is that the percentage of molecules of alcohol used to moisten the prepared herb would be below the percentage of residual water molecules in the herbal material .. this conditioning procedure leaves the material easier to extract and avoids any subsequent difficulties in obtaining a full extraction.
The above quotation is verifiable scientifically. See Part I Module/Chapter 12.
Nature is the physician not you.
From her you must learn, not from yourself. She compounds the remedies not
you. See to it that you find out where Nature has her pharmacies, where her
virtues have been written down, and in what boxes they are stored.
�The fungi in common with other
living organisms possess tools or reagents far more specific, more delicate
and more powerful than those available in the laboratory�.
The tools or reagents referred to are, of course, �Enzymes�. With ferments and distillations and the application of fire (Oxygen) They are the alchemists of biological life, who at bio-temperatures perform electron and proton chemistry at dazzling speed., e.g., one molecule of an enzyme called �urease�, can hydrolyze 30,000 molecules of �urea� in one second. Without urease, it would take around 3 million years.
When preparing the remedies the single most important thing is its Synergy. The herb is a giant complex of harmonic patterns which are far beyond the reach of science, they may analyze individual constituents and deduce linkages but they have a very poor understanding of what it all means in terms of its synergy or wholeness.
The American Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) was a most prolific inventor and had over a 1000 patents to his name, stated as follows;
"Chemical Science thinks itself very clever, but they cannot do what a single blade of grass can do".
Here and now, 77 years after his death that statement still holds true .. they cannot do what a single blade of grass can do, and neither do they know how Nature does it .. their chemical explanation of the process does not work.
Science must borrow from Nature. The concept that chemists can take a single molecule from the many hundreds of molecular groups that go to make a plant in order to effect a cure has proved to be a tragedy of massive proportions.
The deniers of �Vitalism� that followed Freidrich W�hler and the synthetic Urea, blew an ill wind for the people because medicine and the road they are now traveling on has resulted in the destruction of truth at the patient/doctor interface. Weasel words, never truth. Both Aldous Huxley and Ivan Illich sounded the warning bell of exactly where this power structure is attempting to drag us.
Clinical Nutrition and in particular Orthomolecular nutrition is an offshoot of the work of Linus Pauling PhD. Those that gathered and worked around Dr Pauling understood quite clearly that the RDA�s (Recommended Daily Allowance) are no more than the consensus of the stake holders and have precious little connection with knowledge, scientific or otherwise .. except in cases of severe deficiency where the absence of nutrients are most noticeable .. when it came to Scurvy, it took a British sea captain to instruct the doctors of the day. Even then the ruling medical mandarins dragged their feet and thousands of people died in the interim before they accepted the evidence of their eyes .. Fresh food really works .. Captain Cook introduced Lime Juice as the cure for his sailors .. hence the American nick name for English sailors .. Limey's.
The human condition, mentally and physically depends upon correct nutrition. Exactly what correct nutrition means .. Nobody knows .. except as it pertains to oneself .. because although we superficially resemble each other in our molecular patterns, we are all manifestly unique, even twins. Our requirements of any single nutrient or mineral is different for everyone, and will further changes as we complete each rite of passage .. One size fits all as in nutrient or pharmaceutical tablets is a fallacy that cannot be sustained and even more so if the ingredients have been synthesized .. To be fair there are some very good and genuine naturals out there, based upon the synergy of the plant itself. Far better and much more economical is to eat a sensible diet of fresh whole foods as Nature intended and let Nature direct the process. Harry Benjamin ND has staked out the ground in laypersons language. Use your Spagyric preparations sparingly and with experiential knowledge.
Nature is the Physician not you.
She compounds the remedies not you. See to it that you find out where Nature
has her pharmacies, where her virtues have been written down, and in what
boxes they are stored. And since the fit manner is not to be found in
pharmaceutics, we explore further; that is to say that we must learn from
Alchemian or Spagyria".
Your Computer Registry is extremely simple in comparison to that of the structure of a plant, we are all aware of the problems caused when a single dll is corrupted, added to, or missing from the registry.
In the consumption of these various beverages it will be noted that they all produce a different type of consciousness from one another, this with the proviso that the product is genuine and produced in the traditional manner. Some examples, Whiskey is made barley.(seed) Brandy made from the Grape. (Fruit) Vodka made from Potato. (Tuber). Even more striking is the fiery Cactus beverages of the Americas. We may readily understand that the source from which the alcohol was taken is responsible for the differing mental states. Spirit is different spirit when produced by fermentation and distillation and maintains the molecular pattern from which it emerged and when one rectifies such spirit the synergistic patterns remain in a higher state.
Spagyric Alcohol is made from the bodies of plants of the same specie as that of the one that is to be opened. At the extraction stage the Synergy is amplified in clear patterns rather than as an indistinct image. The marc is calcined and the heavy metals separated from the soluble salts which are added to the extract. It must then be rotated for a period of 7 days outside a sunny window sill in a glass or stainless digesting vessel which is painted matt black on the exterior.. this is the exaltation which is the Spagyric equivalent of the Homeopathic succussion and is performed for the same reasons .. this to enhance its potency. If after storage (Glass) it still shows any particles in suspension it may be filtered once .. hold a sheet of stiff white paper behind the glass storage vessel and then using a pen torch on narrow beam .. Shine it through the container and observe the light on the paper. If a suspension or haze is noted it sahould be stored for a further 7 days if the suspension persists it may be may be filtered once only through an acid free filtering medium.
If a precipitate is found rather than a suspension .. then carefully decant as much of the clear liquid as possible and filter the remainder once .. on no account should one use an introduced substance to clear or enhance precipitation of a preparation .. If the preparation is still hazy after 7 days then it may be filtered once. When these conditions are satisfied the preparation is suitable for use. Alternatively these Spagyric Tinctures may then be further prepared by the �Hahnemann� method of succusion .. but to the ratio of 7 rather than 10 or 100.
The Spagyric Tincture 1:7 is the Mother Tincture (Φ7).
Paracelsus made the following
In one herb there is more force and power than all the papers. that are read in High College and are not fated to live long.
�Solve et Coagula, et habebis magisterium�. Dissolve and recombine and you have the magistery".
Three pithy statements of an abiding truth because the synergy of the herb is maintained and with it the soluble plant salts .. the magic minerals! Everything in Correct proportions .. Nature�s proportions .. whilst the potentially dangerous heavy metals are discarded.
Paracelsus was a giant among physicians but his forthright manner attracted many enemies. And all along a stony road they forced him, whilst he hurled their poison back at them. He had the last laugh on his orthodox tormentors .. their names are now just grist in the millstones of life, whilst the fame of Paracelsus grows ever greater with the passing of the centuries. Those things of which he wrote and spoke and for which he was denigrated by orthodoxy .. are now almost common place in the halls of academia. He was always first in Western Medicine for example he was the founder of Pharmogenetics:
To give to each Nation its own type
of medicine, the theoricam best suited to it, as it behooves. For I can well
realize that my prescriptions may turn out to be ineffectual among the
foreign Nations, and that foreign recipes may turn out to be ineffectual in
our Nation. That is to say that I write for Europe, and I do not know
whether Asia and Africa may profit from it.
Alchemy forums are usually divided between the spiritual hermetic and those that think such things are merely a matter of chemical or radionic (Electrolysis) technique which they have not yet mastered. And yes, one may make Spagyric preparations by technique alone but in that process the preparation remains incomplete.
To make the remedy complete one must add a pinch of self . Without that interest and the greater understanding of who you serve and the purpose of the remedy, then the preparation will remain just a remedy, albeit superior to the current Galenic offerings, in that it is more complete.
The Science of Physics will attempt to measure anything, and if they cannot, the anything is usually refuted .. Over the years the Alchemist has been vindicated many times by the modern day counterparts as they probe the structure of matter .. a Mesopotamian Civilization stated .. �Matter is Congealed Sunlight�. This simple statement captures the essence, for all peoples, because it is understood through its imagery. It was this kind of imagery which the Alchemists of yore spoke to one another across great oceans and in far distant lands. The herb is congealed sunlight, its products are a configuration of congealed sunlight.
The Science of Physics has proved mathematically that the experimenter has an effect upon the experiment and here I would like to add a note of caution.
"As far as the laws of mathematics
refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain,
Obviously there are differing opinions as to what has been measured or not, but a predominant explanation is rigidly enforced to the point of absurdity. Novae Phlogistonia!.
We know the difference between a good cook and a bad cook. The difference may be summed up in one word, "Attitude" .. one is an Alchemist of Food and aware of their mission .. and for the other, the food is just another chore .. so that pinch of self from its nobler facet makes the difference.
Such matters occur via your aura and are transmitted by electromagnetic waves that are strong enough to be measured. Induction is a repeatable phenomenon beyond dispute. The Electro Magnetic web and its phenomena to which we are intimately connected is being increasingly recognized by many of the academic disciplines in so far as they consider it relevant to the object being studied. Always put some of yourself into the remedies and spread a blessing upon the process.
THEN an old man, a keeper of an
inn, said, - Speak to us of Eating and Drinking. And he said:
Keep your equipment spotlessly clean and reserved for the purpose for which it is used. With regard to your still; if it is used to produce spirits of wine or essential oils, then one should allow it to cool, rinse it clean with water and set it to run for 2 hours in its water distillation role to thoroughly clean the interior parts that were in contact with the alcohol, oils and their vapors. Discard the collected water and rinse the interior it is then allowed to drain. That should solve any problems of cross contamination.
I had passed the opinion that a true Spagyric preparation could not be made without the aid of astrological tools .. there are free tools available on the net .. such tools lend an air of precision to operations to the point of absurdity .. the message here is not to get too carried away by its facility .. however the treasure of all .. An astrological knowledge bequeathed by the ancestors is the notion of the role of the moon and her effects upon great bodies of waters and thus of all life on the planet. By cultivating that awareness and the understanding of ones reactions to it both physically and mentally .. one then takes a glimpse into the mirror world of the plant but most importantly one understands the seasons and reasons in the life of a plant .. it is but one short step from there to deeper knowledge of oneself .. the eternal question .. "Who am I"?
This is what I will call intuitive astrology .. an inner astrology where by one may predict in advance when one will have a bad day or a good day and prepare for it in advance and see when looking outwards understand how it mirrors inner conditions .. understanding the effects of the moon in all its phases upon ones psyche and most important its action upon the digestive system and its excretions reveals the holes in scientific medicine .. biological idiosyncrasy is a fact which is conveniently ignored by the establishment, however we are sufficiently alike to make your personal experience a general template in understanding the travails of another.
This concept may be also carried over into the field of Iridology which is practiced both as an Art and Science .. intuitively we register a set of impressions when we gaze at a persons eyes without a glass .. and in its totality we become aware of emotional tensions which are symptomatic of the inner cause and a connection is made .. but first before one can do that .. one must drown ones ego in the moment .. empty the mind .. we all have gut feelings and that is the first place one should look at in the Iris .. the stomach and if it is disordered, judge its rate of progression in respect of the other organs .. check the organs of elimination and respiration .. the heart. the spine, the emotional tone .. for it is from this wave of fast moving impressions devoid of ego that the intuition weaves its images.
I have touched upon the prodigious powers of those tiny alchemists the enzymes .. what you cannot do Nature will do for you. The digestive and fermentative powers of wine yeast as a natural intermediary not only in the initial preparation of spirits of wine but also in the direct preparation of Spagyric remedies by the cold method rather than that of fire.
It was from these old but widely practiced techniques of preparation, of many things such as cheese, yogurt, and breads of many kinds, that came the medicinal country wines, by means of which .. many were enabled to enter Natures pharmacy and peer into the boxes and see what she has expertly written.
A single dried herb is added at a ratio of 1:7 to a liquid of freshly juiced, either apples, grapes or oranges, into which is stirred black strap molasses at a ratio of 1:7 .. the yeast is added and the fermentation is set in train. When the fermentation has run its course the clear liquid is decanted and the marc and dead yeast are discarded. The preparation is then exalted by a seven fold rotation .. if the homeopathic succussion method is used then it must be prepared to 7 rather than 10 or 100 in the further exaltation of the remedy. The exaltation is less injurious to molecular patterns being a gentle natural process.
Fresh herbs are understandably more potent than their mummified brethren but in this virtue lurks a problematic danger .. one can only take a pig in a poke if one tries to proceed directly .. because precision of dose (Posology) is not possible under those circumstances .. on one hand is the precision of the amount of water adjusted to your plant mass and the other is the actual water content of the plant .. so we must proceed in an indirect manner .. it is possible to get a good idea of the water % by first drying the same weight of herb as that of the fresh .. the difference between them is the nominal weight of water lost, this amount of water must be deducted when maintaining the ratio of 1:7 .. next go and pick the same weight again of the fresh herb and allow it to wilt .. slice it finely with a stainless steel knife being careful not to lose the juice in the process place the herb into a fermenting vessel (Glass or Stainless Steel) add to it the correct amount of distilled water to maintain a ratio of 1:7 and then the correct amount of honey of which the yeast will ferment .. the yeast will then work on converting the plant starch into sugars .. how to judge the ratio of plant to water we understand ( 1:7) .. honey is used as a substitute for refined sugars Chapter/Module 9 of the herbal will instruct you as to how much honey you will need to bring the wine to the 14 % v/v .. Nettle (Urtica dioca L) is a prime candidate because of its over all utility as a healing plant.
For the sheer utility of purpose in any season, the dried herb is the Queen, therefore it is rather a matter of trade offs according to the circumstance of the season which dictate the protocols which are open to you. These preparation may be then dried to the consistency of treacle by a gentle evaporation over a water bath and if you log the weight of your wine and the finished extract you are able to maintain the posology of the original preparation .. and if rolling pills one can know the posology or dose for each single pill .. for domestic use, then stale bread will serve well as an excipient (binder) but the ability to do this depends upon careful precision of measurement at each stage of your transformation of the plant.
We cannot play peek-a-boo around the test tubes with Nature without causing horrendous damage to Nature and ourselves, and as such, that has proved to be the case. We now live in a manmade sludge of hitherto unknown degenerative disease which has permeated the whole of the biosphere. Nothing has been spared from Ocean deeps to Mountain tops, and from the smallest microbe to the top of the food chain and each time a link becomes extinct then our position becomes increasingly precarious.
Finally take care when choosing your technology ..
It may enslave you, for you will need energy to power it .. if you must
depend on outside sources such as the power utility, then you are in a
vulnerable position .. if you can utilize an alternative source over which
you have a modicum of control such as a charcoal burner or a spirit lamp
then your production is assured and the Art of the Stillroom will be carried
into the 21st Century.
One ship sails East and another
sails West With the self same winds that blow.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Ivor Hughes Spring 2003 - Winter 2008.