Have you ever wondered how we make our tinctures? The process is fairly basic and adheres to Traditional Chinese Medical practices regarding cooking a Chinese herbal formula.
The basics of brewing Chinese herbs are simple and techniques vary from place to place. A ceramic pot is the traditional pot of choice. Glass, porcelain, or enamel are preferred, stainless steel is fine. Don’t use other metals, because they can affect the final product.
Don’t burn the herbs! They aren’t recoverable once they’ve been burnt and should not be consumed.
Water ratios can vary for a number of reasons, but the general rule of thumb is to use three cups to one bag ratio. Prior to the first boil, it is advantageous to soak the herbs in water for about 30 minutes. When cooking, bring the herbs to a rapid boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced to approximately half. Your herbal formula can be boiled three times and the results consumed.
Some people suggest doing all three boils and combining the liquid before consuming, I don’t remember us doing that growing up, but do keep in mind the first boil will be the most potent.
At BHP, we generally stick to two boils when preparing our formulas because we want to keep the herbal concentration high. Boiling is a misnomer, because in some cases, we keep the formula at a very low heat for an extended period of time to allow for greater herbal extraction. Once we have boiled and blended the two batches, ensured the flavor profile is accurate, we then add a low volume of alcohol for preservation.