PrairieFrog Apothecary

For several years we’ve been making our own herbal tinctures and infusions.  He does the tinctures and I do the teas.  Today Ken, along with his lovely assistant Keianna made up five tinctures that were running low.

Below I share a rarely glimpsed area of PrairieFrog land (drumroll…)  Ken’s barfice!   (“Barfice” is short for barn/office–a little room in the barn.)

Here’s Ken and Keianna’s five steps to a perfect tincture:

1. Get down the herbs from vast stores, high on the barfice shelves.

Getting Down The Herbs

Assemble Herbs
2. Add appropriate herbs to a quart jar for steeping

Add Herbs to Jar
More Herbs to More Jars

Add More Herbs

3. Put away herbs.

Put Away Herbs

4. Add rum.  (This step isn’t pictured because I have an alcohol free blog. ) 

5. Steep for about a month.   (Also not pictured because it would require time lapse photography and be rather dull.)

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6 thoughts on “PrairieFrog Apothecary

  1. I am rather ignorant when it comes to herbal tinctures and infusions. I have no clue what you do with that!!! But, it sounds pretty neat! Thanks for inviting us into the barfice.that was fun!

    Mica AKA The Child's PaperEdited by garboodles on Sunday, September 20, 2009 at 1:24 AM

  2. Nice "storage" system!!

    I am just learning about these things– I would LOVE to know more– about what you make (ingredients) and what you use it for– or if you have a website that you got your recipes from….

    Thanks!!

  3. We started doing it when we became interested in taking care of our health in a preventive way. It seems that so many pharmaceutical medicines just don't work for me–the side effects are worse then the initial issue they are supposed to treat. (I think I must be that .1 percent the labels always reference.)

    For 10 years or so I just made herbal teas, pulling information from a variety of herb books. More recently (about 2 years ago) we began seeing a naturopathic doctor, and he often suggested certain tinctures. The tinctures are handy because unlike a tea which I make fresh each time, they can be made in advance and stored, and then used when applicable several times a day without the prep time that the teas require. We purchased his tinctures for a brief time, but then decided to begin making our own!

    Making our own has appealed to Ken's chemical engineering background, and been blessing to our health and our budget.

    Ideally the herbs should be stored in a cool, dark place. The culinary herbs reside in my pantry, which is fairly dark, but the herbs in the barfice aren't ideally stored. We've found that they do lose potency, but not rapidly. Smell and taste indicate how much they've lost, and as they become less potent we just compensate by adding a bit more. (I do the same in my cooking.)

    I wish I could suggest a single website. We've gathered and compared information for so many for different tinctures. Many are based on Dr. Christopher's recipes, some of which can be found on line. Others from our naturopath's suggestions, and others from a few of my Herb books. (One by Mark Peterson is especially helpful, but not at all easy to navigate.)

    A friend who has been interested in herbs recently suggested a kit that she says is the most well laid out source of herbal information she's ever seen! I've not seen it myself, but know my friend to be very sensible and practical, so I'll mention it. For although we gleaned so much from our scattered sources, it really has an inefficient way to research!). The kit she suggested is from: http://www.learningherbs.com/

    Hope that helps!

    Maybe others will post their favorite source of herbal info!

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