|Dried dandelion roots|
To step it up a notch, look for yellow dock (Rumex crispus, R.obtusifolius) at unmowed edges of yards, fields, and woods. A tincture of the yellow root of this buckwheat is a cooling hepatic for colitis, diarrhea, or constipation. Dig the taproot after the plant goes to seed in mid-summer. Regional alternative hepatics include yellowroot (Xanthorhiza simplicissima) and goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis).
|Milk thistle in early summer|
HERBALIST'S NOTE: Seeds, barks, and roots that have a high oil or resin content usually require a higher percentage of alcohol for effective extraction
MILK THISTLE TINCTURE
1) Gather milk thistle seeds in late summer or early fall when the flowers go to fluff;
2) Remove the hairs and place the seeds in a mortar and pestle;
3) Coarsely grind them to crack the shells and expose the seed flesh;
4) Spoon the crushed seeds into a jar with a tight fitting lid;
5) Cover the seeds with the highest proof alcohol available in your area, usually 75% grain;
6) Seal the lid and place the jar in a warm dark place for two weeks, swirling daily;
7) Strain off the tincture into another jar and label it with herb, date, method (folk), and alcohol percent and type.
DOCTOR'S NOTE: Ground seeds eaten in smoothies or made into capsules are better for people with hepatitis or cirrhosis because the alcohol in this high percentage tincture can be hepatotoxic for those with already compromised livers.