Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Single remedies are often used for acute problems: Echinacea for a cold, feverfew for a migraine, arnica for a bruise, and etc. Such simples work fast and help the body to heal itself. Chronic problems, on the other hand, often need a deeper herbal approach that includes foods, lifestyle changes, teas, and tincture formulas.

Burdock is an adaptogen and hepatic

Building a tincture formula is as complex as the problem being treated but follows certain steps. Selection of herbs is made by picking an adaptogen for the person, an alterative for the involved organ system, a specific herb for the specific problem(s), and a nervine, hepatic, or lymphatic if needed.

Nettle is a GI alterative

Celiac disease is an autoimmune sensitivity to gluten in foods. The mucous cells lining the intestines respond to gluten with inflammation that causes indigestion and malabsorption of food resulting in diarrhea and malnutrition. Longterm gluten exposure causes muscle and joint pain, insomnia, anemia, and chronic fatigue. The first step in treatment of celiac disease is removal of gluten from the diet: Wheat, rye, barley, and whole oats. Then herbs can be used to calm the intestinal lining, promote nutrient absorption, and relieve the pain and fatigue.

CeliacEase Tincture (4oz)

burdock root (adaptogen, hepatic) - 2 parts (1oz)
nettle (gastrointestinal alterative, nutrient absorption) - 2 part (1oz)
mallow root (intestinal emollient, anti-inflammatory) - 2 parts (1oz)
St. John's wort (nervine tonic, sleep promotion, anti-inflammatory) - 1 part (.5oz)
milk thistle (hepatic, liver regeneration) - 1 part (.5oz)

1) Determine the herbs and the number of parts for each herb (2 for burdock, nettle, and mallow because of their combined actions and tastes);
2) Count the total number of parts for the formula (2+2+2+1+1 = 8 parts);
3) Divide the desired amount of tincture by the total number of parts to get the amount per part (4oz /8 parts = .5oz/part);
4) Add the amount of each herb to a measuring cup with a spout (1 part = .5oz, 2 parts = 1 oz);
5) Stir the mixture and dispense into dropper bottles;
6) Take 20-40 drops four times a day for 1-2 months while strictly avoiding gluten in foods;
7) Also take a nervine sedative at bedtime if needed for improved sleep.


  1. What is your ETOH to H2O ratio on the Celiac tincture?

  2. Or most any tincture for that matter...also WHY Do you dilute with water when everybody sez I should use Everclear...or the strongest alcohol I can obtain?????

  3. Each plant in the recipe has a different ratio based on the plant, the desired effect, and what I had available when tincturing. In general, I use 1:2 for fresh plants and roots (burdock for this formula) and 1:5 for dried plants (the rest in this formula). I use higher percentage alcohol for plants with higher resin or active alkaloid content (75% for burdock and milk thistle in this formula) and lower for aromatic plants with more water soluble components (40 or 50%). The best whole plant medicine would be the whole plant rather than an extraction but we sometimes need to preserve the plant for later availability or to convert to tincture or infusion for rapid availability.