Extracts are solid substances resulting from the evaporation of the solution of vegetable principles. The extract is obtained in three ways: (1) by expressing the juice of fresh plants (as in Succus calendula, the juice of the pot marigold), (2) by using a solvent such as alcohol, or (3) by simmering a plant tea and reducing it to a thickened state. The latter is accomplished by simmering a plant (an example could be cloves) and by repeating the process until most of the water used has evaporated. This is a decoction. This gives you a distillation of the most active principles in the plant. Add 1/4 teaspoon of alcohol (brandy, gin, or vodka will do), glycerine, or tincture of benzoin to preserve the extract.
Many plants are commercially available in extract form. The Father Kneipp brand of plant juices is available from many gourmet shops.
The expressed juices of borage, chamomile, celery, dandelion, hawthorn, horsetail, melissa, nettle, paprika, parsley, pumpkin, rosemary, thyme, valerian, watercress, wormwood, yarrow, and beets are available from Bio Nutritional Products, P.O. Box 389, Harrison, N.Y. 10528.
Extract Distillation of Cloves
1 tablespoon cloves
11/2 cups water
Boil until it is a syrup. Repeat three times.
This is useful in tiny doses and, on rare occasions, for sleep problems. Use a teaspoon of the distillation in a cup of hot herbal chamomile or linden tea. The stronger the distillation, the more sedative and sleep producing it becomes.