How to Evaporate Herbal Extracts

Herbal extract

Alcohol helps to extract the herb's properties into a more concentrated form and preserve the extract once it is made, but many people prefer to consume non-alcoholic versions of herbal remedies. If you don't wish to consume the alcohol portion of an herbal extract or you wish to give the extract to an animal like a cat or bird who cannot tolerate the amount of alcohol, you can evaporate much of the alcohol away first. There are three ways to evaporate the alcohol in your extract, and one of them is sure to suit your needs.

Evaporate In the Microwave

You can evaporate a single dose of extract in the microwave. This process takes only a few minutes and is perfect if you're in a hurry.

What You'll Need

  • Microwave safe cup or glass
  • Dropper
  • Water
  • Microwave

What You'll Do

  1. Measure out a single dose of the extract and transfer it to a microwave-safe cup or glass.
  2. Pour roughly an inch of water into the cup along with the extract.
  3. Microwave the mixture on high until the water comes to a boil.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool. This will evaporate away most of the alcohol in the extract.

Evaporate In a Cup

You can evaporate a single dose in a cup of boiling water. If you take your extracts mixed with water or tea, this method is very convenient.

What You'll Need

  • Dropper
  • Cup
  • 1 cup of boiling water

What You'll Do

  1. Measure out the dosage of extract into the cup.
  2. Pour in a cup of boiling water on top of the extract.
  3. Allow the water to cool slightly. This will evaporate away most of the alcohol from the extract.

Evaporate an Entire Bottle

If you plan on using the entire bottle of extract within a few days and want to evaporate it all at once, you can do so with a double boiler. Keep in mind that by evaporating the alcohol, you are taking away the part which helps preserve the extract. If you choose to evaporate an entire bottle at once, be sure to use it within a few days or it will need to be discarded.

What You'll Need

  • Double boiler
  • Water

What You'll Do

  1. Fill the bottom section of the double boiler with water.
  2. Set the boiler on the stove and place the top section onto the bottom.
  3. Pour the entire contents of the bottle of extract into the top half of the boiler.
  4. Turn the stove on high and bring the extract in the top half of the boiler to a boil - note that the water in the bottom section will come to a boil long before this happens.
  5. Allow the extract to boil for 10 to 15 minutes. This will evaporate the alcohol from the extract.

Note: If using this method, keep the dropper used with the evaporated extract clean and dry between uses. The evaporated extract can grow bacteria if a contaminated dropper is introduced into it.

Take Control of Your Extracts

If you are unable to find alcohol-free versions of your favorite extracts, use any of these methods to evaporate them before use. Whether you evaporate one dose at a time or one bottle at a time, you can take control of what you are ingesting along with your herbs.

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How to Evaporate Herbal Extracts