Alcohol Extraction FAQAreca catechu – Betel Nut – 2 months in alcohol – active component is arecoline. Betel Nut is traditionally chewed as a quid.

Artemisia absinthium – Wormwood – 1 week in alcohol – active components include thujone, a psychoactive compound, as well as silica, tannic and resinous substances, malic acid and succinic acid.  Combined with sugar and a blend of other herbs, one can make absinthe from Wormwood.

Cannabis spp. – Cannabis – 2 months in alcohol – active components are THC and at least 66 other cannabinoids. Cannabis is illegal in many parts of the world, although legalization efforts are proceeding in certain countries, including the United States.

Citrus uranium – Bitter Orange – 1 week in alcohol – active compounds are amphetamine metabolites N-methyltyramine, octopamine, and synephrine which constrict blood vessels and increase blood pressure and heart rate.

Commiphora myrrh – Myrrh – 1 month in alcohol – active compounds include furanoeudesma-1, 3-diene and other terpenes which affect opioid receptors and influence pain perception. Research is still being done on this plant, but it is recommended as an analgesic for toothaches and a liniment for aches, bruises and sprains.

Ipomoea violacea, spp.. – Morning Glory Seeds – 1-2 weeks in alcohol – active components are ergonovine and ergine (LSA).  It is recommended that one only use organic seeds which are not sprayed with dangerous or toxic pesticides.  Active at 60-100 seeds.

Galium odoratum – Woodruff – 6-10 hours in alcohol, or overnight – active component is coumarin, which is toxic in high doses and may cause headaches.  At lower doses (75 grams steeped in alcohol) it has an intriguing, elating effect.

Ginkgo biloba – Ginkgo – 4 weeks in alcohol – active components include ginkgolides, bilobalides and flavonoid glycosides.  Active between 120 and 240 mg.

Hyoscyamus niger – Henbane – 1 day in alcohol – active components are tropane alkaloids (hyoscyamine, hyoscine), flavonol glycosides and small amounts of volatile amines. Active at 100-150mg dried leaf, or 2-5 ml of prepared tincture (1:10 in 70% alcohol). Acts as an antispasmodic and sedative. Caution: overdose amount is very close to the therapeutic dose.  Only consume under the supervision of a medical professional.

Kola nitida – Kola – macerated, 1 month in alcohol – active components are caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline. Therefore, Kola nuts have stimulant effects and may increase alertness and energy and suppress appetite.  Active between 50 and 250 mg.

Lactuca virosa – Wild Lettuce – 1 week in alcohol – active components are lactucopicrin and lactucin. The effects are similar to opium, although no opiates are present in the plant.  The plant also contains flavonoids, which have anti-oxidant properties, and coumarins.

Leonurus sibricus – Motherwort/Marihuanilla – 1 week in alcohol – active components include leonurine, an alkaloid that has a relaxing effect and is said to relieve stress.  Active at 2 grams of dried plant matter.

Melissa officials – Lemon Balm – 1 day in alcohol – active component is rosmarinic acid, a potent inhibitor of GABA transaminase, which causes an anxiolytic effect. Lemon Balm has also shown mood and mental performance improving effects, probably due to action on muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Extract of lemon balm has exceptionally high antioxidant and antiviral activity, as it contains eugenol, a substance that kills bacteria, and tannins.  May also be made into a tea or chewed as a quid.

Pimpinella animus – Anise – 1 month in alcohol – active components include anethole. Small amounts can be consumed for stimulation and vivid dreams.  Active at 3g of seed material.

Psilocybe spp. – Psilocybe Mushrooms – Several 24 hour cycles in high proof alcohol finishing with evaporation. Or, as the ancient Mesoamericans did, powder dried mushrooms and combine with honey for 1 month.  Active ingredients are psilocybin, psilocin and others, varying by species. Psilocybin is illegal in much of the world.

Rosmarinus officials – Rosemary – 8 hours in alcohol – active components include antioxidants such as carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid, camphor, caffein acid, ursolic acid, and others.  Active between 4-6 grams of dried plant material.

Turnera diffusa – Damiana – 1 month in alcohol – active component is damianin, which has relaxing effects on the central nervous system. Damiana also contains seta-bitoserol, which acts as an aphrodisiac.  Active between 1-5g.

Valeriana officianalis – Valerian – 1 day in alcohol – active components include various alkaloids, isovaleramide, GABA, valeric acid, flavanones, and others.  Active at 2-3 grams of dried plant material.