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Infusions and Extracts - A Plant's Life in Our Products

Posted by Bill DAlessandro on

Two of the main components we use in Nurture My Body product formulations for you are herbs and flora because they contain volatile oils, antibiotics and other healing chemicals as well as being aromatic. Usually one part of the plant is used at a time, such as root, bark, stems, leaves or flowers. You can either use the plant material fresh or dried. Dried herbage is generally 2 to 3 times stronger than fresh. How We Release the Miracle of Plants The chemicals of the plants are released in a wide variety of ways. Plants react to stimuli. Some plants are soluble in water while others require a medium such as grain alcohol or oil to withdraw the chemicals of the plant. Two of the methods we use to release nature's miraculous healing chemicals are infusions and extracts. These two principles are done in-house to insure that when we use the infusions or extracts in our formulations they are the freshest, so the healing properties are most potent. Types of Infusions There are two types of infusions, cold or hot. Cold infusion is used when the active principles of the plant are highly volatile and can be injured by heat. We infuse our herbs in an oil base. The benefit of this is that the infused oil contains the therapeutic properties of both the carrier oil and the herbs that were infused in it. The types of herbs used are ones that can release their active ingredients easily such as chamomile, in our Organic Baby Shampoo and Body Wash, and hops, in our Organic Exfoliating Cleanser and Organic Moisture Cream. Infusing Once, Twice or Thrice and Why The common mixture ratios for infusions are 1 oz herb to 1 pint liquid. The time the plant material is infused in the oil depends on the strength of the infusion desired. It can be heated by the sun or another heat source. Once the infusion is ready the plant material is strained out. Straining is generally done twice. You can also triple infuse an oil meaning the whole process is done three times. And What is an Herbal Extract? Liquid herbal extracts result from the evaporation of the substance the herbage was obtained from. Extracts can be obtained a few different ways. One is by expressing the juice of fresh plants, by using a solvent such as pure grape alcohol or by simmering or setting in water. Some herbs are not soluble in water thus requiring using the other methods as stated above. An advantage of herbal extracts is their ability to preserve the active constituents and their long shelf life. Our herbal extracts have high potencies and superior quality. We use carefully detailed methods and unsurpassed integrity. The Actual Making of an Extract Requires Patience To make herbal extracts you can either use fresh or dried plant material. Cover completely the herbage with your liquid of choice in a container, generally 1 part herb to 5 parts liquid with fresh herbs being used, or 1 part herb to 3 parts liquid when using dried plant material. The mixture is then kept in a dark environment allowing the herbs to soak or macerate for 4 to 6 weeks being shaken every few days. This allows the liquid to extract the active constituents from the herbs. The herbs are then strained until the extract is clear. Some of the plant materials we use for extract are green tea, found in our Organic Vita C Cream and Organic Regenerating Cream Fragrance Free, and seaweed, found in our Organic Cleansing Milk. We hope this has helped to inform you of two of the methods we use to make use of the miraculous healing properties of the certified organic plant materials that are in our personal care products. Nature is amazing and these methods are great ways that allow her to release her life essence to be used in healthy and rejuvenating formulations for your hair, skin and body.

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