In this day and age of tests to the immune system, it becomes necessary to educate one self on the methods of DIY homeopathy. According to Paul Bergner, Author of Medical Herbalism. "The usnic acid in Usnea is effective against gram positive bacteria such as Streptococcus and Staphylococcus, making Usnea a valuable addition to herbal formulas for sore throats and skin infections. It is also effective against a bacterium that commonly causes pneumonia." (Paul Bergner)
One of the best homeopathic remedies for general health and well being is a Spagyric tincture made with both water and ethanol extraction. The following is a simple and efficient method to make an Usnea Spagyric Tincture.
A brief recipe for making a spagyric extract of Usnea.
1. Materials needed:
a. USNEA, dehydrated (4 oz)
b. Pure grain Ethanol, 1 pt
c. Distilled H2O, 1 qt
d. Med-sized pot with a tight-fit top or bowl made out of metal
e. Coffee cone or filter
f. Collection vessel (glass bowl)
g. qt Jar
h. Hot Plate
i. An dropper
j. Fire Proof metal pot, fire (open) and vent (for calcinating)
2. Refining the Mercury
a. The Alchemical Mercury is universal in the plant world- it is, the distillate from fermented corn or other grains (Ethanol/Alcohol) and is chemically and alchemically identical, in this particular spagyric,to the pure distillate of fermented USNEA.
b. Next is the extraction of the chemical constituents of USNEA using the grain Ethanol (Mercury) in a percolating apparatus.
c. First, thoroughly moisten 2 ounces of USNEA with 8 ounces of Ethanol.
d. Next, pour 8 more ounces of Ethanol into the percolation apparatus. Green extract should begin to drip into the collecting bowl. When you have 8 ounces of extract, the percolation is complete (may require some squeezing).
e. Set the extract aside in the mason jar. This is your Mercury of USNEA.
3. Refining the Sulfur
a. Sulfur (Soul-For) represents the Soul or particular nature of the USNEA that you are extracting: smell, taste, its experience. It therefore varies from plant to plant, and is usually embodied in the essential oil, the plant's Quintessence.
b. We can isolate the essential oil using a steam distillation system.
c. Pulverize the remaining 2 ounces of USNEA, in a mortar and pestle, and place it in the bottom of the cooking pot. Place the empty collection vessel into the middle of the pot.
e. Place the lid or metal bowl on the pot upside-down, and apply heat. Allow the pot to simmer only five minutes, then turn off the heat and wait for it to cool.
f. When the pot is cool, remove the lid and look in the collecting bowl. There should be a mixture of water and oil in it; draw it into the dropper and wait for the oil to rise to the top (this may take a little patience). Squeeze out the excess water, and add the oil to the mason jar. This is your Sulfur of USNEA.
4. Now to Refine the Salt through calcination
a. Salt is the tether, connecting the physical plane. Representing the refined physical emanation of the plant, it is the “body”, the container ,of Vital Force, chosing to incarnate into and, along with the Sulfur, animate.
b. The Salt isthe embodiment of the soluble salts of the herb, to be extracted via calcination and subsequent evaporations.
c. The first step is collection of all of the USNEA you used so far and place it into your fire proof cast-iron pot.
d. Then, heat the cast-iron pot outdoors or with the use of a vent-hood. A great deal of smoke is generated as USNEA burns.
e. It is wise to cover the pot with a sturdy,in order to prevent smoke or ashes from escaping the vessel. After a few hours, the USNEA will burn down into a whitish ash. It is helpful to stir the ash in order to ensure complete calcination.
f. Next remove the ash, placing it into a separate vessel (ideally clear glass). Add 4 oz of distilled H2O.
g. Allow the “Caput Mortuum” (death’s head) to fully come out of it's solution. Note, these consist of your insoluble salts. When the clear liquid remains above the Caput Mortuum, decant into the collection vessel.
h. Evaporating the collection bowl liquid, in a slow (150°) oven, or in the sunlight. This will leave a salty residue. This salty residue is the soluble salt portion of the USNEA used for the extraction.
i. Pulverize this Salt in a mortar and pestle, and add it to the mason jar.
5. The spagyric extract of USNEA is complete!
Label it and place it for storage in a cool dark location.