What is a Spagyric Tincture?
Spagyrics (spa-jeer-icks) is an alchemical preparation of herbs used to create a potent and powerful plant medicine. It is one of the oldest extraction methods and is by far the most unique. The word “spagyrics” is derived from the Greek roots: spao (to draw out) and agerio (to unite), and this is exactly what the spagyric extraction process aims to do, and more! While spagyrics may be centuries old— and is considered a lost art in today’s society—it is slowly gaining recognition among consumers and physicians alike for its powerful health benefits. In this blog, we will take a deeper dive into what spagyrics entails, how a true spagyric tincture is crafted and why it’s one of the best alternative medicines.
What is a Tincture?
A tincture is a concentrated herbal extract which is made by soaking one or more herb in high-proof alcohol. Since water alone cannot absorb all the beneficial properties from plant materials, alcohol is used as an indispensable solvent in the herbal industry, as well as many other industries. Despite the argument that alcohol may have a negative impact on health—especially when consumed in excessive amounts—many studies find that alcohol in small doses may:
- Reduce the risk of developing and dying of heart disease
- Reduce certain types of inflammation
- Increase the defensive capabilities of the immune system
- Reduce the risk of ischemic stroke (when your arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow)
- Improve brain health
Not only can alcohol tinctures induce some or all of these health benefits, but they are also a great option for consumers looking for smokeless, simple and easy to use consumption methods.
What is a Spagyric Tincture?
In order to make a true spagyric tincture, there are several processes that must happen: the separation, purification, incineration and cohobation (re-unification) of plant matter. While there are several methods that can be used to execute these processes, I will only be describing how we make a spagyric tincture at the Vera Herbals laboratory (it is important to note that we have practiced various methods to make a spagyric tincture, and we have found this method to be by far the most efficient).
The first and perhaps the most obvious step to make a spagyric tincture is to figure out which herbs you want to extract. Once picked and weighed out, the herbs are placed in our favorite ever extracting apparatus, the soxhlet. A soxhlet extractor has three main components: the heating flask (which holds the alcohol), the herb chamber (which holds the herbs) and the condenser.
This is how it works: As your flask is heated, the alcohol will evaporate until it is recondensed and falls back into the herb chamber. As the herb chamber fills with alcohol, the alcohol is siphoned back into the heating flask. Sounds pretty simple, right? This process can continue for as long as necessary or until ALL of the plants’ compounds have been extracted. If you are a visual learner like myself, WATCH OUR SOXHLET IN ACTION
After the soxhlet has been running for several hours, we are left with a potent liquid alcohol extract. This isn’t the end of the extraction, however, and the coolest part of process is yet to come. While the time in the soxhlet has allowed for the alcohol to extract all of the herbs’ compounds, the mineral salts still remain. To obtain these salts, the herbs are removed from the herb chamber, burned to a white ash, mixed with distilled water, and filtered. The solution is placed on a burner to evaporate, and finally we are left with a pool of crystallized mineral salts. The salts are ground up and mixed back into the alcohol extract, completing the final step of the spagyric process.
What Makes Spagyrics the Best?
So, you may be wondering why Spagyrics is one of the best herbal extraction processes and what makes adding the mineral salts back into the tincture so special. Many other extraction processes are able to extract most of the plants’ compounds. However , Spagyrics not only extracts all of the compounds it also takes things one step further by extracting the plant’s mineral salts, ultimately resulting in a true full-essence tincture (the only one of its kind). In other words, a spagyric tincture contains not only active substances from plants, but also more subtle active principles that are considered to preserve the native vitality of the original material. On the same note, since this extraction allows for the whole plant to be utilized, there is zero waste when making a spagyric tincture, ultimately generating a highly sustainable practice.
While spagyrics is considered a lost art, it is becoming more well-known throughout the scientific community for its efficacy. Scientific research on spagyric medicines to date have been found in the form of clinician surveys and clinical application studies without placebo controls. In one multi-center clinical application study, a spagyric medication indicated for treatment of lymphatic inflammation and impaired lymph circulation was given to 89 patients with lymphadenopathy. Both doctors and patients were surveyed with regard to perceived efficacy. Almost 96% of the physicians and 94% of the 49 patients reported some degree of improvement. The physicians rated the preparation as “very good” (free of symptoms), at a rate of 18.3%. No side effects were reported.
Another study in 67 women with menopausal symptoms were evaluated by a group of doctors after given a spagyric combination for an average duration of 104 days. Physicians and patients were separately surveyed on the effectiveness of the treatment. Both doctors and patients reported the formula to be “very good” (free of symptoms) in 28.3%, or good (significant improvements) in 64.2%. Doctors and patients reported no side effects or negative reactions.
Although more clinical studies are needed on spagyric medicines (like many other alternative medicines), the results from administering spagyric medicines—especially when paired with conventional medicine—seem very promising in treating a wide array of ailments.
While centuries old, spagyrics still remains a mysterious marvel to many. It has played a major role in the development of herbal medicine and continues to be one of the most effective extraction processes to this day. Physicians and homeopathic doctors alike are beginning to rediscover this ancient art and its ability to help heal the root causes and symptoms of many different illnesses. Learn More About Spagyric Extraction.
“Alcohol in moderation: How many drinks is that?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 11 Dec. 2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/alcohol/art-20044551.
Kenner, Dan. “Spagyric medicine: Paracelsus’ ancient methods make 21st century comeback.” Holistic Primary Care, 1 Apr. 2003, https://holisticprimarycare.net/topics/vitamins-a-supplements/spagyric-medicine-paracelsus-ancient-methods-make-21st-century-comeback/.
Romeo, J., Wärnberg, J., Nova, E., Díaz, L., Gómez-Martinez, S., & Marcos, A. (2007). Moderate alcohol consumption and the immune system: A review. British Journal of Nutrition, 98(S1), S111-S115. doi:10.1017/S0007114507838049