Tincture made by a process of hydro-ethanolic percolation, with a ratio of 1 part Fenugreek Seed to 3 parts liquid. Liquid comprises of 55% water and 45% sugar beet derived ethanol.
Fenugreek Seeds (Trigonella foenum-graecum) also known as Greek Hay and Greek Clover is a member of the bean family – Fabaceae. Today, seeds and fresh leaf shoots come only from cultivated plants. It has hairy, green and round stems with few leaf stalks and can grow to be about two feet tall (60 cm). It has trifoliate leaves and blooms white flowers tinged with violet in the early summer.
Today Fenugreek is widely grown in Argentina, France, India, North Africa, England and the United States.
Fenugreek is native to the Mediterranean countries and western Asia and is one of the oldest cultivated plants which has been used both as a medicine and a spice in Egypt, India and the Middle East. Fenugreek is one of the oldest medicinal plants known to man and has been used for hundreds of years both in Eastern and Western herbal medicine.
The seeds have a strong aroma, similar to maple syrup with a hint of celery and are collected when they are ripe, dried and used in decoctions, pastes, and powders.
Product is supplied in amber PET bottles with tamper evident screw tops. This keeps the contents fresh and protected from light. Look out for the QR code on the label - you can scan this with your smartphone to download the Certificate of Analysis document for this product.
What is a Tincture?
A herbal tincture is a concentrated extract of one or more herbs. The liquid in a tincture is a combination of alcohol and water. A tincture must contain at least 20% alcohol for preservation purposes. Alcohol concentrations tend to vary between 20% and 60%, but can be as high as 90% in some circumstances. At Herbal Apothecary we generally produce tinctures with alcohol concentrations of 25% - 45%. We use ethanol derived from sugar beat.
How Is A Tincture Made?
To produce the Trigonella foenum-graecum / Fenugreek Seed Tincture we combine a quantity of herb with a proportional amount of liquid. Depending on the herb and the strength of tincture required this ratio can be 1:2, 1:3 or 1:4. The herb, alcohol and water is placed in a production vessel suitable for the size of the batch.
Traditionally, tinctures have been made by a process of maceration. This is where the herb sits in the liquid and over a period of time the plant cells break down. This allows the plant matter to be released into the liquid. Occasionally the producer might agitate the mixture to help the process along.
At Herbal Apothecary we have spent decades improving our tincture production processes. We use a system called Hydro-Ethanolic Percolation. Percolation is where liquid slowly passes through the herb, from top to bottom. In our case, the liquid is not simply passed through the herb once and then collected. Instead, it is continually cycled through the herb. Hydro-Ethanolic Percolation is a combination of maceration and traditional percolation. The circulation of liquid through a spray head agitates the herb, helping the key chemical compounds to be released into the liquid.
Our production vessels are primarily stainless steel. We use low voltage (24v) pumps to circulate the liquid. We have also developed a system of float switches and relays. These ensure the pumps only activate when an adequate level of liquid is present in the sump at the bottom of the vessel. It can take some time for the liquid to filter through the herb.
We produce most of our tinctures using dried herbs, although we sometimes use fresh. It's important that the size of the pieces of herb in the production vessel are small enough for the alcohol to thoroughly penetrate. No prior processing is required for flowers and leaves which are smaller and more delicate. However, for roots, bark and berries which tend to be tougher and larger we use herbs which are diced up into small pieces. This ensures that the maximum amount of plant material can be extracted into the liquid.
The manufacturing process takes 7 days to complete. Once the process is finished, the herb is pressed to extract every last drop of precious liquid. The Trigonella foenum-graecum / Fenugreek Seed Tincture is filtered and then stored in bulk containers, before being bottled in smaller 250ml, 500ml and 1000ml quantities.
Click here if you'd like to know more about our herbal tincture manufacturing technology. At Herbal Apothecary we are committed to research - we want to provide a robust evidence base for the products we produce. As a result we review our manufacturing systems and processes in order to ensure we're making best use of the raw ingredients.