How to Make Your Own Herbal Capsule Supplements with Thomas Easley

Hi, my name is Thomas Easley I’m the director of the Electic School of Herbal Medicine and co-author of the Modern Herbal Dispensary and I’m here with Mountain Rose Herbs to talk about encapsulating herbs. So when we think about taking herbs we often think about extracts of teas: (decoctions, tinctures) and we sometimes forget that our digestive system does a really good job of pulling all the good stuff that its in plants out so that we can absorb it. Capsules are a convenient way to get powdered herbs into people and there are a few tips and tricks that I’m going to show you so that you can encapsulate your own herbs save a bit of money. First we have our capsule machine which has a base, a bottom, top, and a tamper. And we’re doing this in a dish because powder can be a little messy and we want to try to contain that mess so that we can reuse the power if it’s more than we can fit into one batch. So we’re going to take our bottom and put it onto our stand. Then, we’re going to take these gelatin capsules, they’re 00 capsules, which fit this particular encapsulator, and the long side is going to go into the bottom the short side is going to go into the top. So, we’re going to fill this up and, add our herbs. So, if we have our capsule machine filled with capsules of bottoms and tops, now we’re going to take our powdered herb and just fill the large side (the bottoms). And you won’t be able to get them all filled, so, the capsule machine comes with this convenient spreader actually labeled “spreader card” and I’m just going to kind of work the power back and forth so that it is evenly distributed. Then, we’re going to take our tamper, and we’re going to tamp down the capsules, pressing the powder in. We’re then going to work a little bit more powder where the empty space appeared as we compressed everything. We’re going to tamp down a couple of times until we feel like we get all of the space filled. Once we get it filled, we’re gonna take our whole card here and just sweep off our excess that we will reuse. Now, at this point you can fill the tops, but that kind of makes it difficult to press them out and they aren’t always even, so I don’t it wastes a little bit of space but makes it more convenient for the person hand-filling these. So we’re going to take the bottom off of the base, we’re going to add our top piece in and then there is a plastic piece on top that allows us to press the tops into the bottoms. And, when we feel like we’ve got a good compression, we take the top off and here is our packed capsules ready to go. Now, we have one more step though, because as we take these, one of the drawbacks to capsules is that you don’t taste the plant, and taste is a way that your body knows what’s coming it; helps prepare you for any food that you eat or any herb that you take, so what we’re going to do is we’re going to put our capsules into a jar, and another convenient part of the capsule machine is that you can just simply press the plastic and they come out pretty easy. Now, we’re gonna take just a pinch of the powder that came loose, and we’re just going to sprinkle it in so that when we give it a shake, all of the capsules are now coated with a fine dusting of the same plant that’s inside. When we taste that, our body knows what’s going to come next, and you’ll digest everything, and absorb all the good stuff from the herbs. So that’s an easy way to save money making your own capsules using the capsule machine. So here’s the list of some of my favorite herbs to use encapsulated.

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