David Winston learned about Alchemical or Spagyric processing many years ago from a Dutch naturopath. “What he said made a lot of sense. I had heard people talk about ‘full spectrum’ extracts, but I questioned whether their products really met that description. Many herbs contain minerals that are a very important part of their activity.”
“For nettles, alfalfa, raspberry leaf, dandelion leaf or oat, minerals play a very significant role in their activity. I knew for a fact that water and especially hydro-alcoholic solutions are very poor methods for extracting minerals. I felt something was missing from the “full spectrum” concept and that it was the minerals.
“Alchemical processing gave me a way to include these essential nutrients into my tinctures, taking full advantage of the plant’s activity. After the herb is macerated in the extracting liquid (the menstruum), the used herb or marc is removed and then calcined, specifically burned and reduced to white ash. This white ash is pure minerals and almost all of it is soluble when it is added back into the tincture. To me that produces the finest, full-spectrum extract available.
“In addition, we have done scientific research to develop the best and most effective methods for extracting the unique constituents of each specific herb. This includes determining the correct percentages of organic alcohol, distilled water, and if needed, glycerin or vinegar for each menstruum. We also use traditional processes such as water decoction, hydrolyzation, wilting or acidification for certain herbs to enhance their extraction. This knowledge and attention to using whichever method yields the best activity from each individual plant is not common practice, but I could not do it any other way.”
The whole plant is always greater than the sum of its parts.