Some things going on in the apothecary: Making a batch of an Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and herb based facial toner. The big jar is dried herbs from the garden soaking in unpasteurized ACV, including rose petals, lemon balm, calendula, chamomile and comfrey. After soaking, straining and some further additions, this vinegar makes an amazing tonic for the skin. ACV protects the skins pH balance; it contains beta-carotene, which counteracts damage caused by free radicals, giving us healthy skin; it has antiseptic and antibacterial properties which help protect our skin from pollution and harmful bacteria. You must be careful with this toner, however, it needs to be diluted! ACV straight on the skin can burn, and some people won’t be able to use an ACV toner at all. Dilute with at least half distilled water.
Next to it is an experiment of mine, an oxymel of Turkey Tail mushrooms (Trametes versicolor). Most medicinal mushroom extracts made by herbalists use a “dual extraction” process of boiling the mushrooms for a long time in water to extract the water soluble portions from mushrooms (mainly polysaccharides), followed up with an alcohol extraction of the solids (a tincture) to extract the compounds that are not water soluble. I don’t use booze in my practice, though, so I thought of trying out a mushroom oxymel (soaking in ACV & honey). There is not much literature on this, but I have found some research supporting the suitability of ACV for medicinal mushroom preparations. This will be a learning experience for me!