Grinding up herbs.
Subject: Re: Powdering Herbs
From: Sam Wigand <sam.wigand.demon.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997 21:35:08 +0000
>Any helpful hints for powdering herbs? I'm attempting to make capsules of Echinacea and have torn up my fingers! I'm assuming I need something other than a mortar and pestle?
I find that 3 passes through a Retsch Ultra Centrifugal Mill impact grinder running at 20,000rpm with, in succession, a 1.5mm, 0.75mm and 0.5mm sieve does the job beautifully for small scale (Cottage Industry) production.
Seriously though, a good quality coffee grinder as found in many catering establishments will handle most herbs OK. You may find that very fibrous herbs or very oily/resinous seeds may clog the grinding surfaces very quickly (astragalus membranaceus - Huang Qi - is the worst).
Lastly, take care grinding any herbs that contain light essential oils - the heat from the grinder may evaporate them. I've ruined the odd Kilogram of Grade A Vietnamese cinnamon that way. Feed the mill slowly and let it cool frequently.