If you’re spending too much money on herbal supplement capsules at the health food store, try making your own! With some very simple equipment, powdered herbs and about an hour, you can make a stash of supplement capsules that will help you stay healthy.
Want to learn more about herbal medicine this year? What a great goal! Let The Herbal Academy help you out with their online learning programs. The kids and I are working our way through their beginner course and it’s amazingly full of information, recipes and resources. To get you started, The Herbal Academy is offering a free beginner course through the month of January. Click below to learn more
Can I Really Make My Own Supplement Capsules?
First off, I want to say that this is not rocket science.
It never occurred to me that I could make my own herbal supplement capsules because herbal supplements are things that come from the health food store. They’re supposed to cost way more than I can afford, right? And if I don’t invest these supplement capsules, I suspect I’m going to die young. Besides, the packaging is pretty and looks uber-healthy, so I’ll be stuck buying supplement capsules forever.
Well, guess what? I’ve learned to skip the health food store for my herbal supplement capsules and make my own. And you can, too. You can, too, when you learn the secrets of DIY Supplement Capsules. To learn more about easy herbs to use and grow, check out our e-book below:
Why DIY Supplement Capsules
- It ends up being cheaper if you take herbal supplements every day or want to make your own herbal medicines
- You can formulate them yourself to fit your body’s needs
- You’re a backyard homesteader and DIYer, and you’re always looking to eliminate the middle man
In the time it takes to watch a movie, you can get yourself set up for the month. Or even a few months, depending on how fast you can encapsulate and watch Lizzie verbally lambast Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. Or whatever it is you choose to watch. Not everyone is a Jane Austen fan. I don’t judge.
Remember that the information in this article is not meant to diagnose or contradict anything your chosen medical professional has directed you to do. Do your own research and act responsibly.
What kind of equipment do I need?
Anyone who can swallow a pill, can take these herbal supplement capsules. You will need some equipment:
- encapsulating machine
- big bowl
- canning funnel
- mason jar – or something to put your completed pills into
- filtered face mask – this is technically optional but if you’re doing anything with cayenne, for example, you will really, really, really want one
The kits come with all the parts you’ll need for filling the capsules EXCEPT the capsules themselves. Make sure you order the right size capsules to fit your machine. I repeat, make sure your capsules fit your machine.
Two Sizes to Choose From
There are two sizes of capsules to choose from and, therefore, two sizes of machine.
The “00” size capsule holds about 735 mg of material
And the “0” size holds about 500 mg of material, according to The Capsule Connection.
You can order your machine and capsules from them or you can buy them from Amazon – the price is about the same-ish.
Little kids can have a hard time with the larger pills and they don’t need as high an herbal dose, so you can use the smaller pills for them successfully. Be sure your child can swallow a pill comfortably before making up a big batch of herbal supplements for them. If they can’t, make them a tincture, instead. An adult can ingest smaller capsules, too, of course – the adult just takes more of them.
The process of DIY Supplement Capsules
You may want to put a towel underneath your project area to catch fly away herbal material and to protect from any staining.
The first thing you’ll need, apart from your supplies, is a handsome helper. This is actually a great thing for responsible kids to do. Even my five year old can meaningfully contribute to this project! Kids little hands are perfect for completing step one.
- Split your capsules in halves and putting the bottom, larger end in your capsule base (the one with the holes). Put the top halves in the top part of your capsule base (it also has holes, but its not as thick).
2. Double check that all your holes are filled on both halves of the machine. You can shift their positions until you see light reflected in the bottom of the capsules halves. If you try to put a half into an already occupied space, there should be a great deal of resistance and you’ll know that one is already filled.
To Finish Your Herbal Supplement Capsules
Finishing up your herbal supplement capsules is actually kind of fun!
- Once you’ve tamped down all the herbal powder and the bottom end of the capsule is full, take the top part of the machine that has the top part of your supplement capsules in it.
- Flip it over so the capsules tops and bottoms are matched up and settle the top down over the bottom like a bowler cap on a fat head. Then, push it down securely. With both hands. Be the boss. Push until you’re confident the two halves are secured together – you can kind of feel it. Its very Zen.
- Take the top part of the machine off and all the tops of your capsules should be secured to your bottoms. Ha, that was a funny sentence to type.
- Flip the machine over at this point and push on the bottom, which releases a lever that pops the capsules out into your waiting bowl.
- Take each one and give them a push on the head to further lock the capsule parts together. That can be an important step if you plan to travel with the capsules. They can pop apart if you don’t lock them manually. You can feel it click so you know when they’re secure.
- After that, just plunk them into a jar and label it. You really want to make sure you don’t forget that part. Ask me how I know that’s important.
Some Combinations to Try for Supplement Capsules
There are a lot of great combination and recipes you can make with your herbal supplement capsules. I like to encapsulate turmeric and ground up rose hips, and take one or two every day. The rose hips have lots of vitamin C and the turmeric is great for inflammation.
For a few more ideas, read this post.
Like I said, if you want lots and lots of ideas, be sure to sign up for one of the online courses at The Herbal Academy. Don’t worry, they have a fabulous beginner course for people who are very new to herbs. They also have advanced courses for those who have some experience with herbs. Click below for more information:
Grinding Herbs for Supplement Capsules
You can buy powdered herbs. However, if you have whole, dried herbs, you can use a mortar and pestle and feel very old fashioned. Hey, it’s a tool that works in any age!
If you’re grinding a lot of material, though, doing it manually can get tedious. Keeper of the Home has a quick article on various uses for your coffee grinder and grinding herbs is one of those uses. You can also grind a lot of materials in your blender or food processor.
I wouldn’t recommend grinding roots unless you have a really powerful blender like a Vitamix, though. The smaller the pieces, the less the machine has to work so see if you can pre chop your herbs. Always use dried herbs for this project. I repeat, always use dried herbs to make your supplements.
If you’d like to know more about planting a medicinal herb garden, just visit this link.
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Cover graphic gratefully attributed to this Wikipedia Commons user.