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Filling your own capsules

How Much Herb To Use

Packing Your Own Capsules

It is a definite advantage to learning how to pack your own capsules – I simply believe we should all learn how to, even if we still decide to buy pre-packaged formula. There are a few things to bear in mind when you undertake making your own herbal formula, including deciding on capsule size, how many capsules you want and how much herb you will need to fill those capsules. Hopefully this post will assist you in getting it done.

Some advantages:
  • Making your own capsules can yield quite a bit of savings
  • You know exactly what you’re getting
  • You can have the benefits of herbs without having to deal with the taste (some herbs, for example , Cascara Sagrada are quite bitter)
  • Even if you buy a capsule filling machine, you will be able to use it several times over so it will be well worth the investment

STEP 1.

(i). Determine which size capsule you want to use.
Each capsule size holds a different amount. You can choose based on comfort in terms of swallowing. Some people don’t like swallowing capsules or any type of pills – if that’s you start with a smaller size. For adults a comfortable size may be ‘0’, and size ‘1’ or ‘2’ for children. The larger the number, the smaller the capsule, therefore, size ‘2’ is smaller than size ‘1’.  See below figure:

Figure 1

capsule sizes
Capsule sizes

(ii). Determine how much your capsule will hold
Now that you have determined the size of the capsule you want to take, use the table below to give you an approximate of how each capsule holds.

Capsule Sizes

000

00

0

1

2

3

4

1. Weight
Vegetarian Capsules
Average Weight (mg)  163 136 105 79 63 50  40
tolerance ± 10 ± 7 ± 6 ± 5  ± 4  ± 3  ± 3
2. Capacity
Volume Capacity (ml) 1.37 0.95 0.68 0.48 0.36 0.27 0.20
Powder Density Weight Capacity (mg)    
0.6 g/ml 822 570 408 288 216 162 120
0.8 g/ml 1096 760 544 384 288 216 160
1.0 g/ml 1370 950 680 480 360 270 200
1.2 g/ml 1644 1140 816 576 432 324 240

Note: Usually I use the second row figures (in bold) in estimating the amount of herbs needed; most herbs should be approximately this weight range.

STEP 2.

Decide how many capsules do you want to make?
Do you want 50, 100 or 200 capsules or maybe less, maybe more?

STEP 3.

Determine the quantity of herbs you will need to buy based on the capsule size and how many capsules you want to fill.

Herbs have differing weight capacity. Some herbs are lighter, especially when we are dealing with leaves; while some can weigh more, especially in the case of barks and roots and even types of barks and roots. Often we have to work with estimates, especially when we are combining several herbs with different weight density in one capsule.

For example, to fill 100 size 0 capsule with dandelion root or turmeric only you will average about 54 grams of herbs (approx. 2 ounces); but what if you are combining 5 herbs (consisting of herbs, barks,roots and leaves)?

In the below table I have calculated an approximate of how much of each individual herb you will need (in mg) when using 1 or up to 10 different herbs in one capsule (assuming herbs are used in equal proportions).

 Capsule Sizes

000

00

0

1

2

3

4

Estimated Capacity 1096(mg) 760(mg) 544(mg) 384(mg) 288(mg) 216(mg) 160(mg)
1 herb 1096 760 544 384 288 216 160
2 herbs 548 380 272 192 144 108 80
3 herbs 365.3 253.3 181.3 128 96 72 53.3
4 herbs 274 190 136 96 72 54 40
5 herbs 219.2 152 108.8 76.8 57.6 43.2 32
6 herbs 182.7 126.7 90.7 64 48 36 26.7
7 herbs 156.6 108.6 77.7 54.9 41.1 30.9 22.9
8 herbs 137 95 68 48 36 27 20
9 herbs 121.8 84.4 60.4 42.7 32 24 17.8
10 herbs 109.6 76 54.4 38.4 28.8 21.6 16

Using 1 herb

If for example you decide to make 100 size 0 capsules of dandelion herb. Each capsules holds about 544mg; therefore to find out approximately how much herb you need to start with:

Multiply the capacity of the individual capsule by the number of capsules you wish to fill.

544mg x 100 = 54400mg
54.4g

You would need approximately 54g of herb to make 100 size 0 capsule.

Note: 1000mg = 1g, therefore 54400mg = 54.4g [54400/1000]

Using 2 herbs

If you will be combining 2 herbs (in equal portions):
54.4g / 2 = 27.2g each

You would need approximately 27.2g of each herb to make 100 size 0 capsules.

Using 3 herbs

If you will be combining 3 herbs (in equal portions):
54.4g / 3 = 18.1g each

You would need approximately 18.1g of each herb to make 100 size 0 capsules.

Using 4 herbs

If you will be combining 4 herbs (in equal portions):
54.4g / 4 = 13.6g each

You would need approximately 13.6g of each herb to make 100 size 0 capsules.

Using 5 herbs

If you will be combining 5 herbs (in equal portions):
54.4g / 5 = 10.9g

You would need approximately 10.9g of each herb to make 100 size 0 capsules.

Using 6 herbs

If you will be combining 6 herbs (in equal portions):
54.4g / 6 = 9.1g

You would need approximately 9.1g of each herb to make 100 size 0 capsules.

Using 7 herbs

If you will be combining 7 herbs (in equal portions):
54.4g / 7 = 7.8g

You would need approximately 7.8g of each herb to make 100 size 0 capsules.

NOTE

There will always be some minor variation between capsules and the results of this kind of weighing will not be totally  accurate, however this provide fairly reasonable estimates of how much herb you might need.

You can use the  converter at the right sidebar to assist  with further calculations.

You may also be interested in these videos:

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