Have you ever wanted to take an herb or supplement, but just found you couldn’t take it “as is”? Or, have you ever purchased ready made caplets, only to find you can make them yourself, much cheaper? Been there on both counts! I recently found The Capsule Machine, and have been loving it!
Here is the short story:
One of the herbs my family uses a good deal of is Valerian root powder. Valerian root powder is the powdered root of the Valerian flower – well, duh! (I heard that!). It is very effective, IMHO, at relaxing muscles and helping control pain, keeping me calm when the kids are driving me crazy, or just helping me stay “peaceful” when the world and all of its problems are just too much. But, if you’ve never experienced VRP, it smells REALLY bad; I mean, like, dirty socks three months old in the wet basement bad! I can’t imagine anyone taking this without help.
My help is in the form of making gel caplets, or “caplets” myself, in order to save money, and so that I can stand to take the things. As a warning, VRP should not be taken on an empty stomach; your tummy will not like it!
I purchase gelatin (vegetarian) gel caps at my local whole foods grocery; but you can also buy them from a number of online sources.
I started out filling these in just a styrofoam protector such as bullets get packed in for retail sale. I cut it in half and made two out of it; it actually worked fairly well, but it was a super messy job, in spite of using a dropper to fill them. A little too much pressure on a squirt, and what a mess!
Then I found capsule machines. They actually aren’t machines at all, and they apparently come in two (2) gelcap sizes; I bought the 00 size, having no idea what I was doing. Fortunately for me, it was the right size for the gel caps I had purchased. This little device did, indeed, make the job much faster and easier. Money well spent!
The “machines” typically come in a “box” of four separate parts:
- a base
- a hole-filled center part where you put the gel cap bottoms (the long part)
- the top, where you put the gel cap tops (the shorter part) and
- a tamper/lid you use to force the product well into the gel caps.
To use it, you simply:
- place part # 2 in part # 1 (the base)
- you fill all the holes in part # 2 with the bottoms (long part) of the gel caps
- after loading all the gel cap bottoms, you drop your powdered product in
- then use the tamper (part # 4) to push the powder down inside the caps
- When they are full enough to suit you, use part # 3, filled with the tops of the gel caps (short parts) by placing on top of part # 3 with filled bottoms, and gently pushing together.
- Then press on the tabs on either side of the top of part # and it will release all of the gel caps – do this over a clean paper plate so they don’t roll all over the place on you.
Because I’m cheap, I try to fill them as much as possible. You can use a 3×5″ card (or equivalent) to scrape off the excess.
I found it worked well to do this operation in a paper plate; that made it easy to pick up the paper plate, fold it in half (more or less), and pour the residue back in the container, to avoid waste.
Capsule machines can be purchased inexpensively, usually in the $20-25 neighborhood (check latest prices here). It is available in both “0 and “00” sizes, at this price; I have no idea what the zero size is for, other than a “different size” of gel cap.
So, is Valerian the only type of herb that I capsulize? No, I make different kinds of herbals using these gel caps; I just happened to need Valerian Root Powder caps on this day.
I hope you find this useful!
p.s. if you happen to be looking for Valerian root powder, you can snag some pretty high quality stuff on Amazon for fairly inexpensively.