information on fermenting + medicinal/ culinary herbs
Does anyone have an idea about the safety and regulation issues of fermented herbs/botanicals? Afer fermentation, could a herb in GRAS list be still considered as a GRAS ingredient? What is FDA regulation in this field? Thanks. Alan
Hi Alan, thanks for your question. I believe it is a topic that the FDA has not considered yet. I have not seen any comments or rules regarding fermented botanicals. However, there are indeed fermented botanicals used in different alcoholic fermented beverages. It is a marketing thing, and the beer is marketed as beer, not as a medicine. Beers just need to prove their alcohol content, medicines need to demonstrate efficacy. In India, there are fermented herbal medicines for sale.
The question to me is, will fermentation make an herb more dangerous? I have heard yes, regarding the herb devil's club, from a friend. But other than that, not sure.
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Hi Ryan. I love your blog. it's great you experimenting with herbs, they are an amazing gift from our planet and we shuold all make the most of it!Now I'm thinking of fermenting Turmeric too. What I was thinking to do is to put it simply with sugar and let the lactic acid bacteria do a job.Just like making a ginger bug...Have you tired this way?
Hi Dobroslawa, I have tried it the way you are referring too. A quick google search on "making a ginger bug" will give lots of info. But anyway, it is certainly a way to ferment the turmeric with lactic acid bacteria. Since curcumin (potent antioxidant in turmeric) is not very water or acid soluble, much if it may remain in the actual pieces of turmeric. You might try to use those pieces in cooking, or perhaps dehydrating and grinding to take in a pill form, in addition to drinking the fermented liquid. Thanks for your question!