You can use liquid herbal extracts or essential oils (but we do not recommend dried herbs). to make your suppositories.
The most important part of a suppository is the base: it should be solid at room temperature and melt at body temperature. You will keep your suppositories in the fridge or freezer until you need to use them anyway, but this solidity is a key attribute. You also want your base to be a non-irritant, since you are putting it directly on very delicate mucous membrane tissue that presumably already has issues and may be raw and irritated.
Actives: liquid herbs or essential oils, notes on dried herbs
When using herbal medicine in suppositories or pessaries, you need to use liquid herbal extracts or essential oils, not dried herb. Dried herbs will not work effectively, even if ground up finely, as the active constituents can’t be extracted from the herb with any speed or efficacy.
You should understand a bit about the herbs you are using before you put them in your vagina – not all herbs are as friendly as others, so do your homework. Dose also matters.
How to choose your suppository base – oil-soluble or water-soluble ingredients
Bases are typically oily (cocoa butter, coconut oil, Theobroma oil) which are used for fat-soluble ingredients and tannins, with cocoa butter very stable and best used with dried herbs – they can last for years. Bases that you dissolve water-soluble ingredients in include glycerin and gelatin. The properties you want from herbs, either in the liquid extraction (which uses alcohol to extract the key molecules) or essential oils, tend to be fat-soluble, so cocoa butter is a favourite.
If you don’t have any cocoa butter, you can easily make suppositories and pessaries with other oils, like coconut oil. If you are freezing the suppositories, many oils will suffice, but try to avoid poor-quality oils. Anything cold-pressed will do in a pinch. Coconut is cheap and fits the bill, so feel free to use this. Hunt around for organic cocoa butter – some places are charging a fortune unnecessarily.
Moulds to form suppositories
You can create moulds out of many things, including tin foil – there is no need to buy real plastic moulds, but it can make life easier. If you think you’ll be making suppositories in the future – which you probably will, let’s be real! – then investing in a good set of moulds can be useful.
If you just want to get the things made, you can make little suppository boats out of tin foil (aluminium foil) or fashion some other thing, like a small ice cube tray, into a mould. To make a mould out of tin foil, you can use your imagination – you can roll a fat pen in tin foil, fold over one end and keep it upright in a vase or other tall container. Using a funnel, when your mixture is ready, pour into the tin foil tube, and allow to cool. Once cooled, you can cut the tin foil tube with the hard oil inside of it into dose-sized pieces, storing them in the freezer.
Premade moulds are fast and neat, and can be made from stainless steel, silicone, or plastic. Egg-shaped works best for vaginas, while bullet-shaped works best for rectums.
Making a suppository
You’ll need your base of choice, dependent on your treatment, plus some oil to lube up the mould before you put the suppository liquid into them. Pour some in, then leave it upside down to drain, leaving just a thin coat.
- Combine herbs or oils, if using more than one.
- Melt cocoa butter over a very low temperature – you just need to melt it, not cook it.
- Slowly add herbs, stirring well – about 75 per cent cocoa butter to 25 per cent herb or essential oil is about right.
- If you are making suppositories for the rectum, about 1g total weight is right, whereas vaginal pessaries should be between 3-4g each.
- Pour into your moulds.
- Freeze or refrigerate
- Remove and if frozen, thaw a little bit before using, about 20 minutes to half an hour.