Fill Your Own Capsules

Save Money. Live Healthier.

Multi-Ingredient Capsule Formulation Calculator

UPDATE:  I’m so sorry, but the calculator isn’t working.  I’ve used 3 different professionals to help with the coding to no avail.  I spent so many hours designing the formula for this calculator, it’s very disappointing!

Did you know that some popular brand supplements contain added fillers or ingredients from sketchy places?  Some are certified clean, but then they can be really expensive.  You can easily copy a commercially available supplement by using your own bulk herb powders.  Bulk herbs are readily available online in a number of places.  You can buy them by the ounce or pound.  If you can’t find powder form, try grinding them in a coffee grinder or something similar.

Creating Your Recipe

 Whether you’re creating your own blend or copying a brand, it’s helpful to know how many milligrams of each herb are in each capsule.   One way to do it is to mix all your herbs together in a ratio that you think works, then when all your capsules are made, just perform some slightly complicated math.  It’s difficult to be accurate this way, to say the least.

In an effort to help you calculate your recipe, I developed a ONE-OF-A-KIND calculator that does the math for you!   recipes for milligram-specific, multi-ingredient supplements. 

Enter up to 8 Ingredients and even specify each ingredient’s unique density for added accuracy. Choose your capsule size and the amount of capsules you wish to make. Adjust your ingredient ratios and this calculator will do all the figuring for you and tell you exactly how much of each ingredient you’ll need to combine to make the perfect formula for your supplement needs.

Added bonus: Recipes are printable and can be customized with the ingredient names!

Build a Capsule Counting Tray – Tutorial

Build a Capsule Counting Tray – Tutorial

An Inexpensive & Accurate Way to Count Capsules

 

Years ago in the bulk herb retail business, I decided to start selling empty capsules.  Buy in bulk, count some capsules, package them, and ship ’em out.  It would be easy!  I would sell in bags of 100 or 500 and I wanted my counting method to be accurate.

I lined up Dixie cups in rows of 10 and would put 10 capsules in each cup.  This method works great when you have A LOT of distractions around you.  If you can’t go to the count of ten without a child calling your name or a text coming in, then the cup method is a godsend.  If you lose count, it’s so easy to count to 10 again for that cup.    Imagine you’re up to like 88 and you lose count, how frustrating!  After this happens a few times, you’ll never enjoy the process of counting capsules again.  Thank you cup method!

 

But There Was Still Counting Involved, There Had to be a Better Way

 

Counting capsules is time consuming.  Repeating the process multiple times is even worse!  At one point, I even looked into capsule counting machines to try and reduce the monotony.  They range from $20 for the paddle type, to thousands of dollars for gigantic stainless steel machines.  At that point in my career, spending money was not an option, I had to figure something out that could be accurate and easy to use, so I came up with the drinking straw method.  Basically, you glue parallel straws to a tray to use as guardrails, to separate rows of capsules, making counting quick and easy.

When complete, all I had to do was dump a large handful of capsules onto the tray, wiggle it back and forth a little, and slide the unused capsules back into their bag.  No more counting, but just a little multiplication.  11 capsules in a row  x  9 rows  equals  99 capsules in my tray. Then I would pour them into ziplock-type bags with a few extra capsules for good luck and send them out to my customers.  Packaged beautifully, of course!

Your tray size will vary depending on the box you use to make it, so I’m not going to tell you how many capsules you’ll be able to count with your counting tray.  The bigger the box, the more straws you can fit.  The longer the straws, the more capsules you’ll fit in a row.  The more rows, yada yada yada, you get the idea.

For longer straws, just butt your straws up against each other, aligning them end-to-end.  There’s really no limit to the amounts of capsules you could count by adjusting the width and depth of your tray.

 

On to the tutorial….

 

Choosing Your Tray

 

My very first capsule counting tray was actually made using an upside down, small, lightweight, wooden Ikea drawer, 12″ x 18″.  I hot glued the drinking straws down, after some trial and error with capsule width tests.  It turned out to work perfectly!  I used it for months, then I decided to just sell larger quantities of capsules and switched to different methods entirely.

Cardboard works great and is super easy to work with.

 

Banker’s box lids are actually perfect.  They have a nice lip/edge around them so when you shake your capsules, they stay on the tray.  They are usually always smooth on the inside.  You NEED a flat surface for this to work, so the capsules can freely glide and slide down the rows to neatly line up for counting and multiplying.

 

 

Other Materials You Could Use

If you can’t find a banker’s box lid, the lid from a case of copy paper will work as a quick substitute.   The lid from those snap together file boxes works too.  Some storage containers in your home might come with a rectangular or square lid with a good edge around it.  Often, after you glue your straws down to the lid, you can keep it stored on whatever container it came from when not in use.  I love space-saving ideas!

If you’re still struggling for a good tray idea, how about a shirt box and/or its lid?  Like the kind that you get around Christmas time from the stores for gift wrapping.

 

Keep the Sides Narrow, But Not Too Low

 

If the sides are too high, they interfere with any hand-arranging/fixing you may need to do to the capsules, making it much harder to work inside.  If the sides are too low, the capsules will tumble off the sides as you wiggle the tray back and forth to settle them in place.

For Goldilocks to have her box just right, she decided to make it herself:

 

 

Cutting the box’s height before it is assembled is much easier than cutting down an already assembled box.  A height of 2-3 inches should work well.

With this particular box, I was able seal the flaps in the opposite manner in which they’re supposed to go.  This created a flat working surface inside the box.  With an already assembled box, you may need to cut the tape, open the flaps and reset them for a smooth working surface.

 

 

To keep the surface smooth, you could glue down some paper, use aluminum foil, or place contact paper over the surface.  This part is totally optional, but it does help with smoothing an uneven surface.

I also opened up one edge of the box to allow the unused capsules an easy way out and to help when releasing the counted capsules.

 

Selecting the Drinking Straws

 

Most straws come in lengths between 7 and 9 inches and they come in varying widths.  I’ve tried the wider straws and they do not work as well.  The more thin or narrow the straw, the better it will work for lining up your capsules.

Flexible straws will not work well in this application either because consistently straight lines are necessary, but if that’s all you have, they can be easily modified to work.  Cut them just below the flexible part, a straight cut is best.  Discard the flexible part or find something fun to do with them.  If your straws are now too short, take another straw (or piece) and butt it up against the first one.  That is why a straight cut is nice.

 

 

Either paper or plastic straws will work fine for this project, but be sure to choose a complimentary adhesive for the two surfaces.

 

Speaking of Adhesive

Glue guns are one of my favorite inventions.  I choose mine over household glue 9 times out of 10, so whenever I have a glue-able moment, a glue gun is my go-to item.  That being said, it’s not so great with this project UNLESS you are really good at being precise and not messing up, like at all.   Because hot glue, now cold, does not clean up easily, especially in a small space, such as between delicately-placed straws.

Your straws need close-to-exact parallel alignment.  You want your capsules to be able to slide easily up and down the channels between the rows.  This makes the lineup and release go smoothly.  If there are any hot glue remnants in the channels, the capsules will get hung up and mess up the process.  If you’re going this route regardless, hold your straws vertically, instead of the natural instinct of horizontal, when applying the glue.  This way when the glue runs a little, it will run along the bottom of the straw and not encroach up the sides of the straw, which would again, impede the sliding capsules.

Also, if using a glue gun, a contact paper surface will clean up better than a cardboard surface, making it a little easier to work with.

Alternately, you could place the straws onto a very thin line of hot glue.  That would make for a very clean process.  The caveat is you need to pre-plan your line placement and draw them in place.  I will not go into the logistics of that here because it varies for different size straws and capsule sizes and it’s kind of a pain in the neck.  If you don’t mind doing that kind of thing, your capsule counter is going to be nicer and more well made than mine.

 

Slower Than Hot Glue, but Easier to Work With

 

A tacky glue can work perfectly in this project.  It’s like an Elmer’s white glue, but thicker and dries a bit faster.  If you have a favorite glue you like to work with, then have at it.  It doesn’t really matter except faster setting is advantageous.  Also, if using a white glue, you will need more spacers to keep the straws from rolling back before they’re the glue’s completely set.

 

Now Begin

 

Start by gluing your first straw against one side of the tray.  Use AAA batteries to space your straws and continue gluing.

 

To Make Your Rows Longer

 

It’s so easy to cut and glue a few more pieces of straw and line them up end to end.

By the way, if you’re wondering about the straws I used, I found them on Amazon.  They are paper straws, but are extremely stiff and super-easy to work with.  I couldn’t resist the fun assortment of patterns!

 

To Use Your Capsule Counting Tray

 

Simply dump a small pile of capsules onto the tray, like so..

 

 

Wiggle the unit from side to side so capsules can jump the straws to find a vacant spot.

 

 

 

Continue to gently shuffle it until they fall into place.  Push off the excess capsules.

When you’re done, capsules slide out easily because of the flap.

 

 

This tray that I made will fit 90 size 000 capsules, a 90-day supply.  It was loaded, shaken, and cleared in well under a minute without any counting!  A great time saver for a monotonous job.

Herbal Nootropic Brain Enhancing Formula

Herbal Nootropic Brain Enhancing Formula

 

Boost your brain power, wake up your senses, and give your brain the high quality, herbal nutrition that it needs to function at maximum capacity. You’ll be able to make over a year’s supply with this recipe, saving big money from your usual name brand supplements. Filling your own capsules is easy to do and certainly worth your time.

 

Materials

 

 

Tools

 

  • Capsule Filling Machine (optional)
  • Mixing bowl

 

Instructions

 

Blend the three herbal powders together. Stir slowly with a spoon or spatula to reduce dust.

If you notice any powders clumping, pass the powder through a sifter or strainer.

Fill your size 00 capsules to capacity. This can be done by hand or with a capsule filling machine.

Finished 00 capsule approximate mg:

Lion’s Mane Extract – 225 mg

Gingko Biloba Extract – 200 mg,

Bacopa Monnieri – 200 mg,

How to Use the Plexiglass 100-Hole Capsule Filling Machine

How to Use the Plexiglass 100-Hole Capsule Filling Machine

 

For lack of a better name, I am calling this capsule filler the Plexiglass Filler because of the material it is made of.   This filling machine is available on Amazon, eBay, and I also saw it on AliExpress.  It’s constructed of Plexiglass sheets and manufactured in China.  It’s available under a few different brand names, the one I purchased was a Dailyloop.  I’ve also seen it branded as Keenso, Nukraft, and Yuuu.  It can be found in 100-hole and 187-hole and for capsule sizes 2, 1, 0, 00, and ooo.

The instructions that are included are fairly clear, with small photographs to guide you.  I actually needed a magnifying glass to see them clearly.  If you follow their instructions to the letter, you may run into some problems.  That’s why I’m breaking it down, step by step, and showing you how to improve your technique for this specific machine.   If you follow my recommendations, the capsule filling process will go faster and with much less mess.

 

Familiarize Yourself With the Parts

 

To help reduce any confusion,  my very first recommendation is to label or number the parts as you set up the machine.  Here’s an image from the manufacturer to assist you.  

 

 

Now although they provide a photo of the parts, it is still confusing because at first glance, the parts look pretty similar.  I’m going to help you identify them and set up.

 

Part #1 Body Plate:

This is the layer that is made with 2 pieces that are attached to each other with springs.  This is your base where the filling action happens.  It holds the capsule body, which is the larger, bottom piece of the capsule.

 

Part #2 Cap Plate:

This piece looks like some others.  Identify it by the metal bolts in each corner.  It will hold the caps of your capsules (the top, smaller piece).

 

Part #3 Director Plate:

This piece is distinguishable by the shallow sides that surround it.  This is used as an insertion guide for the capsules and with my tip later, you’ll see how it can be used to reduce the mess.

Part #4 Middle Plate:

This piece, which looks like some of the others, can be identified by the grooves that have been shaved from 2 edges. Make sure the grooves are facing up.

 

Part #5  The Tamper

The instructions call it the temper.  This is the piece with 100 little pegs.  It is used to pack the powder down into the capsule, so you can fit more.  Mine came packaged with the handle unattached.  The screws are already in place, so you just have to remove and reinsert them to screw the handle down with a Phillips screwdriver.

 

Part #6 The Spreader

This the white plastic tool that you use to smear the powder around with.  You will use this to load the capsules with the powder.

 

Again, I am going to recommend that you label these pieces before you start.  You can use a Sharpee Marker, an erasable marker, sticker labels, or as some recommend, carving the numbers permanently, so that they don’t wash off.  Either way, after you’ve identified and organized all your parts, you’re ready to move to the next step.

 

Set Up Your Workspace

 

In working with this particular machine, I’ve concluded that it is one of the messiest capsule fillers I’ve ever used.  That’s not to say it can’t be somewhat contained, following my tips should help with that.

Get a large, plastic or silicone place mat or tray to work on.  You could even spread out a small newspaper.

 

Gather the following parts:

 

Part #1 Body Plate
Part #2 Cap Plate
Part #3 Director Plate

Align and place Part #3 on top of Part #1.

 

Preparing Your Empty Capsules

 

This part can go one of two ways….

Situation A:   In an ideal world, you would have known to purchase separated capsules.  The tops and the bottoms of the capsules come packaged separately and are ideal for use in the Plexiglass Filling Machine.  If you have these, congratulations, you get to skip down to the part that says Loading Your Pre-Separated Capsules.

Situation  B:  Just like most of us, you have the capsules that come assembled.  These are the most common types of capsules available and chances are, that’s what you’re using today.  If that’s the case, you get to do an extra step.  You will have to separate your capsules before you go any further.  But don’t separate them just yet!

Let me just explain a little about the process of loading capsules before we begin.  Ideally, you would just dump a bunch of capsule bottoms onto the Director Plate, shake it around a bit, and the capsules would fall into the holes, you than discard the excess.  My first time using this machine, I separated 100 capsules and then poured them over the holes and shook it.  It took FOREVER to get the bottoms to fall into the holes.  This is because it is meant to be used with a giant scoop of capsule bottoms, it seems that the over-abundance of pieces helps them fall in.  Without this abundance, the process doesn’t work properly and is a huge time waster.  You would probably have to separate 300 capsules to get this affect and that seems like an even bigger time waster to me.

 

The Quickest Way to Load Pre-Assembled Capsules

 

This might sound counter-productive, but I recommend that you separate and then load each capsule one at a time.   Yes, I know this sounds like more work.  It did to me too, but I timed it and this way is definitely more efficient.  The process is actually very easy.

Place the Part #1/Part #3 combo near your left hand and place the Part #2 near your right hand.  When you first pick up the capsule, feel for the ridge and align the capsule in your fingers so that the large part is on the left side and the smaller, top, is on the right side.  With a horizontal action,  pull the capsule apart.  With your left hand, place the larger piece of capsule in the first hole of the Director Plate.  With your right hand, place the smaller piece of capsule in the first hole of the #2 Cap Plate.  My estimate is that it would take between 1 and 2 seconds to do each capsule.  On average, it should take you about 2 minutes.

 

Loading Your Pre-Separated Capsules

If you are loading bulk separated capsules, you’ve got it a little easier.  Dump a cup or two of capsule bottoms onto the Director Plate.  Cover the side opening with your hand and shake the machine back and forth to allow the capsules to fall into the holes.  When it looks like you’re done, uncover the side opening and pour the excess pieces back into your container.

Now you have to visually inspect the holes to make sure they are all filled with capsule bottoms that there aren’t any double-stacked.  This part is a little tricky because if you’re using clear capsules, they are hard to see.

Next, align the #3 Director Plate over the #2 Cap Plate and gently push and join them together.  Repeat what you just did with the bases, but do it with the tops.  Pour a generous amount of tops onto the Director Plate, cover the side opening with your hand and agitate them from side to side until they fall into their holes.  Dump out the excess and visually inspect for any missing or double pieces.  Set this aside when you’re done. 

 

 

 

Filling Your Capsules

 

After some trial and error, I decided to modify the manufacturer’s instructions.  They tell you to pour the powder over the capsules in the Body Plate and spread it around.  Do this and you will regret it.  Without any sides to contain the powder, you are unable to get any volume with which to push it down.  It pours over the sides and creates the most unevenly packed capsules I’ve ever seen.

 

Instead, modify the process by having the Director Plate on top of the Body Plate.  Now you will have the ability to push the powder down more evenly and efficiently.  The included powder spreader will NOT work during this part, it is too big.  Use a stiff card or do what I did, fold the instructions in thirds, and use that.

 

 

After you’ve spread and pushed the powder down into the holes, clean the excess off of the surface

 

 

Next, remove the #3 Director Plate.  Press the remaining powder into the holes, clean off the excess, and use the tamper.  When new space is freed up in the capsule, you can add a more powder to maximize your capsule’s capacity.  You can see a demonstration in this video:

 

Now it’s Time to Cap Them

I have a love-hate relationship with this process.  I love the ability to place 100 caps at a time, what a great invention!  On the other hand, it just never seems to go smoothly.  Maybe I’ll get better after a few more rounds with this machine and maybe you’ll have better luck than me.  However, I have found that every time I use this machine, some tops don’t click on the bases, some capsules get crushed, some bottoms get smushed if I push too hard, and some capsules get stuck in the holes and they’re difficult to remove.

To begin the capping process, pick up Part #4, the Middle Plate, make sure the grooves are facing upwards, and place it carefully on top of Part #2 the Cap Plate.  Part #4’s job is to hold the caps in place because you are about to carefully pick up those two pieces, keeping them together, and gently flip them upside down.  Align and place them on top of the capsules you just filled.  Press it down, gently at first, to get a feel for it.  You are in the process of putting the caps on now, so if you push too hard, you run the risk of crunching the bottoms of the capsule bases.  If you are too rough, you risk cracking the edges of any misaligned caps.  If you press too lightly, the caps might not click-lock onto their bases.   Here’s the process:

 

 

Results will vary, but here’s mine:

 

 

I needed tweezers to get a couple of damaged and stuck capsules out of the holes, but overall, it did the job.  I’ve seen videos where people have gotten better results than me, so keep your hopes up.  If you can master this Plexiglass capsule filling machine, you could really same a ton of money making supplements.

Copycat Capsule Recipe – Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium 100mg

Copycat Capsule Recipe – Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium 100mg

 

Learn How to Save Big Money on Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium Glycinate Lysinate 100 mg.

 

Doctor’s Best Magnesium supplement is the best selling magnesium supplement on the market today.  Customers boast about how effective it is. You can check out the reviews on Amazon and see for yourself.  The reviewers there are highly informed and provide an abundance of useful information about this supplement.  Conversely, many reviewers complain about the gigantic size of the Doctor’s Best Magnesium tablets.  I even saw the word ginormous used a few times.  Luckily, you’re going to learn how to solve this problem today.

Magnesium glycinate is commonly taken to help with osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.  It’s a wonderful form of magnesium, but since it is best taken daily, the price can add up to $100 a year.  If that’s the only supplement you’re taking, that’s not so bad.  But if you’re like most people, you could be buying a dozen different supplements and these costs can really add up.

By filling your own capsules with magnesium glycinate lysinate, you can save a whole bunch of money and actually get a better quality product than Doctor’s Best.  Filling your own capsules is not complicated and you can learn everything you need to know about it here on this blog.

 

 

BETTER Formula and Cheaper!

 

 

 

 

I’ll show you how to get the same dosage of magnesium glycinate without all the fillers and for a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the size!

 

The main ingredient in Doctor’s Best Magnesium is magnesium glycinate, but there’s a lot of other stuff in there too.  I’m not saying that it’s bad stuff, but these are pills, not capsules.  Pill manufacturing requires these extra starches, fillers, and coatings in order to produce the product.  You can, however, skip all that extra stuff and just take pure magnesium glycinate in capsules that you fill yourself.

Another benefit worth mentioning is that without the fillers, these will be much easier to swallow!  The Doctor’s Best pills are large.

 

 

 

Let’s see what ingredients we will need…

 

Oh, this is going to be easy. To make our new and improved formula, we’re only going to need one ingredient, the magnesium.  I easily found it on Amazon here.

This is the same type of magnesium used in the Doctor’s Best formula.  This bag holds 500 mg, which is about a pound, and will be enough to make 1250 capsules. You’ll probably never need to make that many, so you’re going to have about 2/3 of the bag left.  See if any of your friends would like to share the bag with you.

 

 

Let’s Do Some Some Calculating

I had some choices with choosing a capsule size.  If I was to create a capsule with only 100 mg in it, similar to the Doctor’s Best pills, it would so tiny, (size 4 or 5) I wouldn’t be able to use a manual capsule filling machine.  Filling them by hand is NOT an option for me, I don’t have that kind of time or patience.

I made an executive decision and chose to do an entire daily dose in one simple capsule.  A size 1 capsule will do the job perfectly by holding approximately 400 mg.

 

Materials You Will Need

 

 

Total cost to make year’s worth of capsules: $26

 

I didn’t include the cost of a capsule filling machine because you might already have one.   You can pick one up for around $20 and use it for all the new supplements you’re going to make!

 

Not Too Much Time or Effort Needed

Many of the new generation capsule fillers that you can find on Amazon let you fill 100 capsules at a time.  When you’ve gotten comfortable with the machine, you will be able to do a batch 5 minutes.  In about a half an hour you could have all the capsule filling said and done.  A year’s supply!

The more manual filler types, like The Capsule Machine or the Cap M Quik, would take you about 45 minutes, but that’s if you wanted to do all 365 caps in one sitting.

 

Don’t Be Afraid

First time capsule filling can be messy and daunting, but don’t let that deter you.   You will get comfortable with it in no time.  Watch a YouTube video for guidance, there’s lots of them there.  Good luck & Enjoy!