In the most practical sense, this plays out really simply. You go into your garden or out in the forest and collect your desired plant material. As soon as possible that specimen is collected in a large vessel and set to fermentation. The plant dissolves into its primordial goo and the principles in the form of Mercury and Sulfur are released into solution while the Salt constitutes the plant body that remains intact.
Through the traditional Spagyric anatomy this ‘mash’ would be distilled to separate and yield the Mercury and Sulfur principles which will be driven off at different temperatures. The material left over would then be calcined and leached of its Salts.
For practical purposes in working with plant material, especially ones rich in volatiles, the following method is more suited for a proper separation:
Instead of starting the process with fermentation, the material will be initially distilled through steam or hydro distillation depending on what you are processing. This yields an essential oil from the plant while a handful of the fresh material is set aside. Once the Sulfur principle is attained in the form of a pure essential oil, and subsequently separated from its hydrosol, it is set aside and periodically burped to ensure maturation.
Next, the material that has been distilled is placed into a fermentation flask. The handful of fresh material set aside in the previous step is now added to the rest of the material and it is all covered with water, including the water left over from the distillation. Save the hydrosol separately as that is can be used in crystallizing mineral salts which we will discuss shortly.