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How to Fill Gelatin Capsules Without a Machine

Updated March 28, 2017

Gelatin capsules dissolve easily, allowing their contents to be absorbed quickly into the body or bloodstream. Many vitamins and herbal supplements use gelatin capsules as their holding vessels. In mass production, a special filling machine is used to pack the powered contents into the capsules. If you want to pack your own capsules, perhaps to make your own vitamins or herbal remedies, you may find hand-packing a better and less expensive option. A common technique, known as the "punch" method, is typically used by pharmacists.

Wear thin medical gloves during the filling process. Fill the capsules in an as near to sterile environment as possible, by thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces that the capsules or contents will touch.

Scoop up some of the substance to be encapsulated into one side of the gelatin cap. Place the opposite end of the capsule into the substance and scoop up some of the powdered contents as you move it toward the first, filled end of the capsule.

Push the two capsule ends together. There is a larger diameter side and a narrower side. They are designed to fit snugly together in an overlapping fashion.

Push the two ends together, letting some of the substance act as a natural lock on the two capsule ends. Due to the tight space between the capsule ends, if a little of the filling substance gets stuck between them, it will only secure the capsule.

Things You'll Need

  • Thin medical gloves (latex or non-latex depending on allergies)
  • Weight balance scale (optional)
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About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.