HOW TO MAKE HERBAL REMEDIES
To get the maximum benefit from herbal remedies, the herbs must be properly prepared. Most herbal remedies are easy to make using equipment that is already found in your kitchen. Use enamel, stainless steel, glass, pottery, or cast-iron utensils. Never use aluminum. Storage is best in glass jars or bottles. When fresh herbs are not available, use one-third to one-half as much of dried herbs.
How to make infusion, decoction, syrup, tincture, herbal oils, ointment, poultice, compresses, herbal wines and creams.
Herbal infusions are essentially herbal teas, also known as tisanes. You can make herbal tea yourself by simply infusing the aerial parts of herbs (including the flowers, stems, and leaves) in water.
If using dried herbs: use 1-2 teaspoons of dried herb for each cup (8 ounces) of water, or 1 ounce per each pint. Steep the herbs for 10 minutes in water that has just been boiled. Then strain the infusion.
If using fresh herbs: use 3 teaspoons of the fresh plant parts per each pint of water. Make the same way as above, and strain.
You can make the concoction in cup-sized doses or larger teapot doses. If using for medicinal value, the infusion should be consumed in 8-ounce doses, three times a day.
For storage: cover mixture, store in a cool place, and use within 24 hours.
A decoction is also similar to an infusion, and necessary when using tougher plant material like herbal roots, barks, seeds, berries, and stems. These parts need to have their active components extracted in a more intense process.
Chop up the plant material thinly. Use 1-2 teaspoons of the dried or fresh herbs for 1 ½ pints of water.
Place the herbs in a saucepan with the water, and boil the decoction.
Simmer the mixture until the volume of the liquid has been reduced by about a third. This will take about 15 minutes.
Strain the mixture.
The decoction should be used in three wine-glass-sized doses throughout the day. It should be stored in a pitcher in a cool place.
The decoction can be reheated and flavored with a little honey if desired.
You can make an herbal infusion, decoction, or tincture into a syrup, using sugar or honey as a preservative. Herbal syrups are soothing for coughs, sore throats, and other common respiratory ailments.
First make an infusion, decoction, or tincture according to the above directions, and strain.
For each pint of liquid add one pound of unrefined sugar or honey.
Stir mixture together in a saucepan and boil until the sugar or honey has dissolved completely. The mixture has become a syrup at this point.
Let the syrup cool.
Store the syrup in dark, glass bottles capped with a cork or another non-sealing lid. It is important that the syrup is not kept in a tightly sealed container because as the syrup begins to ferment it may cause the bottle to explode.
Store in the refrigerator.
Tincture is a solution made by steeping any part of the herb in a mixture of alcohol and water. A general guideline is to use 2 ounces dried or 6 ounces fresh herbs with one cup of 75-proof vodka and 1/2 cup water. Place herbs, vodka, and water in a glass jar, cap tightly, and store for three weeks, shaking vigorously every other day. Strain and pour into sterilized dark glass bottles. Cap tightly, label, date and store up to two years. Take up to three doses daily, diluting one teaspoon in a little warm water.
You can make multi-purpose herbal oils that can be used for cooking or massaging into sore body parts. Herbal oils can be prepared through either cold or hot infusion. You can select any kind of vegetable oil to extract the active constituents from the herbs, the best being olive, canola, sesame, and almond oils.
Obtain a large jar with a tightly sealing lid, and fill it compactly with herb flowers or leaves.
Pour in the oil, covering the herbs, and screw on the lid.
Place jar on a sunny windowsill for about a month. Remember to shake the mixture daily.
Strain the mixture, capturing the oil in another container.
Transfer the oil into a dark bottle, and store in a cool, dark place.
For dried herbs: for each 2 cups of oil use 1 cup of dried herbs.
For fresh herbs: for each 2 cups of oil use 2 cups of fresh herbs.
Prepare a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. Place the herbs and oil in the glass bowl.
Heat mixture slowly over low heat for about 3 hours.
Strain into a bowl. Let the oil cool, then transfer into dark, glass bottles sealed with a cap. Store in a cool, dark place.
An ointment is an extraction of fresh or dried herbs in white petroleum jelly used externally for bruises or skin conditions. To make, slowly heat 1 cup of petroleum jelly in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. When melted, stir in 1 ounce dried or 3 ounces fresh herbs. Heat gently for two hours, careful to not boil dry. Strain through a jelly bag, pressing against the bag with a wooden spoon. Quickly pour into a sterilized, dark glass jar. Cap tightly, label and refrigerate or store in a dark, cool place for up to four months. More herb may be added to make a stronger ointment.
Poultices are effective for boils, abscesses, chest infections and sprains. Use fresh or dried herbs that are applied directly to the affected external part of the body. To make, pour boiling water over crushed or chopped herbs. When cool enough to handle, remove herbs from liquid, squeezing out excess water. Spread herbs on the affected area and wrap with gauze to hold the poultice in place. A thin layer of calendula cream will protect the skin and prevent the poultice from sticking.
Soak a cloth in a hot decoction or infusion of herb, then applied to the affected part of the body. Soak a clean piece of soft cotton fabric in the liquid. Squeeze out the excess, fold into a pad, and place on the area, repeating until relief is felt. Cold compresses are best for headaches, black eyes or bruising. Tinctures of other herbs and essential oils can be added to the liquid.
Use a sweet red wine with an alcohol content of at least 12%. Cover four ounces of herb with three cups of wine. Leave for a week before straining. Take four teaspoons one or two times daily. Herbal wine is best used within a month.
A cream is a blend of oil, beeswax and water. You can make your own, or purchase an unscented, water based cream. After adding herb to purchased cream, simmer in the top of a double boiler for 30 minutes. Strain before it cools. Melt two ounces beeswax in a double boiler. Add one cup olive or other vegetable oil and blend. Add two ounces herb. For lighter cream, add a little water, mixing well. Simmer 20 minutes, mixing well. Add a drop of tincture of benzoin as a preservative. Strain thorough a cloth in to sterilized jars.
STEAM and INHALANT
Use steam for skin problems like acne and an inhalant for bronchial problems like sinusitis and laryngitis. Add a strong decoction, one or two drops of essential oils, or 2 teaspoons of tincture to boiling water.
Natural health is depends on nature to correct and balance your body systems. They work gently and quickly when used properly , your grandmother used them, her grandmother, and peoples from the known beginning of man.
A SHORT HISTORY OF MEDICINE:
"Doctor, I have an ear ache."
2000 B.C. - "Here, eat this root."
1000 B.C. - "That root is heathen, say this prayer."
1850 A.D. - "That prayer is superstition, drink this potion."
1940 A.D. - "That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill."
1985 A.D. - "That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic."
2000 A.D. - "That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root!"