Plants, Herbs And Trees Have Properties And Powers That Heal.
First A Few Preliminaries, Useful Things To Know.
I am NOT a physician. I do NOT claim to be a physician or any other kind of medical practitioner. If you have a serious medical problem, please see a Physician or trained medical practioner.
Making Healing Infusions and Decoctions.
The most common way to take herbal medicine is in an herb tea infusion. Drinking a medicinal tea is different however from drinking an herbal tea as a beverage. Medicinal teas are stronger. They usually require 1 ounce of the herb per pint (2 cups) of water. The container you use to prepare the medicinal herbal beverage is important also. Heatproof glassware and earthenware are best, as they do not impart any of there own qualities into the preparation. Avoid containers made of aluminum or cast iron, these can taint the herbal preparation. Heavily chlorinated tap water or water with a high mineral content should also be avoided. Pure spring water, or distilled water is best to use.
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Infusions are medicinal beverages made by steeping the herbs in hot water until their useful qualities are extracted. To make an infusion, bring a pint of water to a full rolling boil and remove from the heat. Immerse 1 ounce (about 2 cups) of the dried herb in the water and cover tightly. Let the infusion steep for 10-15 mins.
Decoctions, simmering herbs in water, is the most effective method of drawing the healing elements from the coarse plant parts such as the bark, roots, stems or heavy leaves. Bring one pint of water to a full rolling boil and add the dried herbs. Keep the water just below boiling for about 30 mins and let the herbs simmer gently. Allow to cool and strain the preparation through cheesecloth before using.
Lotions and Washes
Washes are teas or infusions meant only for external use. A mild form of a wash is 1/2 ounce of herb to one pint of boiling water, steeped until lukewarm, then applied to the area requiring treatment. Lotions are made by adding the herbs to an oil such as almond, sesame, or glycerin. Three teaspoon of herb to one cup of oil, steeped and heated several times makes a "very effective lotion". Lotions should be kept cool and in air tight containers for best results.
Tinctures are an excellent way to preserve and concentrate the healing qualities of herbs. Several drops to one tablespoon is the general dosage. To make a tincture, combine 4 ounces of the powdered or finely cut herb with a pint of spirits, such as brandy, vodka or gin, in a large jar or jug with a secure fitting lid. (NEVER use rubbing or wood alcohol, both are poisonous.) Shake the mixture several times daily over a period of two weeks. Let the herb settle, then strain off the liquid and put them into another clean bottle for storage. Tinctures may be put up at the time of the new moon and finished on the full moon to take advantage of the natural "drawing power" of the waxing moon.