CAPSULES: Use all natural gelitin capsules when using powdered herbs. Many herbs have a bitter taste, this often is the medicinal value in the herb, but makes a tea unpleasant. Capsules can be used to take herbs quickly and pleasantly. Empty capsules and a quick, and easy capsule maker are available wholesale (100/1000 quantities of vegetarian or gel).
DECOCTION: This is a preperation made by heating herbal substances in water for a considerable period of time, usually about 30-60 minutes. Hard materials such as pieces of roots, bark, seeds, and so on, are usually prepared in this way as they require longer subjection to heat in order to extract their active principles. Generally 1 ounce of the herb is placed in 1 pint of cold water. The container is then covered and the mix is allowed to gently simmer, don't boil, for 30-60 minutes (When dry, some roots like Wild Yam are extremely hard), after which, the solution is allowed to cool. Once cool your decoction is ready to strain for use. If heating for over 30 minute many herbalist prefer to use 1 1/2 pionts of water so that when the boiling period is over, the decoction measures close to 1 pint. If you're into metric: Use 30 (near 1 oz.) grams dried herb or 60 grams fresh to 750ml water, reduce to 500ml(2 cups) with simmering. You may use this hot or cold; dose 125ml (1/2 cup) 3 time a day (TID).
FOMENTATION: A fomentatio is an external application of herbs, generally used to treat swellings, pains, colds and flu. Dip cloth in a infusion or decoction, wring it out and use it locally as a swab or compress. Repeat as needed.
Infusion: Is a light tea, and often called teas, are generally prepared fresh each day with 1 ounce of dried herb to 1 pint of water. Often a little less of strong herbs are needed. Bring the water to very hot, near boil and pour over the herb. Let the covered pan of solution steep for 10-15 minutes. If preparing one cup, use one teaspoon of herb. Metric: 30 grams dried herb or 75 grams fresh herb to 500ml of water. When the steeping has finished, strain and use. A standard dose is 1/2 cup three times a day (TID). Store the remainder in a cool place until used.
The dose of the elderly should be reduced.
For children:0-1 year, use one-twentieth of an adult dose,
NEVER GIVE CHILDREN HERBS THAT HAVE PRECAUTIONS!
FOR ......1-2 year, use 1/10th
..........3-4 year, use 1/5th
..........5-6 year, use 3/10th
..........7-8 year, use 2/5th
..........9-10 year, use 1/2
..........11-12 year, use 3/5th
..........13-14 year, use 4/5ths of an adult dose
..........For 15 year olds and older use an adult dose, unless they've a liver problem.
MACERATION: Pour 500ml of cold water over 25 grams of dried herbs, leave mix in a cool place overnight. You may use a maceration the same as a decoction or an infusion.
OINTMENTS and SALVES: Ointments contain only oils or fats. Suitable for soft or weak skin, where protection is needed from moisture. The easiest way to do ointments is use approximately eight parts vaseline or vegetable shortening to two parts of the dried herb you wish to make an ointment for and gently heat for twenty minutes. Let cool slightly, use a jelly bag or muslin to strain into a glass container.
Another way is to use 3 ounces powdered herb, 7 ounces cocoa butter or any pure vegetable shortening, 1 ounce of beeswax or soft paraffin wax. Blend all three ingredients in a covered pot on low heat for 1-2 hours. When its cool, it should be firm and ready to use.
Yet another; is use 500 grams (devide by 30) of petroleum jelly or soft paraffin wax to 60 grams dried herb....Melt wax or jelly in a pan, stir in herbs and heat for 2 hours or greater. Strain the mixture while hot, and put in your container while hot also. Its ready for use.
I Know. TO make an organic ointment: Melt together 25 grams white beeswax and 25 grams water-free lanolin, then add 100ml sunflower oil, 25ml glycerin, 75ml of water, 50 grams of dried herb. Heat for 25 minutes then strain. If you want, 5 drops of benzoin tincture to your warm mix as a preservative.
What do you think? Getting a bit redundant or just thourough?
For a tincture ointment: Melt 25 grams beeswax with 25 grams of water free lanolin adding 100ml of infused oil of your choice. Heat, stir, strain, and store. Its ready to use.
What's an infused oil? Infused oils come in two types! Hot and cold. Both oils can last up to a year, and are generally use to extract active plant ingredients into an oil for use as a massage oil, cream or ointment.
HOT METHOD: Use 250 grams of dried herbs or 750 grams (for ounces devide by 30) of fresh herb to 500ml of sunflower oil. Place oil and herb in a pan and heat on low (gently) for around 3 hours. You can use a double saucepan or for real conveniece use a coffee pot and its heater. Strain into clean, airtight storage bottles.
COLD METHOD: Usually best with a cold pressed oil. However, any oil can be used for hot or cold. Pack large jar tightly with your herb and cover with oil. With the lid on, leave on a sunny windowsill or in a greenhouse for 2-3 weeks. On a sunny window turn every day 2-3 times. This method is used for more delicate herbs like St. John's Wort or lavender, and both will benifit from a second infusion, that is strain old oil and herb, then add fresh herb to the first infused oil to make it stronger and more valuable. FYI-St. John's Wort should turn your oil red. Strain, squueeze, and store.
Have you priced a gram - or an ounce of calendula salve - or St. John's Wort salve or oil - Or lavender oil?
TINCTURE: A tincture is a 25% mix of alcohol and water. FOR AN INTERNAL -ONE YOU'D DRINK- TINCTURE: DO NOT USE RUBBING ALCOHOL!
YOU MAY USE A PURE OR DILUTED ALCOHOL, AS IN A BRANDY, VODKA, OR GIN, AND LIGHT OR DARK RUM MAY BE USED TO HELP COVER UP THE STRONGER TASTING HERBS.
If you are not old enough to buy alcohol at a liqueur store, but still whish to make your own sellable tinctures; check your local grocery stores, and other merchatile type stores that sell "Mouth Wash". Make certain there is no "Precautions IF Swallowed", listed on the lable. The ones that have no precautions are acually drinkable mouthwashes, and are usually dirt cheap! Make certain there is no additive that will make you vomit, or any thing else, most of these are at least 20% alcohol, which is 40 proof, not quite 25% but they will do, and will be good to add a minty flavor to your tincture. FYI- You can buy these in a grocery store because they are not meant to be drank, but swished in the mouth and spit out, whether they are drinkable or not is irrelevant.
Tinctures should be made from single herbs, but you can combine tinctures. Use 200 grams dried herb or 600 fresh herb to 1 liter of 25% alcohol water mix. For strictly metric; dilute 75cl bottle of 37.5% vodka with 37.5ml water. For those who wish life a little simpler - Take a 40% alcohol (80 proof) and dilute it with 15% of water (a tablespoon equals 15ml, thus use a tablespoon water per 100ml alcohol. Most measuring cups have ml on one side and cup on the other, if not 2 cups is 500ml).
Put herb and alcohol mix into a large jar, seal, store in a cool, shaded place- shaking on occasion through the next 2 weeks. Two weeks is the minimum time needed to make a tincture, after at least 2 weeks,press mix in a wine press.
Standard dose is 5ml three times a day. (5ml is a teaspoon, three teaspoons to a tablespoon. You can mix in a little honey or fruit juce).
Making Herbal Cosmetics is on another page. So is making Herbal Baths and Hair Care products, and much more, please look around - Stay as long as you like!
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