Green tea is made from green leaves, whereas black
teas are made from fermented leaves and are not recommended for consumption.
Although green tea has many cancer-fighting and other benefits, it does contain
caffeine, so use in moderation and only steep 1-2 minutes.
Herbs are nature's medicine, therefore herb teas are
best used in wide variety for their multitude of benefits, and no one specific
herb tea should be used continuously for a period of time longer than two weeks
to treat any ailment unless directed by your physician. Seek balance and
harmony -- everything in moderation. Too much of anything can be harmful.
When brewing herb teas, steep in very hot -- not
boiling -- water, as it may destroy some of the medicinal qualities of the tea.
Always cover your teacup to
keep volatile oils from escaping and steep herbal tea for at least 5 minutes (15-30 minutes
if using medicinally). A
glass or porcelain teapot and distilled water is
recommended. Never steep herbs in aluminum containers. Besides using teabags, you can make your own herbal infusions
Tea Infusion (Infusion = Tea made from
leaves and flowers (light materials)) Put 1-2 teaspoons of herbal tea material
into a brewing utensil of your choice and place in a 6-8 oz size cup. Add 6-8 oz
of boiling water and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Increase the quantity
of material accordingly if using a teapot. For a more "medicinal" effect steep
15-30 minutes. Will keep refrigerated for 24 hours.
Tea Decoction (Decoction = Tea made
from bark, roots, seeds, twigs and berries). Put 1-3 tablespoons of cut herb,
seed, root, bark, etc into a pot of 16-32 oz of water and allow to sit in cool
water for at least 5-10 minutes. Bring water to a slow boil then turn down to a
simmer for 10-30 minutes. (This depends on the strength of the tea you enjoy).
Strain and drink. Will keep about 72 hours if kept refrigerated.
Poultice To make a poultice,
you simply crush the medicinal parts of the plant to a pulpy
mass and heat. Mix with a hot, sticky substance such as moistened whole grain
flour or corn meal. Apply the pasty mixture directly to the skin. Wrap a hot
towel around the affected area and moisten the towel periodically. A poultice
will draw impurities from the body.
For a quick ointment, combine thoroughly one part of a
powdered remedy with four parts hot petroleum jelly or lard. For a more proper
ointment, you may alternatively add the decoction of the desired herb to olive
oil and simmer until the water has completely evaporated. Add beeswax as needed
to get a firm consistency. A little gum benzoin or a drop of tincture of benzoin
per ounce of fat will help preserve the ointment.
Preparing herbs with cold water preserves the most volatile
ingredients, while extracting only minor amounts of mineral salts and bitter
principles. Add about double the amount of plant material used for an infusion
to cold water and let sit for about 8 to 12 hours, strain and drink.
Dissolve 1 ounce of the herb's essential oil in a pint of alcohol; this method
preserves the volatile oils of many plants which are not water-soluble.
Herbal baths include the use of various herbal additives to enhance the natural
healing power of the water. They are baths to which plant decoctions or
infusions have been added. There are full and partial herbal baths. For a full
bath some of the medicinal plant parts should be sewn into a cloth bag and then
boiled in a quart of water; the strained mixture is then added to the bath.
Sometimes you can put the bag right into the tub for a more thorough extraction
of the herbal properties.
your dried plant parts until you have a powder. The powder can be taken with
water, milk, soup, or swallowed in gelatin capsules.
Juice Chop and
press fresh plant parts to make juice, then add a bit of water and press again.
This is excellent for getting vitamins and minerals from the plant. Drink the
juice right away for the best results.