Do It Yourself
- Tea: Steep a tablespoon of cut and dried herb(s) in a cup (8oz) of boiling water for 10-20 min. You can also buy either a reusable cloth bag or heat sealsble tea bags at some health food stores.
- Capsule: Put finely chopped dried herb(s) or powder in an empty capsule. You can get empty gelatin capsules at most health food stores, as well as the tool to hold and fill them. Make sure the capsule is the same size as the filler. There are three common sizes; the most widley used being
- Powder: There is no easy way to go about this folks, but I suggest a good coffee grinder to use just for herbs. Dry the herbs first or you'll have a BIG mess! This is used to make incenses, salves, and occassionally to mix into a drink
- Tincture: Place powdered herbs in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Pour in just enough ethyl alcohol to wet and cover the herb(s). Shake vigorously every day for a week or two. When scent is strong enough, strain through a piece of cheesecloth into a clean jar.
- Bath Salts: Mix 1 part table salt, 2 parts baking soda, and 3 parts epsom salts. If desired add several drops of food coloring to tint. Add essential oils for desired scent
- Inks: Most fruit juices (cherry, grape, etc) have enough color to make a good ink. Add gum arabic as a thickener if necessary.
- Ointment: Mix 4 parts herbs and/or oils with a base of 1 part either beeswax or vegetable shortening. Add 1/2 teaspoon tincture of benzoin to shortening method.
- Cone Incense: Combine 6 parts ground (not self igniting) charcoal, 1 part ground benzoin,1 part ground Orris root, 2 parts ground Sandalwood, 6 drops essential oil, 2-4 parts herbs (ground or powdered)
- Powder Incense: Just ground or powdered herbs mixed with any oils or liquids you choose
- Oil Incense: Usually rubbed onto candles to empower them. Mix 1/8 cup vegetable oil (jojoba, safflower, sunflower, coconut, apricot, almond, hazelnut, or grapeseed) with 10-20 drops essential oil(s)
- Bolus: A suppository. Mix powdered herb(s) with cocoa butter, forming a thick doughy consistency. Refrigerate to harden. Warm to room temperature to use.
- Decoction: One ounce of herbs per pint of water is simmered uncovered until water is reduced by half.
- Electuary: This is the normal method of giving distasteful medicines to small children. A small amount of powdered herb is added to honey, peanut butter, or another acceptable thick substance.
- Fomentation: A compress. Soak an absorbent cloth is soaked in an herbal tea, wring out, and place directly on affected area. Cover with a dry cloth, then apply heat or alternating hot and cold.
- Liniment: Add 4oz dried (8oz fresh) herb to 1 pint vinegar, alcohol, or massage oil. Shake twice daily; letting it set for 3 days if powdered herbs are used, 14 days if fresh or dried herbs are used.
- Lotion (liquid): Add 30 drops tincture to 1 wineglass rosewater.
- Oil (basic): Add 2oz crushed (fresh or dried) herbs to 1 pint sesame or olive oil. Sit in warm place for 3 days, or heat gently (abt. 100 degrees F) for atleast 1 hour. Strain.
- Oil (mostly essential): Dip thin sheets of cotton or cheesecloth in oil. Wring gently. Place a layer of herbs between each cloth. Place in jar and cover tightly. Let sit atleast 3 days. Remove and discard herbs. Squeeze oil from cloths into clean jar.
- Poultice: A warm, moist mass of herbs placed directly on the skin.
- Plaster; Like a poultice, but herbs are either placed between 2 pieces of thin linen or mixed in a thick base material (most often compressed tofu).
- Salve (ointment): Mix 1-1/2 oz melted beeswax per pint of herbal
- Syrup (cough syrup): Add 4oz herb to 1 quart water. Boil down to 1 pint. Strain. While still warm, mix in 1-2 ozs honey or glycerin.
- Pill (uncoated): Add 10 percent gum arabic (dissolved in boiling water) to herbs. Slowly add water until a doughy consistency is reached. Roll into pea-sized balls. 2 pills = 1
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