Medicinal herbs are known to be more effective than most artificial medicines not to mention they are much more affordable. How to prepare a medicinal herb is very important, if you want to start using medicinal herbs. Since these herbs treat a variety of illness and infections, therefore you must be aware of the different ways you can prepare your herbs before using them. Some herbs are applied, others eaten, others taken with beverages, etc. below are some of the most used ways of preparing the medicinal herbs you will have.
Very easy, you can sundry the herbs or just expose them to heat (be cautious not to burn the herbs). After that you can use other preparation methods. The other style of drying is hanging the herbs by their roots so that the oils in the herbs drain slowly into the leafy parts of the herbs. A dehydrator can also be used to dry your herbs.
When using this method, it’s good to be cautious since many oils present in the herbs become ineffective when exposed to too much heat. You will need berries or barks to make a decoction. You will have a boiling water ready, then add the herb. After a certain duration of time (allowing simmering and/or boiling) you leave the brew sometime to steep (ideally overnight). Before drinking it, you will have to strain the liquid.
Very simple method, just like making tea. It’s widely used when preparing most medicinal herbs. You will need to pour a certain amount of hot/warm water over the herbs. Leave the herbs to steep for some time, until they cool. The final step before drinking the liquid will be straining the herb to get the liquid. An infusion of medicinal herbs.
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This method is very helpful and efficient when it comes to preserving the oils present in the herbs from breaking down under high temperatures. You will have to smash/crash the berries, bark, leaves, etc. of the herbs, then sing cold water, you allow the herbs to sit in for a few hours.
- Oil Infusions
Making an oil infusion is very easy, the herbs need to be soaked in oil, so that the medicinal properties are extracted. After that, you can use the extractions to cook, massage the body, treat skin conditions, make soap, etc. you can do this at room temperature or heat up the oil. The recommended oils to use are: sesame oil, coconut oil, almond oil and olive oil.
- Making Salves and Body Ointments from Medicinal Herbs
Everyone wants to have a glowing skin that is healthy. Having a reliable salve and body ointment becomes very necessary. With a good ointment you will get rid of: dry skin, rashes, bites, treat cuts, etc. You can have your own homemade ointment by using coconut/olive oil and beeswax (a reliable moisturizer also). To add herbs to this skin ointment, after making the mixture of oil and beeswax, you add the herbs (everything should be in a saucepan), let the mixture simmer for around 30 minutes. After straining it out, put the ointment in a glass jar, the more it cools the thicker it gets.
Poultices act as disinfectant most of the times. They are very reliable when you are in the wild and have a wound. They also reduce inflammation, sooth sore body muscles, relieve chest congestion. Poultice is a simple mixture of herbs and a base which can be flour/clay mixed with water. You will first soak the herbs in water before adding them to the mixture of water and clay, etc. You will need a gauze to apply the poultice with on an open wound, apart from that each time it dries you will need reapply another mixture. Do check whether the poultice you are making needs to be hot so as to work effectively.
A reliable and perfect remedy for colds and coughs. If you look at it, syrups are simply infusions or decoctions, sweetened with either honey or sugar. It’s a reliable method for making mucus inhibitors and cough suppressants. Add about 16 ounces (infusion or decoction) to your pan, then add honey/sugar (a pound is enough). Allow it to boil then leave it to cool. Should be stored in a container that is airtight and sealed to avoid bugs getting inside. A refrigerator is a good storage place.
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Very simple method, just put the herbs in a cup/mug, then add hot water, leave for a few minutes, then you can drink it while hot or warm. It’s a simple infusion.
If you want to sore your medicinal herbs for long then tinctures will be a better option to go for. You soak the herbs in either vinegar or alcohol, after that you can make slaves or tea (or use the other methods). Vodka has no flavor, however, it contains a high alcohol content, hence will draw out all the needed medicinal properties and preserve them. After storing the herbs in alcohol/ vinegar (2 to 4 weeks), use a cheesecloth/coffee filter to strain the medicinal herbs. After that, store the herbs in a glass tin/container that is dark. If you sued vinegar you will have to refrigerate it. The merit of tinctures is that they can be effective even after 1 year.
Since you now know the different simple methods it’s good to do some research and get recipes you can use when planning on using medicinal herbs as part of your menu.