Making Herbal Infusions, Decoctions and Ointments
It seems that many health conscious people these days are turning away from prescription drugs and turning to making
their own medicines.
Healing with herbs and other natural remedies is becoming popular and making your own medicines
is quite an art.
Some popular methods of natural healing involve the use of making infusions, steeping to extract
various properties, decoctions, the extraction of an essence by boiling and ointments. Always remember when you
are creating your own herbal remedies to use an enamel or nonmetal pot.
Herbal Teas: To make a cup of herbal tea, for drinking or as a face wash, boil 10 ounces of water. Pre warm your
teapot, put in 1 tbsp. or less of dried herbs or a large pinch of fresh herbs and pour the boiling water over them.
Add honey, if you like. cover and steep to taste, 3 to 5 minutes. Strain and drink.
Infusions: To make an infusion, fill a teapot with one quart of boiling water. Then throw in a large handful of
fresh herbs or an ounce or more of dried herbs. Add some honey, if desired, and let the mixture steep for ten to
twenty minutes. Now strain and drink.
Decoctions: Making a decoction involves boiling your mixture. It is usually made from the tougher parts of a plant,
the roots, seeds or the bark. Put one ounce or more of the herb parts in a quart of water and cover the pot. Bring
the mixture to a boil and simmer for about twenty minutes. Steep and strain the mixture. Drink or apply externally.
Ointments: An ointment, unguent or salve is made by combining the decoction of a herb with olive oil and simmering
it until the water has completely evaporated. A little beeswax is then added to get a firm consistency. Some gum
benzoin or a drop of tincture of benzoin per ounce of fat will help preserve the ointment. An alternate way to make
the ointment or salve is to add crushed dried herbs to the olive oil and cook in very low heat in the oven for 3-4
hours. Then, strain into melted beeswax and quickly add to containers before the beeswax sets.
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