Today we can find all sorts of herbal supplements and preparations, within every price range, and widely varying quality levels. If you can grow your own herbs or stock up on them while they are in season at the market, fresh herb preparation, you make yourself are always the best way to go. You know exactly the quality of herbs used, how they were stored, and the quality of the items used to make your preparations. Basically, you are in charge and that’s the way I prefer it! I want to know there are no preservatives, chemicals, GMO’s, etc…with pre-made herbal preparations you can just never be sure! Let me also add, that the quality of your herbs is vital, it’s the healing oils you want to maximize. So get your herbs as fresh as possible.
For therapeutic success, your herbs must be Bio-Active and Bio-Available. These are terms you will hear me often use, essentially according to Webster, the extent to which a nutrient or medication can can be used by the body and any effect on, interaction with, or response from the body. Anything you put in your body must be Bio-Active and Bio-Available for the body to use it. It doesn’t matter if it’s herbs, Vitamins, or foods the body must be able to use them and they must be able to effect the body, preferably in a positive way. Herbs can be applied to, almost any illness or infirmary of the body, it’s just a matter of knowing their properties, how they work together, and the correct way to use them.
One important point: Whichever herbal preparation form you choose, it is better to take larger amounts at the beginning of treatment, to build a good internal healing base. Then as you reach a point of therapeutic success and begin to see a positive response from your body, you can begin to reduce your dose gradually, and finally reduce to long range preventive amounts.
Teas: The most basic of all healing preparation, easily absorbed by the body in hot liquid, they are the least concentrated of all the preparations.
Tip 1: Vital essential oils are lost during cutting of herbs for tea bags, for best results use whole herb leaves and cut into water to steep for tea. You can also crumble flowers or break apart roots and bark just before making tea. Use 1 packed small tea ball, 3 cups of boiling distilled water, add herbs to boiling water remove from heat and steep for 10-15 minutes for medicinal-strength tea.
Tip 2: Medicinal strength teas can be bitter tasting, use mint, lemon peel, spices, or stevia to make tea more palatable without harming therapeutic quantities. Drink medicinal tea in small sips throughout the day rather than drinking all at once.
Herbal Tinctures: Are an extraction of the healing properties of herbs using alcohol, wine, apple cider vinegar, or vegetable glycerin. Alcohol releases the widest variety of essential herbal elements in an unchanged form and allows for the fastest sublingual absorption. Put 4 ounces of dried, chopped, or ground herbs, or 8 ounces of fresh herbs, in large glass jar. Cover with 1 pint of 80 to 100 proof vodka and seal jar tightly. Keep jar in a warm place, like near stove or heater and shake well twice a day for 2-3 weeks. Strain liquid and herbs (which should be pretty broken down by now) through cheesecloth, a handkerchief, or coffee filters. Repeat this step several times to get the purest extracts, discard solids, store liquid in dark glass bottle, seal with a cork or stopper and store out of the light. Extracts made and stored this way will maintain their potency for several years.
Herbal Syrups: Syrups are great for bitter herbs, children, sore throats, and gargles because the sweetness of the syrup covers the bad taste.
1st method: Boil 3/4 pound of raw or brown sugar with 2 cups of herbal tea (see above) until it reaches a syrupy consistency.
2nd method: Make a simple syrup with 3/4 pound raw sugar in 2 cups of distilled water, boil until it reaches a syrupy consistency, remove from heat, and while syrup is cooling add a herbal tincture (see above), one part extract to three parts syrup. Take one to two teaspoons full for medical treatment.
With all herbal Preparations, take extracts for 6 days in a row, then take a day off to allow the body to rest.