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Definitions & Making Herbal Preparations

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just some medical preparations

Herbal Preparations

Compress

Soak a soft cloth in a hot infusion, decoction, or 5-20 ml tincture in 500 ml hot water. Squeeze out excess water and hold pad against affected area.

Cream

A mixture of fats and water that blends with the skin to strengthen and smooth it. Use 30 g lanolin, 15 oz beeswax, 100 g. vegetable or fruit oil, and 30 ml herb water. Melt the lanolin and beeswax in a double boiler, gently stirring in the oil. Remove from heat and whisk in the herb water. Keep stirring as it cools. Store in wide mouth jars.

Decoction

Made by simmering larger pieces of the herb, such as bark, roots, or twigs. Use 30 g. dried or 60 g. fresh herb to 750 ml water; simmer until the water is reduced to 500 ml. Drink 1/2 cup three times a day.

Infused oils

--Hot infusion: 250 g. dried or 500 g. fresh herb to 750 ml Olive or Vegetable Oil. Heat gently in a double boiler for 3 hours. Strain through cheesecloth into dark bottles.

--Cold infusion: Pack a large jar with the herb. Cover it with cold-pressed oil and put the lid on. Let stand in a sunny window sill for 2-3 weeks. Squeeze the oil through a jelly bag and repeat the process. Store in dark glass bottles.

Infusion

A tea made by pouring boiled (not actively boiling) water over fresh or dried herbs. Use approximately 30 g. dried or 75 g. fresh herbs to 500 ml water. Drink 1/2 cup three times a day.

Macerate

To make, pour 500ml of cold water over 25g of herb and leave to stand overnight. Then strain and use as you would a decoction.

Massage Oils

Use 5 drops essential oil to 20 ml carrier oil. Sweet almond, jojoba, avocado or grapeseed make good carrier oils. You can also used infused oils.

Ointment

A mixture of oils and fats that forms a protective layer over the skin. Melt 500 g. petroleum jelly or soft paraffin wax in a double boiler. Add 60 g. dried herb and simmer gently for 2 hours. Strain through a jelly bag and pour into jars while still hot.

Plaster

Wrap the chopped or boiled herbs, or a paste made from them, in cheesecloth or muslin before applying to the affected area. This is good for herbs that might irritate the skin, such as mustard.

Poultice

Boil herbs in a little water for a hot poultice, or bruise or chop slightly for a cold one. Smooth a little oil on the skin to keep the herbs from sticking, apply the herb, and wrap with muslin or gauze strips.

Steam Inhalants

Place a few tablespoons of the dried herb in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Drape a towel

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