Herbology Terms

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Defining some herbology words...

Charms- One or more herbs that are placed within a small container or cloth.

Compresses- a pad is soaked in a hot or cold herbal infusion and then applied to the area being treated.

Creams- herbs are mixed with water or oils to form creamy mixture.

Decoctions- fresh or dried herbs are added to water and simmered over low to medium heat for up to an hour.

Elixirs- an infusion that cures illness or promotes health or longevity.

Infusions- an infusion is like a tea, but is stronger (more herbs used and are seeped in the liquid longer)

infused oils- herbs are added to a carrier oil and heated gently for a period of time; the oil is strained and stored in a cool, dark place. In cold infusions, the herbs are allowed to soak in the oil for a long period of time - up to 2-3 weeks.

Liniments - these are prepared the same as tinctures, but rubbing alcohol is used as the base. external use only. are rubbed unto aching muscles or joints.

Ointments- herbs are combined with fats, waxes (besswax, or oil to make a thick creamy texture)

Plasters- same as "Poultice"

Powders- dried herbs are processed in a food processor or with a mortar.

Poultices- whole, chopped, or mashed herbs are heated briefly in water to cause them to wilt. the wilted herbs are then applied to the body part being treated and wrapped.

Salves- same as "ointment"

skin washes- an infusion that is used to bathe wounds, rashes, etc.

Syrups- Honey or unrefined sugar is added to an herbal infusion or decoction. given to children for coughs

Tinctures- Herbs are steeped in alcohol or in a mixture of alcohol and water - drops

Toddies- a traditional mixture in which a hot herbal infusion is mixed with alcohol.

Tonics- an infusion that cures illness or longevity. associated with season use.


Source: Herb magic for Beginners, By Ellen Dugan

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