remedies can be made from herbs and plants found in our garden as well as those
harvested in the wild.
Webster Dictionary defines herbs as; a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal, savory, or aromatic qualities
Herbs and spices
have been used for centuries. In the Bible the 16 spices and herbs are
mentioned; Great value was placed on herbs and spices. The queen of Sheba
brought King Solomon spices of very great store, precious stones and twenty
talents of gold. It states that there came no more such abundance of spices as
these which the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.
The herbs and
spices given to King Solomon are valued along side of precious stones and gold.
I doubt it was just because they used them to flavor food. I don’t doubt that
it was because of the medicinal qualities and the ability to preserve that the
herbs were valued.
Herbs are the leafy part of plants and spices are the roots, bark and seeds. For medicinal use the whole plant can be used, all of which contain hundreds of chemical substances in varying amounts as well as vitamins and minerals. These substances help our bodies function properly and contribute to our health.
Most herbs have
similar constituents and help bring our bodies back into homeostasis. For
example the same herb may lower blood pressure and increase blood pressure
depending on the needs of the person. It acts on the body to bring equilibrium.
Whatever the body needs it will use the constituents in the herb to bring that
action to the body.
remedies can be made from herbs through various preparations concentrating the
medicinal properties so we can use them to affect the return to health. How
quickly an herb will improve health depends on how nutrient deficient we are.
Preparing herbs into concentrated forms can harness their nutrition and medicinal elements so our bodies can use them to improve health and help the body fight off illness.
For instance Teo's site talks about herbs for the heart that can improve cardiovascular function.
Check out Ann-Marie’s extensive herb list for information
about individual herbs and their medicinal uses starting with the benefits of
the acai berry.
can be prepared for medicinal use in the following ways;
Herbal Teas and Infusions and Poultices; Herbs can be infused in hot water for a
given amount of time. The herbal properties are diffused into the water and
then used for drinking, bathing or soaked in cotton cloth and use as a
Decoctions; Roots, bark, berries and twigs need a little more force to
release their properties so a decoction is made by bringing water to a boil and
gently simmering the tougher parts of the plant for 30 minutes or more until
the liquid is reduced by a third. The liquid can then be used in preparations.
Infused Herbal Oils; when using oils to infused herbs you are
allowing the fat soluble ingredients to be extracted. Oils can be infused using
heat or cold infused. Both oils can be used in creams and ointments as well as
for making soaps. The oils can be use as a ligament or massage oil.
Ointments and Salves; use infused oils with a solidifier such as
bees wax or glycerin or lanolin to make the preparation thicker. They can be
rubbed on the skin and the oils offer protection while the herbal properties
are absorbed by the skin.
Herbal Tinctures; tinctures are stronger than infusions or decoctions. Tinctures are made by soaking the herb in a solution of alcohol (vodka or rum), vinegar or vegetable glycerin. These mediums are powerful at extracting the active constituents from the herbs. They are usually soaked for 2 to 3 weeks then strained. The tincture is then stored in a dark colored bottle. Tinctures can be store un-refrigerated from 1 to 5 years or more depending on the medium used to extract the herbal properties.
offer the strongest herbal constituents. It takes hundreds of pounds of herbs
to create a small amount of essential oil. Essential oils can be inhaled or
rubbed on the skin to relieve pain and stress. Essential oil can be added to
creams, salves and infused oil to increase their medicinal properties.
In this section we will guide you through making various natural herbal remedies. You will need to know some basics;
Once you master these basic methods you will begin your journey to a healthier way to manage your families health making your own herbal remedies.