Herbal infusions,Medicinal Oils, Salves, Tinctures HOW TO MIX

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by suzetal, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. suzetal

    suzetal New Member

    Herbal infusions,Medicinal Oils, Salves, Tinctures
    Oil Massage * Tisanes - Herbal Teas * Tinctures * Herb Oils * Balms/Salves * Poultice * Compress * Essential Oils *

    There is no better way to enjoy the full benefits of herbs than to make your own botanical skin care products, herbal medicinal teas, and aromatherapy blends at home. You are in control the quality, and save money too!. But more importantly, you can create your own personal formuala that exactly match you and your family's needs in a way no mass produced product, even the very best ones, can do.

    The most versatile and easy system for measurements is the simplers method, because it is based on ratios, measurements are referred to as "parts", for instance 3 parts dandelion, 1 part nettle, 2 parts raspberry, is a very common 3:1:2 synergy. This simple way of measurement lets you make your formulation in any volume you wish, whether ounces, tablespoons, cups, liters, grams etc.

    When using herbs and essential oils for children, always double check the safety of the herb first. For children under the age of 13, reduce dosages to half that of an adult dose, and continue to reduce by age and weight. In general aged or frail persons need less to produce a therapeutic response.

    Herbal Preparation Methods
    Herbal Teas - Tisanes


    Infusion (Standard Brew) The same as making a cup of tea. Pour two cups boiling water over one ounce dried herb, (1 to 2 tablespoons), or 1 cupped handful of the fresh herb. Use ceramic, glass or enamel container, never aluminum as the metal can have chemical reactions with the herb. Allow to steep for at least ten minutes.

    It is not usually necessary to strain most herbal infusions as the leaves will settle to the bottom in ten minutes time. The correct dosage is usually 3 to 4 cups in a day. This method is commonly referred to as a "standard brew". You can save time by making up a quart mixture in the morning .

    Use four to six tablespoons of the herb mixture per quart of water. To get more of the "good" out of the herbs you can place them cold water over a low heat and slowly bring to a simmering boil. Keep the pot covered and simmer for 20 minutes. In all infusions,except those for insomnia or stomach ulcers, additions may be made for flavoring such as a few cloves, a sprinkle of cinnamon or allspice, a teaspoon of grated ginger, a drop or two of almond extract, a pinch of stevia, a spoonful of honey, fresh lemon..



    Solar/Lunar Infusions
    What is commonly known as "sun tea" . Put fresh or dried herbs in a glass jar filled with water and place in a hot, sunny windowsill for several hours.


    A Lunar Infusion is made by placing the herb in an open crystal glass or bowl, using fresh herbs when possible. Cover the herb with fresh water and place directly in the Moon light, a Full Moon being the best time. Do not cover. Allow to infuse overnight and drink first thing in the morning. Lunar teas are subtle, and awaken the feminine mystic in us.

    Decoction
    Use this method when the material you want to extract is a bitter, or mineral salt. The whole herb, roots or seeds, or the bark of a woody plant are soaked in cold water for several hours, then brought to a boil and simmered for 30 minutes. The correct proportion if not otherwise specified is one once of plant material to two cups of water.

    Because a decoction is stronger than an infusion the dosage is usually one-half cup before meals, usually cold. Honey may be added as a sweetener.

    Embrocation
    Dilute a decoction in a gallon of water. This method is useful to soaking a sprained ankle, swollen foot or finger.


    Tincture
    Menstruums :There are three basic menstruums, or solvents used to extract the chemical compounds of herbs in tinctures, alcohol, glycerin, and vinegar. Alcohol is the most used because it can extract fats, resins, waxes,most alkaloids, and some of the volatile oils, as well as many other plant compounds. Water is also necessary to extract the water soluble plant chemicals.

    Using an 80 to 100 proof alcohol such as vodka, brandy and gin provides the alcohol-water ratio you need without having to add anything. If pure grain alcohol ( 190 proof) is used, water will have to be added. Don't use city tap water that contains chlorine, use either distilled or pure spring water

    Herbs: Either fresh or dried finely chopped herbs can be used. Use of one pint of menstrum to two ounces of dried herbs, or about two handfuls of fresh.


    The important thing is to completely cover the herbs, leaving a couple of extra inches of liquid about the herbs to allow for swelling as the herbs absorb the liquid. Leave some headroom in the jar. If using vinegar, warm first before pouring it over the herbs.

    Procedure for making an easy tincture:

    Chop herbs finely
    Place in a glass jar, labeled with the current date and name of the herb
    Add sufficient liquid menstruum to completely cover the herb
    Cap with a tight fitting lid, put the jar in a dark place at room temperature, and shake at least once daily.
    After 2 to 3 weeks, strain the contents through several layers of cheesecloth.


    Allow to settle overnight in a clean jar
    Restrain through a filter paper
    Store in a labeled, amber glass bottle away from light and heat.

    The Chinese macerate herbs for months sometimes even years. For stronger tinctures a suggested time can be 4 to 6 weeks. The duration depends on the mixture and on your patience, in time you will develop your own style.

    I use a kitchen cupboard that I open on a regular basis, so I don't forget the shake the bottle. Tinctures will keep for 6 months. The standard dose is one tablespoon in a wineglass of water once or twice a day.

    Herb Infused Oil
    Medicinal Oils can be used alone, or can form the basis of salves and balms. The general principal is oil plus heat plus herbs, the method you choose will depend on your own preferences.

    Solar infusion: Using the simplers' measure, place the herbs and oil in a glass jar and cover tightly. Place in a warm,sunny window and let infuse for about 2 weeks. Strain and rebottle. For a stronger oil, add a fresh batch of herbs and let infuse for two more weeks.


    Oven Extraction: Place the herbs and oil in a canning jar, or a container with a tight fitting lid. Put them in a pan with enough water to cover the bottom half of the jar.

    Turn the oven on the lowest temperature possible and heat for several hours. This is a good method for those days when you are going to be around the house all day. I have better luck with this than the faster double boiler method, because the oil doesnt tend to overheat, and you don't have to watch it so carefully.


    Double boiler method. Place herbs and oil in a double boiler ,covered with a tightly fitting lid and bring to a slow simmer. SLOWLY heat for 1/2 hour to an hour, checking frequently to make sure oil is not overheating. The lower the heat and longer the infusion time the better quality of oil.


    Crockpot method. Place herbs and oils in crockpot and set on lowest possible heat. You will have to experiment with your own crockpot as the strength of the heating element can vary quite a bit, but as a general rule 2 to 4 hours will do it. (my crockpot is just too hot for this method) Electric roasters have an even lower heat source and herbal oils can be left to steep for 2 weeks.


    Once the herbs have been infused into the oil, strain the mixture, bring to room temperature. You may then add a few drops of essential oils such as lemon, or rosemary for even more stimulating properties as well as a nice fresh scent. Rebottle and enjoy.

    Syrup
    This method is good for preparation of cough syrups. Make a concentrated infusion, eight ounces of herb to 12 ounces of water.

    Infuse for 15 to twenty minutes, strain and pour the liquid back into the pot. To each pint of liquid add one cup of honey, warm the mixture to mix well, but do not over cook the honey as it will kill the enzymes. Some additions could be a flavored brandy, a few drops of essential oil or a fruit concentrate.


    Poultice
    External use. Herbs are chopped fresh or dried are moistened with apple-cider vinegar and mixed with whole wheat flour or cooked barley, to hold it together. The proportion should be 1 part herb to 3 parts vehicle. Spread the mixture on a warm, moist cloth and fold the ends and sides over. Oil the skin before applying the hot poultice, and plastic or a heating pad can be used to help retain the heat.


    Balms/Salves
    Infused oils form the basis for salves and balms. Heat the infused oil together in a double boiler with beeswax until the wax is completely melted. Check the consistency by placing a few drops on a cool plate, the more wax, the firmer the salve. Pour will warm into jars or tins.

    Add essential oils for increased fragrance and potency.
    Quick Salve:

    Fresh or dried herbs are covered with water, brought to a boil in a enamel or stainless steel pot. Use spring water. After the mixture comes to a boil, simmer for 30 minutes. Strain. Add to an equal amount of olive or safflower oil. Return to the pot and simmer until the water is gone.

    Remove from flame and add enough beeswax to give a thicker consistency. Test by putting a teaspoonful on a cool plate. If it thickens at once, the amount of wax is correct. Stir and bottle will still hot.

    Smoke
    There are many traditional recipes that call for the smoking of herbs. The smoking of leaves has been recommended for coughs since the time of Dioscorides, Galen and Pliny. Coltsfoot predominates in many of these herbal smoking mixtures and forms the basis of British Herbal Tobacco.


    Liniment
    Liniments are made exactly the same as herbal tinctures, except they are meant for external use. Make sure and label your liniments "FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY" , when using a solvent that is inedible such as rubbing alcohol.


    Essential Oil Massage
    When applying essential oils to the skin, always dilute with a carrier oil before applying. 5 drops EO per teaspoon or 15 drops EO per tablespoon of base oil . One teaspoon will be sufficient for most bodies. Save empty essential oil bottles to store massage or synergy mixes. Most come in handy 1/2 oz bottles.


    Vapor Inhale
    This method is best used to ease breathing and break up congestion. 2 - 3 drops essential oil, or a handful of fresh herbs such as eucalyptus in a bowl of hot water. Make a tent over your head with a towel. Close your eyes lean over the bowl and breathe in the steam for about a minute.


    Herbal Bath
    When adding essential the essential oils to the hot bath, wait until the water has stopped running, so they don't evaporate.

    You can dilute the oils in a base oil or honey, or add them neat, using a total of 10 to 14 drops per bath as a general rule. When using fresh herbs, put them in a muslin bag. To soften skin and remove impurities, dissolve 1 cup of epsom salts in the bath water.


    Standard bath. Aromatic baths with herbs and essential oils are an important part of hydrotherapy (water therapy), benefiting both the body and the mind aspects of conditions such as stress, troubled skin, and arthritis.


    Sitz Baths - Referred to as hip baths because only the pelvic region is immersed in the water, good for treating cramps, lower back pain, vaginitis and hemorrhoids.
    Foot Baths - The many blood vessels in the feet are able to carry the herbal or aromatic remedy all over the body.
    Compress

    Both infusions and decoctions made from herbs and essential oils diluted with water may be used for external applications. You may dip a cloth in a full strength infusion, wring out the excess moisture and apply to the treatment area.

    This method is used to treat skin irritation, headaches or insect bites. A compress can be made with a bandage or any clean cloth folded to form a pad. Soak the material in teas made from herbs, roots or essential oils. They can be hot or cold. Wrap over the area firmly ( but not so firm as to cut off circulation.


    Essential Oil Diffusers
    Showers As directed or a maximum of 8 drops. Add the essential oil to your washcloth and rub briskly while standing under the running water. Use a decongesting oil like eucalyptus to ease congestion from a cold, or to simply wake up.


    Aroma Lamps 15 to 20 drops can be used at a time in most standard sized lamps. Candle lamp bowl should be of a non-porous material, like ceramic, marble, glass or porcelain.
    Humidifier 1 - 10 drops added to the water
    Radiator 1 - 10 drops.Put a cotton ball with essential oils somewhere where it makes contact with the heat
    Room Spray 8 or more drops per 1 cup water, or 1 drop per ml 120 ml = 4 fluid ounces.

    Use a new plant sprayer filled with warm water. Be careful as you would with any air spray about letting it land on good wood.

    Water bowl 1 - 10 drops. Just put boiling water in a bowl and add essential oils. Close doors and windows for 5 minutes to allow aroma to permeate the room.

    Wood Fires 1 drop per log. Use cypress, pine, sandalwood, or cedarwood. Add oil at least 1 hour before lighting.
    Follow directions on electric diffusers.


    Essential Oil Diffusers Remedies

    Mist Spray
    8 or more drops per 1 cup water, or 1 drop per ml 120 ml = 4 fluid ounces. Use a new plant sprayer filled with warm water. Sprays will keep best in a darkly colored glass bottle. If spraying body, avoid face. Be careful as you would with any air spray about letting it land on good wood.

    Remedies & Uses

    Select Condition Abrasions Abscess/Boil Aches & Pains Acne Air Fresheners Alcoholism Allergies Alopecia Amenorrhea Angina Anxiety/Panic Aphrodisiac Arthritis Asthma Bladder Infection Brain/Memory

    /Focus Deodorants Bronchitis Bruises/Sprains Burns Cellulite Reduction Childbirth Cholesterol Control Chronic Fatigue Colds Congestion Conjunctivitis Constipation Cordial Cough Depression Diabetes

    Diarrhea Digestion Drug addiction Dysmenorrhea Eczema Eye care Facial Female Tonics Fibromyalgia Fungus Infections General Tonics Gingivitis Gout Headache Hair Care Herpes Home Cleaners Hyperglycemia Hypertension Indigestion Immune System Influenza Insect Bites Insect Repellent

    Insomnia Kidney Liver Lungs/Respiratory Lupus Skin Care Menopause Menorrhagia Neuralgia Osteoarthritis Osteoporosis Parasites/Worms Pet care PMS Pregnancy Prostate health Psoriasis Rheumatoid Arthritis Scabies Sexual tonics Sinusitis Sore Throat Stop Smoking Stress Toothache/Earache Vein Support Weight Loss Yeast

    Equivalence Measures
    1 pinch = less than 1/8 teaspoon (dry)
    1 dash = 3 drops to 1/4 teaspoon (liquid)
    3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon = 1/2 ounce (liquid and dry)
    2 tablespoons = 1 ounce (liquid and dry)
    4 tablespoons = 2 ounces (liquid and dry) = 1/4 cup
    1 cup = 8 ounces (liquid) = 1/2 pint
    16 cups = 128 ounces (liquid) = 4 quarts = 1 gallon
    Approximate Equivalents
    1 quart (liquid) = about 1 liter
    8 tablespoons = 4 ounces = 1/2 cup = 1 stick butter


    ** Information on the traditional uses and properties of herbs are provided for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice. None is guaranteed. Many traditional uses and properties of herbs have not been validated by the FDA. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs. **

    Sue



    [This Message was Edited on 02/12/2007]
  2. foggygirl

    foggygirl New Member

    You are just a WEALTH of information--thank you again..and again.

    Do you do your own herbs? Is this a hobby/profession for you? If so, what's your favorite herb/use etc.?

    Foggygirl
  3. suzetal

    suzetal New Member

    I just decided to do some research cause so many have ? I just thought I would try and help.

    I am going to start trying some.Especially for sleep .Been taking Ambien that works well for me I just think 4 yrs on this med is just to to long.Who knows what its doing to me.

    I am going to try one thing at a time for 30 days to find what works for me.Remember check with your doctor first.

    Hugs
    Sue
  4. California31

    California31 New Member

    i last used herbs consistently about 6 or so years ago...think I'll stock up on my sleeping potion ...and as far as Ambien goes...there are alot of posts on this site about the very unpleasant side effects for many...mine included. Many blessings.
  5. Lynna62

    Lynna62 New Member

    Thanks so much for posting this info. It has been very timely for me since I just started putting tea tree oil on a hard lump my dog has. It looks just like a mast cell tumor that my last Boxer had.....after we had it surgically removed it spread throughout his body and we ultimately had to put him to sleep.

    I put it on the lump 2 times a day for the past 3 days and it's ALMOST GONE!!! I'm currently researching something called "black ointment".

    Thanks again,
    Lynna