Herbal study lesson 3. I am here to share my notes with you from my book study I am doing on herbs.
Choosing an herb from.
80 percent of all herbal supplements are sold in capsule form. They are not always as potent. They contain dried ground herbs. Some herbs when chopped finely can loose there potency faster. You may have to take a few capsules to get the desired effect.
Fresh herbs vs dried
Fresh herbs are wonderful for adding to food, making tea, mash up for skin irritations But unless you have your own herb garden most used dried herbs. Make sure you use herbs that have not out lived their shelf life. The longer an herb sits unused the more it looses its power.
Teas, Infusions, Decoctions
Some herbs do very well in the process of making tea. You add hot boiling water to the herbs to extract the materials active components. But barks,roots,seeds & berries tend to require more heat and time to release their medicinal compounds. They need to be simmered in low heat for 10-30 mins! Herbalist call this decocting. The easiest way of course to get teas is to buy pre-made herbal tea bags and steep them.
Tinctures and Glycerites
Herbs are sometimes soaked in a liquid other than water to release the medicinal compounds. For tinctures you use alcohol. Glycerites use glycerin. With some herbs the chemicals that do healing do not work well with certain liquids. Alcohol is about to extract more chemical components from more plants than glycerin so use alcohol if your able to consume alcohol for tinctures.
The concentration of medicinal herbs varies from herb to herb. For example tea made from ginkgo leaves would have no value at all. You would need many pounds of ginkgo to make a single effective dose and those must be repeated over time to have the desired effect of restoring memory! So that's where standardized extracts come in handy!
Infused & also Essential Oils
These two sound the same but are very different. Infused oils have been steeped for weeks! Essential oils are chemical concentrations of a plants volatile or easily evaporated oils. Mostly made by distillation essential oils are very strong. Most should not be taken internally. Some can be toxic. They are mostly for skin or used for cleaning purposes.
The last forms of herbs are tablets & sprays.
Tablets are controlled quantities of finely milled herbs compressed into a shape. Sprays are a liquid that can be taken under the tongue.The active ingredients will enter the blood stream fast by passing the gastrointestinal tract where they might get damaged by stomach acids. Sprays are helpful for those who do not like taking pill forms.
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