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Methods of Preparing Traditional Herbal Remedies

Methods of Preparing
Traditional Herbal Remedies

STANDARD INFUSION
An infusion is generally like making a cup of tea. Boil 32 parts of water (by volume), remove from heat, and steep one part (by volume) of the herb in the water for 20-30 minutes. Strain and drink warm or cold. This is approximately 1 level teaspoon of dried herb per teacupful (about 1/2 of a measuring cup / 8 ounces) of water. In larger quantities, generally it calls for 30 grams of dried herb (or 60 grams fresh herb) to 500 milliliters of water. Infusions are best prepared as needed and taken the same day it was prepared.

COLD INFUSION
After pre-moistening a bit, soak one part herb (dry weight) in 32 parts of water (by volume) at room temperature, overnight. Strain and squeeze out the herb into the tea in the morning. Cold nfusions are best prepared as needed and taken the same day it was prepared.

DECOCTION
Combine 32 parts of water with one part of dried herb (by weight), bring slowly to a boil, continue to boil for 10 to 20 minutes, cool until warm, and strain. Pour additional water through the herb to return the volume to 32.

TINCTURE
Tinctures are generic preparations of herbs using varying ratios of water and alcohol. Most tinctures made from dry plants are 1:4 strength with one part of the dried weight represented in four parts (by volume) of the tincture. For home preparations of tinctures, at least 50% alcohol is generally recommended.. While a bit harder and more expensive to prepare, shelf life of a properly prepared tincutre with at least 50% alcohol can be several years. Generally, use 1 part dried herb to 2 parts water and 2 parts alcohol. Place in a glass jar or container and let soak for 2 weeks, shaking or stirring daily. After two weeks, strain herb from tincture and place tincture in clean glass dark bottles or containers and store at room temperature. Some plants are best prepared only as a tincture as some beneficial phyotchemicals are not soluble in water but are soluble in alcohol.


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