Let’s go through how to use medicinal herbs and how to preserve them.
Hey there, I’m Juliea and I’ve had a lifelong love affair with medicinal herbs, their uses and beauty. My love of herbs started when I was 7 years old and went to stay with my Grandma Joe for the summer. She was a beautiful Italian health nut, who taught by example to use herbs and whole foods for nutritional healing.
With this guide you’ll be able to include medicinal herbs from your garden in your diet and medicine cabinet!
How To Use Medicinal Herbs
There are many ways to use your herbs medicinally! After you harvest herbs, preserve them for future use. For example, preserve herbs by making tinctures, extracts, salves, or by drying them. Make sure to store dried herbs in dark, air tight jars. (Because herbs potency is slowly destroyed with exposure to light.) After that, I’ll teach you what each herb is used for and where they can be grown!
Herbal teas are the most common way to use herbs medicinally. As a matter of fact, herbal teas or the oldest form of medicine. That’s because dried medicinal herbs are easily stored, for long periods of time, then used in herbal teas.
When you make herbal tea, you first put your dry herbs in muslin sack like these and soak herbs in hot water, as a result herbs powerful compounds get diluted with water. Mild herbal teas are used on a daily basis for health & well-being!
This is my favorite way to use herbs… A nice warm cup of herbal tea is relaxing to the mind and body, which is a great way to start feeling better!
Herbal Tea Bath!!!
I LOVE taking a nice warm bath… Especially if I’m cold, sore, or sick! Nothing makes a bath better than some relaxing herbs steeped in hot bathwater. The smell of lavender, eucalyptus, and chamomile allmake for a very relaxing bath. But that’s not all they are good for. Lavender is wonderful for the skin and the senses!
Herbal tea baths for rashes include lavender, calendula, aloe vera and chamomile.
***Make sure to use a bag like this bath tea bag, so herbs don’t clog your drain! (I’ve done that and it’s not cool!)
TIP: Ramp up your tea bath even more with epsom salts!
Herbal extracts are one of the strongest form of medicinal herbs. Therefore, herbal extracts are great for treating ailments like the common cold, stress & anxiety etc. To make herbal extracts:
- First – Soak herbs in alcohol or water.
- Second – After herbs have soaked for a a time, use a hydraulic press to extract herbs beneficial compounds.
- Third – Extract producers let the excess alcohol or water evaporate, leaving the concentrated herbal extract.
- Fourth – Put liquid extract into dark dropper jars and then LABEL them!
- Fifth – Store jars in a cool dry place.
To make an herbal tincture take fresh herbs and preserve them in alcohol or glycerin, like this one. Glycerin tinctures are alcohol and great free for kids! Tinctures are not as strong as extracts. However, they’re a good choice when you want something more mild.
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To make herb powders: First dry fresh herbs well. Second, grind dried herbs to powder. Powdered herbs are put into empty veggie capsule like these for easy ingestion, or used in salves, ointments and cooking.
Store powdered herbs in dark air tight containers to help preserve their strength. I get these ones because they are dark amber to keep light out, and glass of course! (Because herbs potency is slowly destroyed with exposure to light.)
Herbal Vinegar (How To Make Herbal Vinegar Video)
First, add fresh herbs to raw vinegar. After that let herbs soak for two to six weeks!
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First, soak a loosely woven cloth in appropriate herbal tea. Second, apply the soaked cloth directly to injured area. This is a great way to treat rashes, minor burns, and surface wounds.
Tip: Comfrey tea is great as a compress and wonderful to increase healing of minor cuts and burns.
***However, using comfrey internally is not recommended, and can cause severe liver damage.
To make herbal ointment: First, dry fresh herbs, then grind dry herbs into powders, or use herbal extracts. Add them to salves, and apply ointment to injured area.
A poultice is a hot moist combination of fresh or dry herbs with four and mustard. Poultices help relax muscles, soothe inflamed tissue and draw out infection.
To make a poultice: Grind herbs Ingredients into a paste and spread onto a cloth. Apply poultices for 24 hours to sores and inflamed areas to increase blood flow and relieve pain.
Poultices are useful for abscesses, boils and bruises, enlarged glands, and on surface wounds or ulcers. In addition, poultices are good at breaking up congestion, and drawing out pus and infections!
Poultices help reduce pain and inflammation,as a result they help our bodies heal.
Additionally, kids are soothed and feel cared for when you give them a nice warm poultice to make an owey better! A few of my favorite herbal poultices include:
- For Rashes and Skin Problems: Chaparral, dandelion, yellow dock.
- For Inflammation: Fenugreek, slippery elm, goldenseal, mustard, and flaxseed.
- Bug Bites, Stings, and Wounds: Lobelia & Charcoal.
***If you are using an irritating herb, like mustard for instance, don’t place directly on skin; use a cloth in between skin and poultice.
Essential oils have many uses. As a matter of fact, my friend Laura over at Our Oily House has essential oil recipes for every use, so be sure to check her out!
- Steam distillation and cold pressing herbs produces essential oils.
- Essential oils are used medicinally in so many ways like: as mouthwash, ear wash, and as eye wash, inhalations, douches and teas.
- External uses include healing burns, cuts and scrapes.
- Dilute essential oils before using on skin, because they can hurt you. For instance, they can burn skin in their pure form.
How To Make Fresh Herbal Tea, Tinctures and Herbal Vinegars
I’m taking you through medicinal herbs from A_Z, their uses and growing zones. After that, I’ll share the process of making herbal teas, tinctures and vinegars from your fresh garden!
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