Blog: Eye Of Newt : Beauty Tips
by Wrenn

Boil, Toil, Stir and Bubble

Basics of making you own infusions, decoctions, salves, poultices, compresses, tinctures, syrups, and vinegars for use in any circumstance regarding uses of herbs

Date:   2/17/2005 11:55:17 PM   ( 12 y ) ... viewed 4375 times

infusions

a tea made by steeping herbs in
cold or boiled water.

the difference between a decoction and an infusion
is that the herbs are steeped for infusions,
and boiled or simmered for a decoction.

the longer a preparation steeps,
the more phytochemicals will be extracted.
also the longer it steeps , the more tannins
will be extracted , making it more bitter.

usual method for medicinal purposes
are appr 1 oz dried, or 1 & 1/2 oz fresh herbs,
in a pint of water (cold or boiled will vary with recipe)
for 5-10 minutes (will vary as much as 30 min to overnight
depending on recipe/ barks or cold steeped vs boiled water.

strain off herbs. typical dose: 1/2 cup to a tbsp 3x' day
(again it will vary as to recipe or useage
for medicinal or skin or beauty useage,
or just plain to drink for a nice tea

..........................................................

decoction

basic: idea:
2 oz fresh herbs (or 1 ounce dried)
in ovenproof glass pot.
add 4 cups water. and bring to a boil.
simmer til liquid decreases by 1/2
strain liquid into serving glass container
or storage glass container.


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ointments

ointments are preparations of herbs
in a base of a fatty oil substance.

they are applied directly to the skin.

to make: two ounces of dried herbs
(or 3 ounces of fresh)
put in OvEN PROOF glass pot.
add one cup pressed sunflower oil
or almond oil. or similar good oil.

heat oil til very hot, but below simmer stage.
DO NOT LET OIL BURN OR SMOKE!!
because herbs have moisture, they will *pop*
so use caution to avoid burning.

place pot in oven at 170 degrees for 2 hours
remove from oven., LET COOL abit
strain off herbs and pour mixture into
glass/sterile containers.
use topically as needed.

.................................................

salves

follow recipe above.
immediately after staining herbs,
add one ounce beeswax,
mix and continue til wax is melted and well mixed.
pour into appropriate container.
it will become more solid as it cools.

................................................

syrups

to make:
take one cup of fresh decoction/or infusion
of desired herb, and heat.
add one cup raw maple syrup or honey.
stir til dissolved.
cool, then pour into dark amber colored bottles,
and store.
the honey will help preserve the syrup + give it taste.
also easier to swallow than caps/tablets etc..
since the honey helps coat the throat, soothing
irritated membranes in throat tissues.

a typical dose would be about 1 tsp, 3x's a day.

..........................................................

____________________________________________________________



Tinctures

prepared by adding alcohol
to fresh or dried herbs

pour two cups 80 proof brandy or vodka
over 2 ounces fresh, or 1 ounce dry herbs.

DO NOT USE METAL OR PLASTIC

store in cool dark place for 2 weeks.
SHAKE DAILY.
strain mixture/ squeezing herbs well.

store in amber dark dropper bottle.

usual doses are one teaspoon (20 drops)
under tongue, 3x's a day.

..........................................

vinegars

can be used medicinally, flavorfully,
or facially/cosmetically.

the idea in this format is not geared for taste,
but to get the best from the extraction of
beneficial phytochemicals.

place 2 tablespoons (or more) of herbs
in a wide mouth jar with sealable lid.
pour one pint of apple cider vinegar
or rice vinegar over herbs.

the strength of the vinegar will vary
according to how many herbs are added.

allow vinegar to stand in cool dark place 2 weeks.
(the longer a vinegar stands, the more they will
flavor the solution.)

typical dose: one tsp (or 20 drops) under tongue
3 times a day.

...................................................

___________________________________________________________


compresses

good for topical uses on skin
made by soaking cloth strips in
hot herbal solutions.
place cloth directly on affected area.

to avoid burning or blistering
always test the heat before applying.

very effective for muscle strains,
ligament sprains and also face beauty masks.


.....................................................

poultices

hot, moist herbal concentrations made
by placing herbs on loose cloth (like muslin )
which is then applied to skin.

frequently used to treat inflammations/

to make: fill a square of cheesecloth
with boiled or steeped herbs.
the liquid from herbs.. will moisten the cheesecloth.

apply while warm/as hot as can be tolerated.
discard immediately ( used herbs when reheated will
not help as medicinal properties are not restored.)

suggestion/ make 2 poultices..(keeping one warm)
then when done with first one.. throw out and use 2nd.

__________________________________________________________







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