How to Make Medicines from Plants
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: February 16, 2006

How do you derive medicinal value from green plants? Is it by boiling the plant and then evaporating the water away? Do you dry the plant first?

Medicinal remedies are usually made in the form of teas and alcoholic tinctures. To make teas and alcoholic tinctures, it is not necessary or preferable to dry the plant first. The medicinal properties of the plant are extracted by water or alcohol. Some plant chemicals are better extracted by water, and some are better extracted by water.

Here is how to make herbal teas:

*Infusions* for flowers, leaves, stems, soft berries: Use a teapot or container with a close-fitting lid. Place one teaspoon of dried herb or 3 teaspoons fresh herb into the pot. Pour one cup of water, just off the boil, over the herb. Steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain and drink hot or cold.

*Decoction *for seeds, roots, barks, twigs, hard or dry berries: Use an enamelled or glass pot (never aluminum). Add one teaspoon of the herb to 1 cup water. Simmer, covered, for 20 - 30 minutes. Strain and drink hot or cold.

Although the amount of herb per cup is usually one teaspoon of dried herb or three teaspoons of fresh herb, this does vary. You will need a good herbal resource to give you the correct proportions for a medicinal dose of each herb.

There is information on makig tinctures on our website at www.richters.com. Choose "Q&A" from the main menu, then enter the word "tincture" for the search.

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