Monday, October 10, 2011

Learning about herb tinctures

Susan invited me to a workshop yesterday where we learned about herbal remedies, uses for different plants and how to make our own tinctures.  I just learned what a tincture was within this last year.  Four of us showed up at Peggy's house and she took us on a tour of her gardens telling us what was what and what it could be used for and what parts to use.  She was very patient as we all jumped in asking question after question.  I wish I had my camera so I could have taken pictures of her full gardens.

Next we went up to her apothecary where she already had some herbs ready for us.  We each chose the one that spoke to us.  I chose the dandelion because we have them all over the place.  The benefits of dandelions are too numerous for me to list so I'll share this link The other choices were echinacea, holy basil, hyssop, horehound and passion fruit plant.  I made 2 tinctures, one with the dandelion root and one with the green leaves.  I cut them into small slices with scissors and put them in jars till they were full when I tamped them down.  Next I poured 100 proof vodka on top leaving almost no head space.  I put the lid on and shook for a good while.  I will do this every few days for 6 weeks when it's ready to use.  After the 6 weeks I will strain the leaves or roots out and press them to get as much juice from them as I can.  I'll have to experiment with how much to use.  Dropfuls of the tincture are to be added to a glass of water and drink. 

Peggy sent me home with some holy basil so today I made a tincture from it.   I found this website  which describes much better than I can what people use holy basil for.  It's often used to treat depression, anxiety, ADD,  give you more strength and stamina, etc, etc.  I sure could use some help concentrating these days.  I have a harder and harder time staying focused on one thing at a time.  A little stamina couldn't hurt either.  I also bought a tincture from her called eleuthera which also helps with memory and concentration. 

First I cut the basil in small pieces.  The only part I didn't use were the woody stems.

I saved some seeds so we can plant our own next year.  Its leaves are not shiny like the Italian basil we grow and, like the basil we usually cook with it smells heavenly but has its own unique wonderful smell.  I added the vodka, shook and was done.  Very simple.  Now I wait.

I want to pick some stinging nettles from near our cabin to make tea or a salve since I'm told it has many nutrients and healing properties.  It's also an anti-inflamatory and used for arthritis and aching joints.

I've always appreciated herbs but more for cooking than homeopathic reasons.  I'm learning a lot from my friends. 

Susan, what did I leave out?

1 comment:

  1. Lets do an infusion of nettle for the sheep and goats.