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Tinctures, Infusions and Teas
In the coming months I will be providing articles that deal with many different herbal remedies. It is important to know how to make the different preparations the recipes call for, so I thought the subject deserved an article all its own.
The difference between teas, infusions and tinctures is the method of the making. Each has their own beneficial properties with teas being considered low dose and tinctures considered extra strength. All are simple to make and do not require any special equipment.
Dried herbs can be purchased at any heath food store or online. They can come prepackaged or in bulk. Most herbs are easy to grow and seeds can be purchased from Horizon Herbs at http://www.horizonherbs.com. They are a reputable company I have ordered from for years.
Teas are generally made with a small amount of herb, or combination of herbs, to a cup of hot water. It doesn't matter whether you use a tea bag, basket or loose herb, the method is the same. Pour boiling water over the herbs and allow them to seep until cool enough to drink.
An infusion is generally made by a one to one ratio. One cup of herb to one cup of water. Made just like tea, you pour boiling water over the herbs and allow to cool to at least room temperature and sometimes overnight or days. Once it has sat the specified period of time, the liquid is strained and stored in the refrigerator. Infusions are sometimes given by the teaspoon full and other times it is suggested to drink the entire amount throughout the day.
Tinctures are generally made from alcohol. Any cheap vodka will work well. Like an infusion, a good rule of thumb is one part herb to one part liquid. Tinctures take time as the alcohol pulls the essential nutrients from the herbs into the liquid. The minimum time is thirty days, but the longer you can allow them to sit the better. Personally, I don't touch tinctures for at least six months. The simplest way to make a tincture is to put the herb in a wide mouthed canning jar, pour the vodka over it, cover and put into a rarely opened cabinet to work. If using dried herbs, tie them up in a cheesecloth ball before adding the alcohol. After aging, tinctures are strained and rebottled. They are usually dispensed using an eyedropper.
You can purchase tinctures at most health food stores, but their price is generally quite prohibitive. By purchasing the herbs in bulk, or better yet growing your own, you can make tinctures in your kitchen for a fraction of the price.
Article first appeared at:
Garden & Hearth's Open Hearth in the Natural Living Section
Disclaimer: All information on this site is for informational purposes only. Before using any alternative remedy, begin any new exercise routine or otherwise start trying any of the recipes included on these pages, check with your primary health provider. Many herbs, foods, and exercises can conflict with medications you are taking or have unknown side effects.
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