How to Prepare and Use Herbs at Home

By: Ana Margarita Olar | Foodfindsasia.com

You might think that taking herbal medicines is just crushing or boiling them.

But the truth is, herbs also need careful and thorough preparation before you can use them. You have to know which part of the plant you must use for certain conditions.

You also have to know if these herbs need to be dried, boiled, or crushed before drinking or applying them.

Here are some ways on how you can prepare these herbs at home:

herbs

JUICE

This is one of the most common methods of using herbs. Chop and press plant parts such as fruits to extract the juice. Or, in a case of leaves, chop and press, add water and press again.

This is to extract the vitamins and minerals from the herbs. Make sure you consume this immediately.

INFUSION

This method is like making a tea from different parts of the herbs such as leaves, barks, stem or even roots. This is to extract the active ingredients of the herbs. For ½ to 1 ounce of the plant, add 1 pint of boiled water. Then let the mixture steep for 5 to 10 minutes, and strain the infusion into a cup.

DECOCTION

This method is similar to infusion. It allows you to extract mineral salts and bitter principles. For a ½ ounce of a plant, add 1 cup of water and boil for 4 minutes. Steep the mixture for a few minutes.

HERB BATH 

One simple way to do this is to boil the plant parts for a few minutes and mixing it in a tub or pail of water. For a full herb bath, some of the medicinal plants should be put in a bag and boiled in water.

The strained mixture is added to the bath. It is used in conditions such as fever, rashes, and colds. A lemon grass herb bath is excellent for bathing a woman after giving birth.

POULTICE 

This method involves crushing the plant parts to a pulpy mass. Then apply heat. Mix it with a moist flour or corn meal. Apply the mixture on the skin and wrap a warm towel. A poultice is known to cure muscle pain.

Herbal medicines don’t guarantee immediate relief. Keep in mind that the active ingredients in these plants will provide relief little by little.

Also, make sure you have washed the plant parts well to be safe. Most importantly, listen to your body. If the symptoms are not relieved, you need to consult a physician.

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