From infusions and tinctures to oils and salves: The basics of herbal healing and the beginnings of any potion.
Decoction: A decoction is needed to extract the deeper essence from harder substances such as barks, roots and stems. Place the raw materials in a pot and fill it with fresh water. Simmer uncovered until the water lever is reduced by 1/3. Strain the resulting liquid to remove particulates then drink or use as needed. Infusion: Pour freshly boiled water over the desired herb or planar matter, roughly 8 ounces of water per teaspoon of dried plant parts. When using fresh herbs roughly 3 times as much is required.
Oil: Place flowers, herbs or other plant parts in a sealed glass container. Fill the container with an organic oil (ex: Olive, sesame, etc…) until it is an inch above the material being used. Place the bottle somewhere warm for 2 weeks, next to a stove while cooking, on the mantle, a sunny window sill, etc. Upend the container daily to ensure the oil saturates the material.
Ointment: Heat 2 cups of pure lard to frying temperature. Add 4 handfuls of crumbled dry herbs or 6 handfuls of chopped fresh herb to the lard. Stir to to blend and let simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat, cover and let sit over night. Reheat until liquid then mix in 4 tablespoons of an organic oil, this will prevent it hardening to much. Squeeze through a cheese clothe to remove solids and store in a crockery or glass container.
Salve: Mix 3 ounces of finely pulped plant parts, 7 ounces of lard and 1 ounce of beeswax. When thoroughly mixed simmer over low heat in active red pot for 1-2 hours. Remove from eat and allow to cool.
Tincture: A tincture uses alcohol to extract the properties of a herb or plant. Loosely fill a glass container with fresh or dried herbs and add some sort of food grade spirit (ex: vodka), vinegar can also be used for certain ingredients. Cork or otherwise seal the container and leave somewhere warm for 2 or more weeks.
*Information from “Healing Teas - How to prepare and use read to maximize your health” by Marie Nadine Antol.
**images from google.