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August 16, 2011 / complementarymedicineblog

How to make tinctures, oils, syrups and other herbal remedies

Herbal medicine is a very popular form of treatment with a rich history and it is mostly because there are so many different plant species in the world which can be used to make different kinds of herbal remedies. There are really a lot of things that can be made out of herbs and we are going to take a look at how to make some of them.

 
Tinctures: In order to make a tincture you must soak herbs in alcohol (vodka or rum) and leave them there for about 10 days or more. That way you can extract all the valuable ingredients from the plant material. After that you must strain them and put them in bottles made out of dark glass.

 
Oils: Herbal oils can be used during pain relieving massages and also for culinary purposes. To make them you must infuse flowers, leaves, barks or other plant ingredients in oil. Canola, olive and almond oils are the most frequently used ones. Just like herbal tinctures you should preserve herbal oils only in bottles made out of dark glass.

 
Ointments: You can also make ointments out of herbs and smear them on any cuts, grazes, aching joints or muscles. To make this kind of ointment you must add herbs to some kind of a fat (vegetable fat, olive oil, beeswax, lard etc.) and leave them to steep for at least 10 minutes. You can find a lot of herbal ointment recipes here.

 
Teas: To make herbal tea you must obviously infuse herbs (usually in a dried form) in boiling water and let them steep for about 10 minutes. Chamomile, peppermint and dandelion teas are among the most popular ones.

 
Syrups: Herbal syrup can be a great remedy for fighting off colds and it is made by adding unrefined honey or sugar to an herbal infusion. When it is done you must stir the whole thing up a bit and boil the substance until it has become thick and resembles syrup. It is better to store syrups in open jars or bottles because you don’t want them to explode in case of a sugar fermentation.

 
Photo by Latisha.

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