Sometimes we think of herbs just as a seasoning for cooking or to infuse as a hot drink. However, herbs can be used in many ways based on the consumer’s preference. The best thing is that anyone who has some herbs at home can learn to use them, it is as simple as cooking a dish with a recipe and over time you become better with the quantity, ingredients, and temperature.
There are three amazingly simple preparations, let us start by going over tinctures or liquid herbal extracts. The first time I learned about tinctures was when I gave birth to my baby, my midwife recommended to get a placenta tincture after birth. That is why I did a little more research, and it turns out that herbalists also use it for herbs. They grind the herbs until they have a powder. Then they put it in a glass container and dissolve it in alcohol for a few days until they have a solution that can be placed in a dropper.
Many people choose tinctures because they are easy to carry, quick to ingest, and because of their long durability. I was extremely impressed when the placenta specialist gave me my dropper and said that I could save some of it for my menopause (in 10 years or more).
Tinctures usually come in a dropper, and they are mostly taken 3 to 5 times a day. But like everything in life nothing is perfect, the downside is that these tinctures cannot be used by people who cannot drink alcohol due to health problems (Swift, K., & Midura, R.).
Herbs can also be infused to make oils for consumption or topical use. They are recommended for the relief of pain in the body, but for that, you must use them frequently. In addition, they are very well absorbed by the skin. Based on the circumstances a person can use lighter oils such as grapeseed oil or denser oils such as castor oil.
If you want your infused herbal oils to last longer, please remember to protect them from sunlight and keep them in a cool place; you can put them in glass containers, this way they can last up to a year. People often confuse these oils with essential oils. Essential oils are different because they are created through a distillation process and come in higher concentration.
Finally, one of the best known and preferred methods by many people is herbal capsules. For this method, the herbs are first placed in a grinder until they become powder, and then they are encapsulated with a machine or by filling the capsules. Before starting a new treatment, you must consult with a naturopathic doctor or herbalist as the doses will depend on the herb benefits and other symptoms or health conditions.
Capsules are a highly effective method; they can be easy to carry and can be consumed with water or tea. To preserve the herbs in powder form, they should be placed in sealed containers in a fresh environment. It is recommended to take them in a period of two weeks and up to one month since they do not last as long as the before mentioned methods.
Swift, K., & Midura, R. (2018). Herbal medicine for beginners: your guide to healing common ailments with 35 medicinal herbs. Emeryville, CA: Althea Press.