Herbal Tincture Usage
The water/alcohol content of each herb tincture varies, depending on the solubility factor of the primary constituents within the herb. When making hand crafted tinctures, we take into consideration the following important classes of medicinal compounds: alkaloids, volatile oils, mucilage, polysaccharides, glycosides, resins, saponins, and tannins. With this knowledge, we can adjust the ratio of water to alcohol for the best extraction of the active constituents of the herb. Glycerin and/or vinegar are added for certain herb tinctures.
Alcohol Tincture Benefits
Microdosing, greater concentration of the herb
Rapidly absorbed into the lymphatic system and bloodstream
Not dependent on the digestive system for absorption
Naturally preserved from enzymatic changes and oxidation
Dosage can be regulated easily
Convenient to use
Long shelf life, very stable
Certain herbs have the ability to increase or decrease the effects of some pharmaceutical drugs. Your doctor and health care provider should be notified if you are taking any medication and/or herbal medicine to minimize adverse reactions. Consult with your health care providers before taking any herbs if you are pregnant.
The medical and herbal communities investigating herb-drug interactions have focused on these primary health issues:
- Blood anti-coagulants and anti-platelets ( Warfarin or Coumadin)
- Blood pressure, heart conditions
- Diabetes, insulin levels and blood sugar metabolism
- Hepatitis C and interferon
- Chemotherapy and radiation therapy
St. John’s Wort is the most frequently named herb for causing drug interactions. It is best not to use this herb if someone is taking prescribed medications or undergoing chemotherapy.
Blood thinners, such as Coumadin, are reported to have a greater frequency of interaction with herbs. Blood coagulation tests should be done regularly when combining herbs with blood thinners.
Glossary of Traditional Western Medical Terms
Referenced from: Potter’s New Cyclopedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations R.C. Wren, F.L.S
Glossary of Oriental Medicine Medical Terms
Referenced from: Institute of Chinese Herbology Reece Smith, cofounder
This is especially beneficial for detoxifying the liver and lymphatic system. It can also be applied to other areas of the abdomen for detoxification and to hard swellings to soften and resolve. Castor oil is not to be taken internally as it is known to be toxic.
To Prepare: One of the simplest and very effective ways to use Castor Oil is to massage or rub it gently onto skin on the upper right side of the abdomen (liver region). Massage 1 –2 teaspoons onto this region of the abdomen, for 2 –3 minutes, cover it with a piece of cotton flannel, and have a nice restful sleep. To prepare a Castro Oil Pack, soak a small piece of cotton flannel in some castor oil. Apply this directly to the liver region of the abdomen. Cover with a thick piece of cotton cloth and apply a salt pack on top of it to keep it warm. Use a hot water bottle or a heating pad if a hot salt pack is not available. Castor oil will stain, so make sure it is covered well. Leave the castor oil pack on for 1 –2 hours. Taking 1 tablespoon of olive oil daily during the castor oil packs will assist in the detoxification process.
A compress is a clean padded cloth immersed in either a hot or cold liquid, and then applied to the skin. Compresses help to relieve pain and muscle discomfort, accelerate the healing of wounds and improve circulation to the area of body where the compress is applied. One of the most common compresses is made with fresh ginger. Cold Compresses are often used to alleviate the pain from headaches. Infusions, decoctions or tinctures can be added to the liquid to accentute the effects desired.
Chamomile Fomentation: This is especially useful for mastitis (inflammed breasts), swollen lymph tissues, inflammation, and pain.
External: Infuse 1 oz of Chamomile flowers in a pint of boiling water; wet small cloth, and apply as hot as can be tolerated onto the breast, cover with a dry towel, repeat as needed.
Internal: Taken as a tea, Add 1/2 - 1 tablespoonful of Chamomile per teapot, drink a small cupful 2 times daily.
Ginger Compress: This is used for pain, muscle discomfort and blood circulation. Grate 1/3 cup of fresh ginger. Place grated ginger in a small cotton bag. Using a stainless or enamel pot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil, then turn off heat. Place the small cotton bag containing the ginger into the hot water. Let it steep for 30 minutes. Dip a hand towel into the hot ginger water and squeeze out the excess. Wearing rubber gloves will help! Fold the towel a few times so that it fits the size of the area of the body that is to be treated. Apply the hot towel to the body. If it is too hot, lift it off and swing it back and forth several times and then reapply. Cover the wet towel with a thick dry towel to keep in the heat. Apply a new wet hot towel after the first one has cooled down. Keep the ginger water hot, by covering it with a lid or reheating it when necessary. Repeat until the area treated turns red (usually about 20 – 30 minutes).
Ginger compresses can be applied two to three times per day. The same ginger water can be used the same day for multiple treatments. On each succeeding day, make a fresh pot of ginger water and use fresh towels.
Bran Compress: This is useful for itchy skin and bed sores. Put 4 handfuls of bran into a small cotton bag. Place the cotton bag into 10 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool until it becomes warm. Dip a small towel into the bran water and apply to the skin. Reapply after it has cooled down. Repeat this process for 20 minutes, twice daily.
Salt Compress: This is useful for nerve pain below the head region. Do not apply a salt compress above the neck. Prepare a ginger compress and add one tablespoon of salt, preferably sea salt.
Creams help to heal, strengthen, and smooth skin tissues. This recipe uses 8 oz beeswax, 50 g. of organic cold pressed olive oil, and a total of 50 - 100 drops of organic herbal extracts. Use a ceramic or stainless steel double broiler. Melt the lanolin and beeswax in the double boiler, and gently stirring in the oil. Do not overheat or boil. Remove from the low heat and add the herb extracts. Keep stirring as it cools. After it has cooled, store in wide mouth jars with lids, and away from direct sunlight.
Hot foot soaks are very relaxing and very beneficial for removing toxins from the body. The legs are susceptible to carrying an excess amount of toxins. This is because of the simple law of gravity which is pulling everything down into the feet, and the kidneys inability to completely cleanse all the toxins filtering through the body systems.
Foot Soak Treatment Plan: The trick to foot baths is that they need to be done for 2 hours every night to acheive the cleansing necessary. The first hour, the skin will get very soft and crinkly, the second hour the toxins will be drawn out of the feet. The water needs to be kept hot during this period or if you have an electric foot soaker, all the easier. Fill a small bucket or pan (one the feet can both fit in comfortably) with hot water. Add 1 cup of epsom salts or sea salt to the hot water. Mix and put the feet into the water, sit back, relax and let the body heal. When finished, dry the feet off and rub a generous amount of olive oil on the feet. If you are real lucky, someone will be there and give you a wonderful foot massage. Leave the olive oil on the feet and put on clean socks over the oil for the night. The olive oil will assist in the detoxification process.
For Acute (sudden onset) Conditions: Do a foot soak daily, until the symptoms subside.
For Chronic (long term) Conditions: The daily foot soak can start on the new moon and go to the full moon. Take a break from the full moon to the new moon.
This is used for a variety of symptoms: earaches, joint aches and pains, curvature of the spine and skin diseases. Grate 1/2 cup of fresh ginger and squeeze the pulp to get the juice. Measure an equal amount of dark sesame oil and add to ginger juice.
Earaches: Warm the mixture and add 2 – 5 drops to a sterile cotton ball. Place cotton ball inside of the ear. Massage the mixture around the outside of the ear.
Joint Pain: Warm the mixture and massage affected area 10 minutes, twice daily.
Crooked Spine: Warm the mixture and massage down both sides of the spine for one hour. Do this daily.
This is a bath where only the hips and buttocks are placed into warm or cool water. They are used for menstrual and uterine cramps, prostate inflammation, genital and vaginal pain, pain from surgery around the rectum, pain from hemorroids, and bladder infections.
Cold Hip Bath: This is beneficial for inflammation, constipation and vaginal discharge. Sit in a cool hip bath for 15 minutes, twice daily.
Daikon Hip Bath: This is good for all conditions of the pelvic region, and best when done in the evening, before bed. Take 8 cups of dried daikon greens, chop them up and add to 15 cups of boiling water. Turn down heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and add daikon water to hip bath. Soak for 20 minutes. Dry off and have a good nights rest.
Hot Hip Bath: This is especially good for prostate inflammation. Sit in a hot hip bath for 15-20 minutes, twice a day.
Hot – Cold Hip Bath: Some conditions benefit from these contrasting hip baths. This requires having two hip baths available. After sitting in the hot hip bath for 15 minutes, sit in the cold hip bath for 15 minutes. Dry off and repeat in the evening.
Warm Saline Hip Bath: This is beneficial for vaginal yeast infections (candida). Add 1/2cup of salt and 1/2 cup of vinegar to warm water. Sit in the hip bath for 20 minutes, twice daily. This hip bath will help to normalize the body’s ph.
Hot infusion: Combine either 250 g. of dried or 500 g. of fresh organic herb to 750 ml organic olive oil. Heat gently in a ceramic or stainless steel double boiler for about 3 hours. This infuses the herbs into the oil. Stir occasionally, and do not boil. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth into amber or dark bottles and store away from any direct sunlight.
Cold infusion: Pack tight, a large amber or dark jar with the organic herb. Cover the herb completely with an organic cold pressed olive oil and put the lid on. Place the cold infusion on a sunny window sill and let it brew for for 2 - 4 weeks. Squeeze the oil through a jelly bag or doubled cheese cloth. Repeat the filtering process. Store the infused oil in dark glass bottles and away from any direct sunlight.
Use 5 drops of an essential oil to 20 ml of a organic carrier oil, such as almond, jojoba, or avocado. You can also use infused organic oils that you have prepared.
To make an herbal ointment, this is an easy recipe: melt 500 g. petroleum jelly or beeswax in a double boiler. Heat slowly and do not boil the mixture. Add 60 g. dried organic herb and simmer, gently for 2 - 3 hours. You can add a small amount of cold pressed organic olive oil to improve the texture. Be careful not to make it runny. Strain the mixture through a jelly bag and pour into jars while it is still hot. It will solidify as it cools.
A poultice is a pastelike mixture spread directly onto the skin or onto a clean cloth and then applied to the skin. Poultices are commonly used to remove toxins from the body. They have a similar action as compresses except the whole herb is applied to the skin rather than a liquid. Poultices are usually applied hot but are effective when fresh cold leaves are applied.
Fresh Herbs: When using fresh herbs, chop them up very finely, or put them into a small amount of boiling water for two minutes. If putting into boiling water, squeeze out the excess water before applying to the skin. Rub a small amount of olive oil onto the area to be treated, then apply the herbs directly onto the skin. Cover with a sterile gauze or cotton strips to hold the poultice in place. Replace every 2 – 4 hours.
Dried Herbs or Herbal Powders: When using dried herbs or powders, simply add a small amount of water to make a paste. Apply to the affected area. Cover with a sterile gauze to hold the poultice in place. Replace the poultice every 2 – 4 hours.
Albi root Poultice: This is useful for removing toxins from the body, helps to alleviate pain, relieves coughs and sore throats. They are usually applied after a ginger compress. Peel the white (not red) albi and discard the skin. Add two tablespoons of grated ginger to one cup of grated peeled albi. Add one cup of Slippery Elm powder or white flour to this mixture and stir together. Apply directly to skin about 1/2 inch thick. Cover with a sterile gauze or cotton strips to hold the poultice in place. Replace the poultice every 4 hours, followed by a ginger compress. Dark green vegetable leaves (chard, spinach, kale) can be substituted for albi root.
Buckwheat Poultice: This is useful for water retention, edema and helps to reduce swelling. Mix 2 cups of buckwheat flour with 5 cups of hot water. Mix to make a paste. Spread the paste about 1 inch thick on a piece of thin cotton and apply to the area to be treated. Cover with a thin piece of cotton. To keep warm, apply a hot salt pack on top of the poultice. Reapply a second hot salt pack after one hour. Keep the salt pack on top of the buckwheat poultice for one additional hour.
Green Poultice: This is useful for strains and sprains. Use any dark green leaf vegetable. Chop and grind to form a mush. Mix 10 parts of greens to one part Peppermint leaf, and one teaspoon of Slippery Elm powder or white flour to make a paste. Apply to affected area and cover with a cotton gauze or cotton strips. Reapply two times daily with a new poultice.
Salt Poultice: This is useful for sore throats and swollen tonsils. Mix 2 cups of salt with 5 tablespoons of warm water to make the salt moist but not wet. Place the salt in the middle of a small towel and roll up. Apply to the neck region and place a dry towel over it. Apply at bedtime and leave on overnight.
Tofu Poultice: This is wonderful for fevers and head pain. Mix 1/2 pound of tofu with a teaspoon of grated ginger and one teaspoon of white flour. Place in some cheesecloth and roll up. For fevers, apply to the forehead. Turn the poultice as it becomes warm as it draws out the fever. Change the poultice every 2 hours.
They are especially useful for stomach, menstrual and abdominal pain, and earaches. Salt packs are often used on top of poultices or plasters to keep them warm.
To Prepare: Take 1 cup of salt and place it in a deep skillet or fry pan. Turn stove to medium/high. Stir the salt frequently as it heats up. When the salt becomes hot, place it in a heavy cotton sock or on a thick cotton towel. Tie off the sock or tie the ends of the towel so that the hot salt does not leak out and burn the skin. Allow to cool until the skin feels comfortable with the degree of heat. If the skin becomes too hot, remove the salt pack for a few minutes and then reapply.
The indigenous people of Sámpi, the Sámi, created the sauna, or the ancestral spirits gave it to them. It was a place for purification of the body and a refuge for the ancestral spirits. It was a sanctuary where the women of the village would go for birthing. Somewhat similar to the Native American sweat lodge, the sauna purifies the body of toxins and heavy metals better than any other natural method. Another benefit is the enhancement of blood circulation and a healthier heart. During a sauna, all the pores in the skin are opened by the heat. The sweat carries the toxins that are stored in the fat to the surface skin tissues. The toxins are then expelled through the skin. Play it safe. Begin all detoxification programs gradually unless the disease is life threatening.
To Begin a Sauna Healing Program: Stay in the sauna for only 5 – 10 minutes, then rinse off with cold water. Do not over do it if you are just a beginner or have a heart condition. Easy does it. Repeat this three to four times in one session. It is important that a cold shower or cold rinse follow the hot sauna so that the pores in the skin contract and close after the heat has opened them up. The hot and cold process tones the skin cells, gives them greater elasticity and firmness. The next time in the sauna, stay a few minutes longer than the previous time. Gradually build up to one hour or more, taking a break every 15 minutes or so with a cold rinse and drinking some cool water. When your skin is sweating really well, take a loofa sponge or coarse towel and briskly rub your skin, your whole body. This will remove all of the dead skin and help to remove the toxins. The friction stimulates the blood circulation. This technique helps your skin to be clean and the skin refreshingly tight. Your skin will feel the best it has ever felt, silky smooth.
At the beginning of a sauna program, you might feel tired, but after the body completes it’s purification process, the body will begin to replenish and you become energized.
For Acute (sudden onset) Conditions: It is better not to go into the sauna if you have an infectious disease or fever as the heat from the sauna may possibily of drive the toxins deeper into the body instead of releasing them, and make the condition worse.
For Chronic (long term) Conditions: Taking a daily sauna can be helpful. Start slow and gradually build up the time spent in the sauna. The sauna will help to bring the interior toxins to the surface so they can be expelled. Some cancer treatment programs recommend a daily sauna to purge the body of toxicity. This sounds like good advice.
These are good for asthma, bronchial conditions or sinus inflammations. Take 1 – 2 tablespoons of dried herb, such as Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Balm of Gilead, or Angelica (Bai Zhi), and place into a thick ceramic bowl. Add boiling water. Lean over the bowl and place a towel over the head so as to keep the steam inside the towel. Breathe gently and slowly until the air becomes too hot or the water cools. Repeat 2 - 3 times daily, especially before going to bed. Avoid cold air and drafts in general, and especially after doing this procedure.