March 11, 2010

Review: "Making Herbs Simple" -- Tinctures

I like to make a lot of things myself. Not only for the joy of making something with my own hands, but to save our family money. I hope to give the following recipes a try this year. It's a goal...if I don't do it this summer, maybe next year. Each year the garden gets better. Each year I learn something more about homesteading. Each year there are great possibilities. If they don't all happen I have the joy of knowing I tried.

Proverbs 31:17 "She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks."

It's good to have a goal!

Part One -- Tinctures

I borrowed
"Making Herbs Simple" from the library the other day. The Bulk Herb Store not only sells this video but has a lot of dried herbs, accessories, and heirloom seeds that you can purchase. They also have a lot of information about herbs: using herbs, cooking with herbs, and making medicinal items with herbs. If you're a hands-on kind of gal like me you might want to watch the video to really get a good grasp on herbal remedies. Following are some of the highlights from the video.
Plantain Tincture -- Did you know Plantains live in pretty much everyone's yards? This herb is great for soothing bug bites, bad complexions, and for toothaches (chew a bit of it and hold it on the sore tooth to soothe). What you do is pick plantain and wash it. Break it up into pieces and fill a glass jar (a canning jar does well) with the herbs. Pour apple cider vinegar (the kind that has the mother in it) over the top to cover it. Store it in a dark cool place. Shake it a couple of times every day. It will look nasty with it's greenish-brown tint. In 2 weeks you can strain it into another jar with a cheesecloth. Store it in a cool dark place. Don't forget to label and date it since tinctures last between one and three years. You dab this on bug bites and stings or use on a bad complexion. The ladies say not to be in the sun much if you're using this on your face. I'm not sure why. I haven't used this yet since it's winter and there are no plantains to be found but I will definitely be giving it a try come spring!

Chamomile Tincture -- I'm going to start growing some Chamomile in the herb garden this year! Chamomile relaxes nerves and muscles, and helps you sleep! It's gentle enough that children can drink chamomile tea! Wash and then hang to dry your chamomile (hang up to dry 3-5 days in a warm, dry, dark place) . Once they're dry pop off the dried flower heads. Fill a jar half full and pour enough boiling water in it to make it thick and muddy. Add food grade glycerin to the top of the jar. Heat the jar on a low setting for 3 days. (Put a cloth in the bottom of a crock pot and put your jars in. Put enough water in the crock pot so it's half way up the jar.) Once it's done strain it with cheese cloth while warm. Label and store it in a clean jar with a dropper. Add enough drops to your hot water for tea for a nice relaxing flavor. How much you add depends on how concentrated your chamomile/glycerine mixture is. Tomorrow I will share some tips on making a poultice.

1 comment:

Angie said...

The dried chamomile flower heads make wonderful tea. Once they have been dried and stored you don't have much of an expiration date and you can make tea whenever you want. My kids drink chamomile mostly in the winter and when they have a cold. It is a relaxer and gentle sleep aid.

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