Sometimes in order to move forward, you need to take a step back.
As we prepare for another Denver Medicinal Plant meeting this evening, how about a bit of "Herbalism 101"?
An infusion is a drink, remedy, or extract prepared by soaking the aerial parts of a plant in liquid.
An infusions is one of the simplest medicinal preparations, and arguably the oldest. If you have made a cup of tea in your life, you have made an infusion. Other examples of an infusion include herbs soaked in wine or brandy, herbal vinegars, or even oil infusions. Some herbs require hot liquid to extract medicinal properties while others do best in cold liquid. Check your herbal texts to know how to properly prepare your medicinal plants.
Directions for Hot Infusions:
Hot infusions work well for most aerial parts of a plant, meaning, any part of the plant that is above ground. This includes stems, leaves, flowers, and fruit.
1. Measurements : Standard quantity 25 Gm (1 oz.) dried or 50 Gm (2 oz.) fresh herb to a 500ml (1 pint) of hot water. *Actual Dosage depends on herb, taste buds and preference: 1 Tsp (3-5 Gm) into one cup of water
2.Pour hot water upon the herb (just shy of a boil)
5.Steep: 20-30 minutes
Storage: Refrigerator or cool place for up to 24 hrs
Directions for Cold Infusion:
Some medicinal plants require a cold water to extract their medicinal properties. This method of medicine making is called a Cold Infusion. Herbs such as Slippery Elm, Marshmallow Root, and Crampbark fall under this category. Cold infusions will prevent the denaturing of bitter principles, volatile oils, and beneficial polysaccharides. Again check your resources if you are unsure about methods of preparation.
1. Measurements : Standard quantity 25 Gm (1 oz.)dried or 50 Gm (2 oz.) fresh herb to a 500ml (1 pint) of cold water. *Actual Dosage depends on herb, taste buds and preference: 1 Tsp. (3-5 Gm) into one cup of water
2.Pour water upon herb and let it remain overnight at room temperature
3.Strain and press
Storage: Refrigerator or cool place for up to 24hrs
Again, any liquid can be the menstruum (solvent) in the medicinal preparation. Oil infusions are a great example. A great way to use all that extra Rosemary from the garden before the final frost is to infuse it with oil. Harvest the remaining leaves, and let them dry in the sun. Chop up the dried herb and place them into olive oil. After a few weeks, strain out the plant material from the oil. Rosemary olive oil is excellent on bread, pizza, and potatoes!