How to Use Herbs As Medicine: The Preparation of Herbs (Part 2)
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How to Use Herbs As Medicine: The Preparation of Herbs (Part 2)

The plant kingdom has many plants with properties that are conducive to health. To secure the best results from the use of plants as remedial agencies, they must be used consistently over a sufficient period of time. This is the continuation of How to Use Herbs As Medicine: The Preparation of Herbs (Part 1)

The plant kingdom has many plants with properties that are conducive to health. To secure the best results from the use of plants as remedial agencies, they must be used consistently over a sufficient period of time. This is the continuation of How to Use Herbs As Medicine: The Preparation of Herbs (Part 1)

            concentrated herbs

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Concentrated Herbs

These are relatively new products on the market. Some herbs need to be taken in larger doses to be effective. For those who take many capsules of an herb daily, using concentrated herbs is a great help. The concentration is often 4-6 times that of the original herb. Concentrated herbs are taken one step further than herbal extracts; they are freeze-dried to remove the moisture content. The result is a solvent-free product - with no added alcohol. This powder has all the nutrients in a form that will digest quickly in the bloodstream. They work quickly for the relief of pain.

                      herbal capsules

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Capsules (dry powder)

Dry herbs are powdered, then placed in a 2-piece gelatin capsule. A #0 ("one ought") capsule contains about 400-500 mg. But this varies with the density of the herb whether this herb is a root or leaf. A #00 ("double ought") capsule has about 500-600 mg. The lesser-used #000 ("triple ought") contains about 650-850 mg. The capsule may be opened and emptied into hot water for tea; this can be made into a paste for poultices, tinctures, decoction, infusions or just swallowed. If there is a problem swallowing the capsules, they can be moistened by dipping them in water or a little vegetable oil. Capsules should be stored in a cool, dry place, so they will not lose moisture and become brittle. Also excess heat and moisture will soften the capsules and they will stick together. Advantages: A capsule is ready for use; and strong acrid herbs, like valerian root or wormwood, are more pleasant to take. Capsules can also be inserted in the rectum easier than tablets, to treat hemorrhoids and other rectal diseases. Disadvantages: If swallowed, you are taking powder, not the steeped or boiled liquid; and the powder in the capsules gradually ages. A major disadvantage is that many capsules are made from boiled tissues derived from slaughtered livestock; so only use capsules made from vegetable gelatin.

               herbal tablets

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Tablets

Dried herb (plus an excipient [binder or carrier]) is pressed into a tablet shape. The tablet can be used in the same way as a capsule. Advantages: Tablets do not tend to stick together and will resist a warmer climate better than capsules. You can make the tablets yourself and know exactly what is in each one. Disadvantages: Do not let your supply of herbal powder become too old; for it will be difficult to be dissolved in the stomach.

There are two ways to prepare your own tablets:

  • Purchase and inexpensive tablet machine. It will press them into shape. Mix the herb with 1/10 binder (slippery elm, etc.), before making tablets.
  • Another way is to grind the herb fine and add to it a small amount (1/10 of the total) of slippery elm, an herbal syrup, or other mucilaginous herb. Add small amounts of water while mixing, keeping the preparation firm. Then roll them into small pills, about the size of a pea.

Dry by spreading them out onto a pie dish and left to dry at room temperature or by placing them in an oven: Preheat the oven to 250º then turn it off and place the pie dish in the oven for 15-30 minutes. Check them every 5 minutes. When dry, bottle them and keep in a cool, dry place, such as a refrigerator. When giving them to children, they can be dipped in honey, molasses, or peanut butter to cover the taste.

               electuary

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Electuary

This is an herbal preparation which is mixed with honey, maple syrup, peanut butter, or slippery elm, to form a paste and then rolled into balls. These are then given to children to swallow with juice. Any powdered herb can be mixed with honey and given immediately without any advance preparation. Measure the exact amount of herb and then add the sweetening to it.

 

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