Herbalism 101: Recipes

Lesson 1: Infused Oil

  • Dry herbs in a dehydrator or in a cool dry place.
  • Grind herbs with a mortar and pestle or in a grinder. You need as much surface area as possible to come into contact with the oil.
  • Fill a jar half full with the ground herbs. Fill to the brim with the oil of your choice. (I normally use olive oil for salves and almond oil for cosmetic creams).  Allow for air pockets to bubble up. Continue to fill with oil until saturated.
  • Place the oil in a sunny window for 6-8 weeks to macerate or place in a bread maker on low heat overnight.
  • Your oil is now ready to be made into a salve, cream or placed directly on your skin.

Lesson 2: Calming Tea

  • 1 part Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis
  • 2 parts Mint Mentha
  • 1/2 part Lavender Lavandula officinalis

Dry the herbs (in a cool dark dry place, in the oven on the lowest temperature or in a dehydrator) until completely dry and crumbly.

Grind the herbs in a mortar and pestle or with a juicer or herb grinder.

Store in a cool, dry, dark place.

1 tablespoon of tea per cup of boiling water, let steep for 5-10 minutes covered.

Dose:  1 cup of tea as needed

Medicinal Actions-

  • Lemon balm: Diaphoretic, carminative, nervine, antispasmodic, sedative, decongestant, antihistamine
  • Mint: Nervine, antispasmodic, carminative, antiemetic, analgesic
  • Lavender: Vulnerary, anti-inflammatory, nervine, carminative, anxiolytic

Lesson 3: Herbal Salve

Herbal Salve

  • 1 cup (240 ml) herb-infused olive oil Infused Oil Recipe
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) beeswax
  • 20 drops essential oil

In a double boiler (or a pot nestled in a larger pot filled with a bit of water) over medium heat, add the oils and beeswax. 

Stir until the beeswax melts and is fully incorporated.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a moment.

Add the essential oils. Stir.

Pour into clean and sterilised jars.

Medicinal Actions:

Write the medicinal actions for your chosen herb.

Lesson 4: Herbal First Aid Kit

Echinaceae Tincture:

  • Leaves, flowers and seed of E. purpurea (dried or fresh) or root of E. angustifolia
  • Alcohol (at least 45%, brandy, vodka or distilled alcohol 80% if using root)
  • Sterilised jar and lid

Grind or chop the plant material as finely as possible. I use my juicer to grind the dried plant material.

Add the plant material to the jar: Dried- fill 1/2 of jar

                                                         Fresh- fill the entire jar

Add the alcohol. Fill to the brim. Keep an eye on it for the next several minutes and keep adding alcohol until all the plant material is covered.

Seal well and label with the plant name, date, percent and type of alcohol and the date 6 weeks out.

Shake the jar daily and store in a cool, dark place.

After 6 weeks, strain out plant material and decant the tincture into sterilised bottles for use.

Label bottles with the tincture name.

Whole Plant Tincture

I prefer to make a tincture from the whole plant, thus I combine the root and aerial parts tinctures. This allows for the overall effectiveness of the tincture to be increased simply because different parts of the plant have differing strengths of similar properties.

Medicinal Actions:

Echinacea is an immunostimulant, antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial. It has an affinity for bronchial and respiratory infections as well as throat and overall oral infections. It has a full complement of polysaccharides, which help protect cells against invasion by viruses and bacteria. Other key constituents are: sesquiterpenes, linoleic acid, tannins, beta-carotene and Vitamin C.

Chamomile Tea:

  • Dry the chamomile flowers (in a cool dark dry place, in the oven on the lowest temperature or in a dehydrator) until completely dry and crumbly.
  • Store in a dark, dry, cool place.
  • 1 tablespoon of chamomile flowers per cup of tea, let steep for 5 minutes covered.

Calendula Salve:

Step 1: Calendula Oil
  • Dry calendula blooms in a dehydrator or in a cool dry place.
  • Grind flowers with a mortar and pestle or in a grinder.
  • You need as much surface area as possible to come into contact with the oil.
  • Fill a jar half full with the ground herbs.
  • Fill to the brim with the oil of your choice. (I normally use olive oil for salves and almond oil for cosmetic creams).  
  • Allow for air pockets to bubble up.
  • Continue to fill with oil until saturated.
  • Place the oil in a sunny window for 6-8 weeks to macerate or place in a bread maker on low heat overnight.
  • Your oil is now ready to be made into a salve, cream or placed directly on your skin.
Step 2: Calendula Salve
  • 1 cup (240 ml) calendula-infused olive oil Infused Oil Recipe
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) beeswax
  • 20 drops Lavender essential oil

In a double boiler (or a pot nestled in a larger pot filled with a bit of water) over medium heat, add the oils and beeswax.

Stir until the beeswax melts and is fully incorporated.  

Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a moment.

Add the essential oils. Stir.

Pour into clean and sterilised jars.

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