Methods of Herbal Preparation
- After pre-moistening, wrap one part herb (dry weight) in cloth and suspend it in 32 parts of water (by volume) at room temperature, overnight.
- Squeeze out the herb into the tea in the morning, and add enough water to bring it back to 32 parts.
- Boil 32 parts of water, remove from heat, and steep one part (by weight) of the herb in the water for 20-30 minutes.
- Strain, and pour sufficient water through the herb in the strainer to return the volume of tea to 32 parts.
- Combine 32 parts of water with one part of herb (by weight), bring slowly to a boil, continue for ten minutes, cool until warm, and strain.
- Pour additional water through the herb to return the volume to 32.
- A WEAK DECOCTION is the same, but using half as much herb in the same volume of water.
- COMMENTS. Except for the weak decoction, the above teas end up with 30 mls having the constituents of a gram of herb. If the dosage recommends 120 mls of Strong Decoction, and you only want a single batch, use 4 grams of herb, or divide a gram of herb into eight equal parts and use one part for the tea. (Approximate only)
- DO NOT MAKE MORE THAN A DAY'S WORTH OF TEA AT ONE TIME.
- Make an isotonic water by adding a slightly rounded teaspoon of salt to a litre of clean water (1/4 teaspoon per cup), and make the tea with this solution as per the recommended strength.
- Make a fresh batch every 5-6 hours.
- One part by weight of the fresh, chopped herb is steeped for 7-10 days in two parts by volume of alcohol (190 proof or 95% ethanol), and pressed or squeezed out.
- There is no reason to blend or shake this maceration; the tincture is formed passively as a result of dehydration.
- Ethanol draws out all plant constituents that contain water, leaving only cellulose and dead tissue behind.
- Maceration. If the Materia Medica calls for a [1:5, 60% alcohol] tincture, it means this: your solvent is 60% alcohol and 40% water (the water is presumed), and one part of herb by weight has been invested in five parts of solvent by volume.
- As to the terminology used by herbalists in this regard: The resulting solvent is called the 'Menstruum' and the remainder of the plant material left in the bottom is called the 'Marc'.
- Many thanks to Michael Moore for allowing us to use his 'rules of thumb'.
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