There are certain health promoting compounds that can be found in the plants around us, whether they be wild or cultivated. Herbal extraction is the process of drawing out the therapeutic components of a chosen herb or plant. In many cases, the beneficial compounds we want are tucked away within fibrous material of the plant that is challenging for our digestive systems to fully break down. You can use herbal extracts to help solve this problem by increasing bio-availability.
Each extraction can be singular (one plant or herb and concentrated compound) or there can be a combination of herbs together for a larger desired effect, but most of the time you will see these in a liquid based form ready to be ingested.
The liquid used to extract an herb is called a solvent or the carrier, or in traditional herbal language the menstrum. it is the means by which the wanted compounds can be best introduced to your bodily systems. Common solvents are water, alcohol, vinegar, and glycerin. Each solvent has specific things it’s good . . . and not so good . . . at drawing out, so you use different ones based on the type of herb you’re working with, and the desired effect you want have.
We’ll start with the next known type of extraction . . .
Herbal Honeys – Part VII
Herbal honeys are exceptionally medicinal – and they taste great. Used for ages to assist in the intake of bitter herbs or less tasty concoctions, honey has been utilized in various ways. When the herbs are infused into honey, the honey absorbs all the water-soluble components of the herb and all the volatiles or essential oils from the herb as well. This yields an excellent extraction of the herb’s complex chemistry and preserves it very well for the availability of your bio-systems.
As mentioned, herbal honey can be used in a myriad of ways: taken straight off the spoon, stirred into tea, or used to make simple medicines, such as homemade cough syrup, herbal syrups (see the links below), elixirs or oxymels (also below).
Herbal honey recipes to try:
In this series you will be able to see and gain recipes for your home apothecary remedies that will become the mainstay in your household. Here’s what you can see and learn more of:
Come and join us in bringing back the knowledge known by our ancestors and practiced for the health and benefit of those that came before us!