Showing posts with label tinctures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tinctures. Show all posts

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sludgy Lung Elixir

Spring tends to evoke maladies of the lungs, especially in those who are of pitta - kapha constitution. Something of the watery-warm thaw creates a synonymous action in our bodies. Of course it isn't the only way in which our bodies bring us back to the awareness of the fact that we are inseparable from all life on Earth.

A simple elixir of Earth's healing herbs can bring us healing and relief in our lungs, whether a viral and swollen throat or painful, persistent, spasmodic cough.

Lung Elixir

To a 1 Quart size mason jar add:

1 Tbsp Cloves, dried
2 Tbsp Elecampane root, dried (double for fresh rt)
4 Tbsp Wild Black Cherry bark, dried (double for fresh bark/twig)
6 Tbsp Cinnamon bark, dried chips (if you have fresh cinnamon you are lucky!)
1/2 Cup Ginger root, fresh sliced (1/4 cup if dried rt)

Fill the jar of herbs 3/4 of the way full with brandy or alcohol of choice.
Fill the remaining 1/4 of the jar with god local honey.
Apply label with details and record in your herb journal or calendar.

Variations can be made to your liking, for example you may want to add a little fresh turmeric if you tend to get bronchitis or if viruses set into your muscles and make you ache all over.
If you're making this for your children, you can add dried elderberries and reduce the amount of ginger and elecampane to improve the taste and add the immune and lung strength of elder.
If you have a favorite lung herb, of course you can be as creative and intuitive as you wish. If this sounds like too drying of a remedy for you, add it to a demulcent mallow, violet, sassafras leaf, or elm infusion and sip it that way. Remember that our mucilage carries our antibodies, so befriend the good snot and keep it working. And remember too how slippery cinnamon can be.

If you need immediate relief, these same herbs at approximately 1/4 of the recipe can be steeped in 2 quarts simmering water for 30+ minutes and drunk as an effective decoction.

Allow one moon (month) for the extraction of your elixir to take place. Sing to it, shake it, admire the changes. Set it out in the full moon to absorb the healing powers of the water element.

Use small amounts in hot water or tea as needed.

Happy Spring

Monday, April 28, 2008

Yarrow Tincture, my way

How do I make my Yarrow tincture?

Quite simply actually. First, I harvest the areal portion; newly opened flower heads with a few leaves; of this panacea of a plant friend. It must be a perfectly dry and sunny day. I lay the blossoms and leaves (stems removed) out on paper bags or a shady, airy spot, and let them wilt for a few days. i save the stems for my kids to play with, I ching style :)
I place all the flowers and leaves into my handy quart sized jar until gently full. Then, I cover the herb with either vodka, grain/water dilution, or a nice brandy. There is a kind of scotch you can use too ... have to go back and remember what that is.
Then I cap and label, and put it up in a cabinet for six weeks. Any time after that you can strain and bottle.
I have used a blender too even with the stems and rendered wonderful tincture. I just love the look of the flowers floating in the jar :)

This is a simple kitchen folk method. Nothing complicated, nothing scary. Enjoy!

I have this on hand everywhere. My daughter gets spring nosebleeds so come April I throw a bottle into her bag too. I use it for colds, fevers, stomach upset, sinusitis, bug bites, bug repellent, poison ivy (in the company of mugwort), and a million other things!

I had many lovely photos - but they all went away last summer with a computer crash. So I'm on a mission come July!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Decanting magic

Yesterday and today I've been going through my jars of tinctures that have not yet been strained. I have a lot of tinctures that I put up, and then just left ......... decanting them now means they will have extracted for thirteen moons :). I missed quite a bit of harvesting this year. The St. Johnswort was scarce, and mugwort, yarrow, and Goldenrod I have in plenty.

The little jar in the photo that is empty, was filled with wild oregano and vodka. It grows in abundance around my home. I made it to stave off colds and viruses. I expected it to be very hot and spicy, like the fresh plant tastes, but to my surprise, it's exquisitely sweet! Very much like my Red Bee Balm (Monarda Didyma) in fact. I can see clearly how herbalists would liken them to each other. The tincture is so lovely to take, and carries a gentle yet determined medicine; opening the throat and relieving start up congestion. I could also see it being helpful for an earache.

I strained two quarts of beautiful crystal green Yarrow blossom tincture. In the past I have often put the yarrow and alcohol into the blender, yielding a potent, cloudy green-brown tincture. This time I had carefully cut all the blossoms and little leaflets off of the stalk and tinctured them whole. I am curious if it carries any difference. It *feels* like fairy tincture. This is a medicine my whole family uses quite often. It's my daughters main herbal ally - she uses it for cooling and toning herself down (she is your classic Pitta-Kapha) especially in the Spring season. She gets flooding nosebleeds, stomach fermentation, and hot feet. If she can't throw herself into cool water to swim, Yarrow does the trick. We also use it for colds, flu, sore throats, and muscle injury, and topically for wounds if needed. Susun Weed recommends a spray to repel mosquitos, which I have tried somewhat but can't vouch entirely because I can't resist adding other ingredients - so I don't really know which one is working.

Mugwort tincture was even older - I found a tincture I made two years ago! Sheesh! That got strained too. I love this Artemisia for right before my Moonflow, when my womb swells with pressure and tension. It warms and releases muscle tension in the uterus, while toning the blood and digestion. Not to mention it's lunar energy helps! A mugwort pillow helps to deepen already potent dreamtime during menses - but be sure to ask the plant for guidance or she may just get into mischief!

And a big beautiful quart of pinky-hued red clover blossom tinctured in brandy. Yum! We love this for it's life nourishing properties and for keeping the libido healthy. I recommend the nourishing infusions on a regular basis - but the tincture has it's merit too. It's lovely when I am feeling too masculine - and the world is wearing me down. It reminds me that *soft* is strong, and seems to beautifully restore my resilient nature and femininity. Not to mention that red Clover is a bosom buddy .... a superb breast tonic. I love the entry on Red Clover in my beloved book: Herbal Rituals by Judith Berger .

Last but not least, Wormwood tincture. This is a valuable staple for us, if anyone has terrible stomach pains or indigestion, 4-5 drops of tincture does the trick. Great for long car rides. I also use it as part of a lyme protocol, as an anti parasitic and alterative, again at a very low dose, about 3-4 drops 2-3x a day. It seems also to help keep joints cool, taking down low grade swelling or aches. And I wouldn't be surprised if she helps with fertility - she seeds and sows prolifically! I had one plant last year - and thirty this year! A bundle of this luminous plant, makes a lovely silver wand for the mantle or altar. Athena would be proud.