Archive for January, 2012

January 10, 2012

How to Make and Take Herbal Tinctures

Tinctures absorb better than,
last longer and are more convenient and cost-effective than pills.
Everybody should know how to make their own Herbal Tinctures for
health purposes. Herbal Tinctures are a mixture of alcohol and
water. Any type of alcohol is used such as wines, sake, brandy, or
vodka (ethanol and pure grain alcohol), which most people use.
Under no circumstance should rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) be used as
it is poisonous, even in small doses. The word ‘proof’ beside the
number on the alcohol bottle is representative of double the actual
alcohol percentage; for instance 80 ‘proof’ is 40% alcohol. If you
have a permit license to buy ethyl alcohol you can mix the water in
separately. First mix your ethyl alcohol with water to dilute it to
the proof you want. The mainstream ratio to use is 40% alcohol to
60% water So vodka works fine. Some countries consider 45% the
ratio to be considered a tincture. You can also increase that ratio
as high as 50% alcohol and 50% water or as low as 20% alcohol and
80% water depending on the desired strength. An herbal essence has
an even lower percentage of alcohol in it. The higher the alcohol
content the more stable long shelf life. You will also need good
quality organic or ethically wild crafted herbs (not irradiated).
You can buy herbs online, in a store or it is best to grow your
own. Next, get mason jars or large brown glass bottles with
seal-tight lids. If you are using dried herbs, fill the bottle 1/3
to 1/2 full with dried herbs. With roots, fill to 1/3 full because
they are going to expand. Fill the remaining space in the bottle
with the alcohol water mixture leaving a little room at the top for
shaking purposes. Once complete, let the mixture marinate in a
dark, cool cupboard or box, for anywhere from 2 weeks to a month or
longer, and be sure to gently shake the bottles every day. After
the herbs have marinated for a month, strain the mixture through
unbleached hemp, cotton or muslin natural cloth. I prefer to press
the root mixture in a press, but if you are using herbs a good hand
squeeze will do. Bottle the liquid and correctly label it and put
the date on it. This is now your mother tincture. You can portion
some of the liquid into smaller bottles or ideally in dropper
bottles for greater convenience.

Taking an Herbal
Tincture

Taking your Herbal Tincture is very easy to do.
Dosages vary depending on the strength of the herb. The dosage goes
down as the strength or heat of the herb increases. Dosages can
range anywhere from one drop to one teaspoon, or 1-5 ml, but as a
general rule use one drop per pound per person. In general for
adults 2-4 dropper squeezes or a teaspoon to start will do. Pour
the herbal tincture into a measuring cup or shot glass using the
dropper or a teaspoon, and then add water until it reaches one
ounce. The herbal remedy is easy to consume in one gulp or shot.
You can also put the tincture directly in your mouth but it is
strong so be cautious! Chase it with some water. It can also be
mixed with tea herbal infusions or juice. For bitter herbs I like
to marinate them straight in red wine and take a spoon a day.
Create your own flavoured wines. *Those who are trying to avoid
alcohol put the tincture in hot water to boil the alcohol off, like
how you would prepare a tea. Taking it hot, it has a more
diaphoretic, warming effect. Taking it cold it has a more tonic
effect.

As a general rule:
Take herbs
on an empty stomach for the most absorption and effectiveness.
Take vitamins, minerals, supplements with a meal for better absorption
and to avoid stomach upset, unless otherwise recommended on the
bottle. Take breaks from herbs so that a resistance does not build
up.

How often do I take
herbs?

How often you take herbs depends
on what your goal is. Acute conditions such as fighting a cold:
take herbs 4-8 times a day at an increased dosage.
Chronic conditions:
take 2-4 times a day at a lower dosage. Night time
blends for sleeping requires a single dose before bed
Female herbal treatments:
1-2 weeks followed by 2-3 week breaks. In general take
herbal tinctures in cycle of three weeks of taking tincture
followed by a break for a week for chronic conditions or health
improvement.

January 5, 2012

DIY Natural Cleaning Products

DIY and Make Your Own Natural Cleaning Products

Harsh chemical cleaners can sometimes be more harmful than the germs. Make your own effective natural cleaners that are inexpensive and are much healthier for you and the environment.

Kill 100% of the germs by using an acid and a base. Germs cannot live in extreme ph values. Thank you grade school science! Common acids are vinegar and lemon juice and common bases are baking soda and borax. Alternate the use of acids and bases so that the germs cannot survive.

Add essential oils to boost antiseptic, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and give yourself an aromatherapy treatment while you clean. Use traditional cleaning aromas like citrus oils such as Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Orange or tree oils like Pine and Spruce. I also use Clove, Tea tree, Lavender, Lemongrass, Ginger, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme, but you can choose your favourites to create your own blends.

Vinegar surface spray: 1:1 ratio 50% vinegar to 50% distilled water.

Add essential oils to cover-up the vinegar smell and add antiseptic action. You need a lot of oils to cover the smell of vinegar. I use 50 drops to 100 mls if using base oils like ginger use less.

Put in spray bottle and label. Spray on surfaces such as counters, cabinets, fridges, shelves, walls and just about anything. Use with baking soda when cleaning sinks, toilets to create an acid and base. Let the mixture sit for at least half an hour. Caution: When put together vinegar and baking soda will bubble up and foam. You can alternate use instead of putting them together.

Hydrogen peroxide spray: (H202) the chemistry symbol for water is (H20) with another oxygen bond on the end.

Use food grade ultra pure hydrogen peroxide 35% aqueous solution used in seed sprouting and found at the health store or from a seed sprouting supply store. Do not use hydrogen peroxide from the drugstore it has binders and it is not food grade. Be careful not to splash on skin or eyes when diluting. At full strength H202 can burn off warts and can discolour the skin white for a short period.

Use 3% solution which equals 1 part 35% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to 11 parts distilled water. Mix carefully in spray bottle and label.

You can use food grade H2O2 to clean fruit and vegetables as well as any surfaces including your toothbrush and ear buds. There are books written on all the uses for hydrogen peroxide. Anytime you see a product with the word oxy chances are this is the magical ingredient. It gets rid of stains on clothes and I have used it to get rid of coffee stains on white shirts. It brightens and whitens.

Baking soda: mix 30 drops to one cup of baking soda in a wide mouth jar and label. I use a chopstick to stir it and mix it together. You can use giant salt and pepper shakers to spread on carpets. Let marinate at least 24 hours. Use with vinegar to create an acid and base. Caution: When put together vinegar and baking soda will bubble up and foam.

This is an excerpt from my book: Essential oils and the Five Elements: Easing Emotional Overload with Aromatherapy and Reflexology

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