There are several different ways to deliver herbal remedies – besides using vaporizers. This is dependent upon the type of ailment being treated. For instance any bronchial condition would benefit most from an inhalation procedure. This is where the vapour from herbal medicines is inhaled. This is to the contrary for cuts and burns as the best method to treat these conditions is by way of external application to the skin. In many cases, selection of the herbal process is based upon the situation taking into account personal preference too.
Vaporizers are used to deliver herbs by way of inhalation providing a rapid and healing effect for the user. The herbs are warmed until vaporization level is reached at which time the essential herbal oils are released. It is an instant and effective process and it offers certain advantages compared to the more usual methods of herbal delivery. Furthermore, this method has been improved by using new technology.
With this new technique of digital vaporization it enables the concentrated and exact amount of vapour to be effectively administered so it is able to control accurate dosage. Ingested herbs tend to have a delayed reaction and are often taken from a pre-packaged dosage. Consequently, a user will ingest a larger amount to ensure a satisfactory result which is not normally required. Over a period of time this can accumulate to quite a high proportion of wasted herbal products.
Although fresh herbs are ideal for infusion because of the amount of water content retained, a greater quantity is required compared to dried herbs. The herbs are blended with boiling water and allowed to brew before straining for consumption. Any herb that consists of bark or root should be ground into powder before infusion. For herbs that contain volatile oil, cold infusions might be the better option.
This method is a much more intensive way of infusing herbs requiring a longer cycle to obtain the best outcome. Generally decoction is used for herbs that have roots, woody stems, bark or seeds. Herbs are immersed in cold water, then boiled and left to simmer for less than half and hour until the remaining liquid has reduced to one third. The liquid should be stored in a cool place, once strained.
Extraction of herb essence by alcohol absorption is referred to as a tincture. Generally alcohol such as rum or vodka is used for this purpose. However, non-alcoholic liquids like glycerol or vinegar can be used. Tinctures have a longer storage life and require a more complex procedure which is better achieved with the use of a wine press.
Capsules and Powder
Powdered herbs can be used in several ways – scattered on food, added to a drink or taken in a capsule. In addition, the herb powder can provide a foundation for a poultice or lotion.
Syrup is an ideal treatment for sore throats or coughs as it has an overall soothing effect. By blending honey or sugar with either a decoction or infusion this can enhance the flavor as well as sweeten the mixture making it more pleasant to drink.
Herbs used or applied as an external treatment might react unfavorably causing irritation to the skin where it has been applied. For this reason this type of treatment needs to be tested for a short time before long term use is undertaken.
Fat or oil combined with herbs will produce an ointment which can then be applied to a specific area to treat a problem. Consequently, various degrees of consistency can result to help specific conditions. Usually a longer preparation period is needed to produce ointments. For instance an effective ointment to treat burns would be a thin texture whereas a balm for application on lips would need a thicker consistency.
A cream is similar to an ointment but it contains a greater level of water. Used in the same way as an ointment, it can provide a refreshing and soothing effect. But creams also need correct equipment and a period of time to enable suitable production.
A combination of concentrated herbs is known as a poultice which can be applied to the skin by using a bandage or cloth. This method is often used to treat open cuts, inflammation and relieve muscle or joint pain.
Herbs when taken orally are only able to access the blood circulation once digestive acids have impacted upon them resulting in a tainted effect. By comparison, vaporization enables the user to obtain only the pure and efficient components.
The sensible use of herbs
The use of herbs for medicinal purposes should be approached in a sensible way. Having or acquiring some knowledge of the different herbs can help. If you are not familiar with herbs and you are considering self treatment, initially the best course of action is to consult a medical professional. This is particularly important if you are taking medication for other medical conditions as this could cause an adverse effect. Furthermore, apart from the fact that everyone has their own individual reaction to an herb, knowing how to use herbs in the most effective way is essential. For the preferred course of action, herbal treatments should be used together with a correct diet, exercise regime and stress management.
Tonics can maintain and improve the body’s overall strength and vitality by increasing circulation, toning and nourishing organs and muscles. Herb tonics can be taken for a specific condition or simply as a preventive measure.
Specific tonics for the heart normally include stimulants and diaphoretics to aid and regulate the heart rate and improve pulse. Some examples of these are garlic, buckwheat, hawthorn, arjuna and cayenne.
The role of tonics for the nervous system helps with the prevention of increased nervous activity or enhancement of nerve cell reaction and the overall restoration. Rosemary,Saint John’swort, skullcap and oats are some prime tonics.
Tonics like echinacea, barberry, lapacho and garlic all help the immune system by strengthening white blood cells and are a protection against bacteria, viruses and any unwelcome intruders.