Thursday, March 5, 2009

How to Make Herbal Teas and Other Herbal Medicines?

Herbal tea is very popular in the west and it is gaining good ground even in Sri Lanka. Those who drink herbal tea must try to store their own herbs properly. You could also build up your own family herbal store. When preparing herbal tea, use the purest water possible. Preferably use bee's honey to sweeten your herbal tea.

Infusion is different from decoction. Place the plants in a tea pot, pour onto them a prescribed quantity of boiling water, cover and leave to infuse for the necessary length of time.

This will depend on the type of plant. This is how an infusion is prepared. For a decoction, place the given amounts (12 kalandas) of herbs in a saucepan or a pot and pour 8 cups of cold water and boil on a slow fire to one cup; strain and use as prescribed.
Decoctions should not be kept for too long a period. One cup of decoction should be finished in one day or in one and a half days.

Maceration - softening by soaking. Put the prescribed amounts of herbs into the given quantity of liquid: leave to soak for the specified length of time, strain through a clean cloth, squeeze all the juice out of the plants.

The most important thing when preparing an infusion or decoction is to remember to respect the prescribed amounts in use, and not make your medicines on assumptions. If so, it would not do any good, but certainly does no harm. Herbs never cause the havoc that certain drugs do.

Herbal plants can provide a flexible and effective form of medical therapy, totally without dangerous side-effect and adaptable to the needs of each individual patient.

The indigenous physician is thus able to prescribe a personal course of treatment that is appreciated a great deal by the patient, who feels he is being treated as an individual and not like every one else. There is a revival of interest in herbal treatment in Sri Lanka, and it is going through its second infancy.