Buy dried yellowroot and other wild herbs at Payne Mountain Farms.
Herbal teas are easy to prepare and are quickly absorbed by the body. Most herbs can be made into teas by steeping the leaves in hot water. Always use a glass, enameled, or stainless steel pot. Never make herbal teas in an aluminum container.
Bring water to a boil, add leaves, turn heat to low and simmer for one to ten minutes (use a tight fitting lid on the pot so essential oils don’t escape). Fragile flowers like chamomile, rose, and calendula petals should not be simmered. Pour boiling water over the plant material and steep for ten minutes. Strain into a cup and sip slowly while inhaling the aroma.
Herbal teas are known as infusions. They contain healing properties and also work to flush toxins from the body. Prepare green leaves for tea by tearing instead of cutting with a knife or scissors. Scissors cut across cell membranes and destroy some of the plants good properties. Cutting with sharp edges causes unnatural facets, loss of volatile essential oils, and reduced healing properties. Dry leaves can be crumbled.
Sometimes herbal teas are the only way for a patient to get the benefits of herbs into their weakened bodies. At first, give only a few sips at a time then gradually increase amount.
Herbs that are suitable for infusions include catnip, feverfew, borage, comfrey, dill, mullein, horehound, corn silk, mint, red clover, rosemary, sage, thyme, plantain, chickweed, cleavers, licorice, and bee balm. Even tasty herbs like chamomile can become bitter if prepared at too high of a temperature.
Woody stems, roots, dried berries, seeds, and bark teas are called decoctions. Decoctions require a more vigorous method to extract the medicinal properties (higher heat and longer cooking time). Plant material should be crushed, mashed, or broken into small pieces. Boil for a few minutes and then simmer for up to an hour. Some decoctions will be ready in fifteen minutes (water will change color). Make sure the pot is not aluminum and has a tight fitting lid. Strain into a pitcher or tea cup. Press plant material with the back of a spoon to extract more of the liquid.
Many roots like dandelion and yellowroot are naturally bitter. Add mint, lemon peel, spices, stevia, licorice, or honey if desired. Quart batches may be prepared and then taken throughout the day. Many herbalists insist on reheating in a pan because they believe microwaves destroy healing properties. Sometimes herbal teas and decoctions are served cool or over ice. They are still potent. All infusions and decoctions should be discarded after twelve hours.
There are many ways to deliver herbs to the body. Teas, decoctions, extracts, syrups, tinctures, infused oils, infused wine, inhalants, poultices, plasters, compresses, ointments, creams, lotions, liniments, baths, capsules, tablets, powders, lozenges, enemas, suppositories, astringents, gargles, washes, and rinses all have a purpose in herbal medicine.
* Herbs work with other medicines to boost their potency so always consult with your healthcare provider before using any herbal remedy especially if pregnant, nursing, or taking other medicines.