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Glossary of Terms - Herb Preparations 

Astringent - an herb-based liquid or cream who's properties include contraction of the skin, for tightening and soothing.

Decoction - an infusion which has been reduced to one/half of its original volume by slow steam release. Not brought to a boil, the decoction is taken to the point of steam release and the heat is then reduced very low to continue the steam process. Decoction is handy for those herbals which taste bad or bitter, requiring only one quarter the dose. Decoctions are strong and can be kept longer if gin or vodka is added. 

Infusion - a tea made from the flowers, leaves or roots of an herb, with a longer steeping time than a general tea. The water is boiled fully, the cup or pot is heated and the herbs and water are covered during the steep to prevent steam escaping.  The standard measure is one teaspoon of dried herbs, two of fresh, to one cup of boiled water. Covered steeping time is generally up to ten minutes for flowers, twenty minutes for leaves and up to four hours for the root.

Salve - an herbal decoction blended with a beeswax or olive oil base, reduced and placed in jars. For use on burns, chapped skin, scrapes and other skin irritations, depending on the herb used.

Syrup - an infusion or decoction which is then mixed into a sugar base, using brown sugar, molasses, honey or corn syrup. (Caution - children under three should not ingest honey) Syrups are used in cases of sore throat, upset stomach in children, etc.

Tea - a general and acceptable use for medicinal and magical herbs, provided you have confirmed their safe ingestion. Warm the tea pot and cup, let the water just reach the boil and pour the water over the dried herbs. One teaspoon to one cup of water.

Tincture - a strong infusion or decoction prepared in an alcohol base (vodka, brandy or gin) and are much more stable for storage and long life. 



Note - No herbal remedy should be used in place of current medication. Research all herbal medicines thoroughly before use. Ask your physician if you are unsure.

Copyright 2004




About The Author
Janet Thompson
has been writing for over 35 years and is published in many formats including in-print books, print articles, online publications and poetry and erotica collections. Her new age writing covers a wide variety of topics from witchcraft and paganism, to the Tarot and Metaphysics. 


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