Herbs are big gifts in small packages. Herbs are used in a range on things from teas to tacos. In this post we will explore a few ways you can use your herbs that you might not have thought of yet.
Infusion is the most common way to prepare our herbs. The usual amount is a teaspoon (tsp) of leaves, blossoms, or flowers into a cup of boiling water. The water is poured over herb; then steeped for 3 to 5 minutes. Strain before using. Honey may be added to taste.
Decoction To Extract the deeper essences from harderor coarser herbs such as stems, barks, and roots. The herbs are usually simmered uncovered for 10 to 20 minutes until 1/3 of the water has decreased through evaporation. Strain before using.
Fomentation A fomentation is an external application of herbs, generally used to treat swelling, pains, colds and flu. To prepare a fomentation , soak a towel or cloth in the desired tea, and apply the towel with a dry flannel cloth. Repeat as needed.
Poultice A poultice is usually used to reduce swelling by applying a warm mass of powdered herbs directly to the skin. To prepare, add enough hot water to make a thick paste, then apply directly to the skin. Cover with a hot moist towel.
Steep Recommended preparation for fresh herbs. Heat herbs in water until it reaches a full boil. Turn down heat, let cool, strain, and drink.
A Few Other Tips When Preparing Your Herbs
Do not use aluminum utensils to prepare your herbal tea. Use only stainless steel, glass (Pyrex) or earthenware
Use approximately the equivalent of one teaspoon of herb to every cup of water (fresh herbs may need more that one teaspoon)
Do not use white sugar or artificial sweeteners. Use honey or raw sugar if you want to sweeten your beverage.
Over the next few weeks we will profile some common herbs we will be growing on The Plot. Can you guess which herbs we'll be discussing?
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