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Herbalism Education: Herbs in Massage

Did you know you can add food into the mix without being messy?
Did you know you can make massage oils without buying expensive essential oils?

Making your own herbal infused massage oil is actually very easy! You only need 3 supplies and a good 6 weeks to make it happen.
Read below to see which type of massage oil you would like to make.

Pick an herb
Lavender – relaxing
Chamomile – relaxing
Comfrey – soothing
Ginger – warming
Calendula – hydrating
Rosemary – muscle rub
or pick an herb to experiment with. There are SO many!
Pick a carrier oil
Almond Oil
Grapeseed Oil
Olive Oil
Jojoba Oil
or pick another carrier oil that you love.
Mason Jar with Lid

Directions: You can use dried or fresh herbs (make sure you leave no space for any bacteria to grow if you are using fresh). Fill the jar with chopped herb, cover completely with your carrier oil, cap the jar tight and set in a sunny area in the house. You will notice infusion with some herbs with the oil changes color (depending on the herb) or just wait 6 weeks until it’s ready. Strain the oil through cheesecloth and bottle your lovely, new herbal massage oil and keep it in a dark, cool cabinet when not in use.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Herbalism Education: Cayenne

Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum frutescens)

Essential Oil: none

Uses: antiseptic, stimulant, diaphoretic, warming. Fresh or dried pods with seeds can be used in teas, tinctures, washes and infused oils.

Quick Tip: Add a teaspoon of powdered cayenne to a meal or tea at the beginning of a cold or with inflamed throats. If you do not consume Cayenne regularly, work up to a teaspoon slowly.

Herb of the week is to give you a brief overview of the many plants that grace our Earth. Please research further into herbs before using these on yourself and loved ones. Especially if you are pregnant.

Herbalism Education: Understanding Herbal Preparations

There are many ways to invite herbs into your life. Sometimes it can get confusing reading about the different ways you can administer them. Here’s a run-down of major preparations and how they are made.

Herbal Teas/Infusion – A tea or infusion can be a mixture of herbs which include leaves, stems, and flowers. Steeping herbal teas for at least 10 minutes in boiling water allows for most benefits.

Decoction – This also is steeping plants in boiled water, but decoctions include bark, nuts, roots, and seeds steeping from 20 minutes to overnight.

Syrup – A syrup is infused herbs in boiling water mixed with honey and may or may not include alcohol. The end result is a thick, syrup.

Elixir/Tonic – An elixir is similar to how a syrup is made, but it is not heated  to make a thick syrup. Herbs are infused with an alcohol and honey and left to sit for several weeks similar to how a cordial might taste.

Poultice – Ground herbs mixed with a liquid to become a paste to spread on a cloth over wounds or infections.

Extract – Herbs are infused in 80% alcohol for a long period of time (usually 2 months and longer). Either fresh herbs are used in 1:2 ratio or dried herbs used 1:5 ratio.

Tincture – A tincture is taken by diluting an extract in boiling water or juice.

Capsule – Most herbal supplements are taken by a capsule form full of powdered herbs.

Liniment – Herbal extract used for exterior use. (i.e. sore muscles)

Lozenge/pastilles  – A paste of powdered herbs and honey are hardened into a lozenge.

Salve – Used on the skin, usually made with beeswax, infused oils, and sometimes essential oils. Ingredients are heated and then left to cool into a solid.

Cream/lotions – Also used on the skin made with beeswax, infused oils, a butter (like Shea) essential oils and distilled waters. Depending on ratios a cream can be thicker than a lotion.

Infused Oils – Carrier oils infused with herbs and set for at least a couple weeks in the sun (or in a double boiler for quicker infusions)

Diffusions – Using hot or cold steam to diffuse essential oils into the air.

Hydrosol – Steam condensation left over from infusing floral waters. Used mostly as toners.

Essential Oil – concentrated liquid containing volatile compounds from the plant. This is the true aroma essence from plants.

Herbalism Education: Thyme

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Essential Oil: Steam Distilled

Uses: expectorant, carminative, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal. Fresh or dried leaves and flowers can be used in essential oils, teas, tinctures, salves and infused oils.

Quick Tip: Steep dried or fresh Thyme in boiling water for 10 minutes for relief with any respiratory issues.

Herb of the week is to give you a brief overview of the many plants that grace our Earth. Please research further into herbs before using these on yourself and loved ones. Especially if you are pregnant.

Herbalism Education: Calendula

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Essential Oil: CO2 extracted

Uses: anti inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antispasmodic, anti fungal, astringent, antimicrobial. Fresh or dried leaves and flowers can be used in essential oils, teas, tinctures, salves and infused oils.

Quick Tip: To have on hand for minor scrapes and bruises, fill a sterilized mason jar with fresh Calendula flowers and top off with any carrier oil (such as Olive oil or jojoba). Let sit in the sun from 2-4 weeks. Strain flowers and keep oil in a dark, cool cabinet. (Compost your flowers!)

Herb of the week is to give you a brief overview of the many plants that grace our Earth. Please research further into herbs before using these on yourself and loved ones. Especially if you are pregnant.

Herbalism Education: Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Essential Oil: Steam distilled

Uses: antiviral, nervine, sedative, carminative, mild antidepressant. Fresh or dried leaves and flowers can be used in essential oils, teas, tinctures, and infused oils.

Quick Tip: For a little burst of sunshine in the winter months, infuse an ounce of lemon balm in a quart of boiling water, cap it tightly, and leave it overnight. Strain and drink the next couple days (refrigerate).

Herb of the week is to give you a brief overview of the many plants that grace our Earth. Please research further into herbs before using these on yourself and loved ones. Especially if you are pregnant.

Herbalism Education: Myrrh

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)

Essential Oil: Steam distilled or CO2 Distracted

Uses: antiseptic, anti fungal, expectorant. The Resin can be used from the essential oil, gargles/rinses, and tinctures.

Quick Tip: To make a mouthwash, mix 1/2 cup distilled water, 2 dropperfuls of peppermint tincture, and .5 dropperful of Myrrh Gum tincture together. Keep in a dark bottle in a cool place. Use to swish, do not swallow.

Herb of the week is to give you a brief overview of the many plants that grace our Earth. Please research further into herbs before using these on yourself and loved ones. Especially if you are pregnant.

Herbalism Education: Feverfew

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)

Essential Oil: None

Uses: Diaphoretic, Antiinflammatory. Fresh or dried leaves can be used as a tea or tincture

Quick Tip: Use a teaspoon of dry feverfew leaves in a boiling cup of water, along with peppermint at the beginning of a headache to prevent.

Herb of the week is to give you a brief overview of the many plants that grace our Earth. Please research further into herbs before using these on yourself and loved ones. Especially if you are pregnant.

Herbalism Education: Black Walnut

Black Walnut, Juglans nigra

Essential Oil: none

Uses: The green hull (around the walnut) is used as antiseptic, astrigent, anti fungal, laxative, and emetic. Fresh hulls can be used in teas, tinctures, salves and infused oils.

Quick Tip: Mix Black Walnut Hull powder with arrowroot starch or baking soda to dust over athlete’s foot problems.

Herb of the week is to give you a brief overview of the many plants that grace our Earth. Please research further into herbs before using these on yourself and loved ones. Especially if you are pregnant.

Herbalism Education: Sweet Fennel

Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare

Essential Oil: Steam Distilled

Uses: The seed is Expectorant, carminative (for intestinal gas issues), antispasmodic, Anti inflammatory, the root is a diuretic. Fresh or dried Fennel can be used in teas, tinctures, essential oils and infused oils.

Quick Tip: Snack on Fennel seed to settle a full stomach and to freshen breath.

Herb of the week is to give you a brief overview of the many plants that grace our Earth. Please research further into herbs before using these on yourself and loved ones. Especially if you are pregnant.