Obtain fresh herbs or purchase tinctures from fresh herbs
the best alcohol to use is 100 proof vodka, or brandy.
Clean the herbs, picking out the damaged parts, and brushing off dirt. Do not wash aboveground plant parts unless necessary. Roots, stems and bark need to be chopped. Place about 2 oz of plant material in a pint jar.Fill the jar to the top with alcohol. Cap it tightly and label with the name of the herb, alcohol content and date. Store where it isn't exposed to direct sunlight,give it a gentle shake every few days. If the liquid level goes down, add more alcohol. If you like, start at the new moon, and end 6 weeks later at the full moon. After 6 weeks, strain the alcohol tincture from the plant material ~ this requires vigorous wringing of the herbs in cheesecloth to extract as much of the liquid as possible. Pour into a well-labeled glass jar (need not be filled to the top)and store in a cool dark place - a pantry or refrigerator. To use tinctures, follow specific recipes like those in this book. Dosage depends on herbs used, condition being treated, the person's age, and weight. It can be between 5 and 25 drops taken four times a day. Follow specific recipes for safety.
I also make salves for skin problems - I used to sell these on my website. They are easy! First you make an oil from your herbs. Fill a clean and totally dry jar with dried herbs, loosely packed. Fill jar to the brim with oil - I use grapeseed or almond oil but sesame and olive oils are good too. Store these at room temp in partial sunlight for on week or so. To make your salve, start with your herbal oil. (For dry itchy skin I used herbs such as neem, chamomile, red clover, calendula.) Pour the oil into small pot. Add grated or beaded beeswax, 1 tbsp per oz of oil. Warm over low heat until wax melts. To test for readiness place a small amount onto a teaspoon and place in the fridge. After a minute it should harden to its finished consistency - it should be firm and solid but not so hard that it won't melt easily into skin. If it is the right consistency, pour into small jars, cool to room temp, cover and store. If too soft - add more beeswax. If too hard, add more oil.
For colds and coughs:
For acute coughs associated with colds and respiratory infections. Soothes cough, has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Steep 2 to 4 cloves of garlic in 1 quart of boiling water for 30 minutes, strain and add honey and lemon to taste. Serve hot and as often as desired. Belive it or not, David loves this when he is coughing and begs me to make it as soon as a cough appears!!
Slippery Elm Balls - Mix a couple of tbsps of slippery elm powder in a bowl with enough honey to make a dough. Add flavoring if desired - mint, lemon, vanilla. roll dough into a long thin snake - then slice into 1/4 inch pieces. Eat as is, or roll in a bit of the powder and set aside to dry, or bake at 250 until slightly hard. Kids can suck these as often as they want -
You can also make a slippery elm drink. Add 1 tsp slippery elm powder into apple juice or warm water witha bit of maple syrup added. Can be given to babies or small children as a beverage or by dropper, cup or spoon!
Aunty Aviva's Cough Syrup Blend: This is what I make for David - it keeps in the fridge about 2 months. IT IS NOT FOR USE BY PREGNANT WOMEN!!
1/2 oz angelica root
1/2 oz coltsfoot
1/2 oz dried mullein leaves
1/2 oz marshmallow root
12 oz licorice root
1/2 oz thyme
1/2 oz anise seeds
1/4 oz wild cherry bark
1/4 oz burdock root
1/8 oz slippery elm bark
1/8 oz lobelia
1 qt boiling water
Combine all herbs. Put one oz of the mixture in a glass jar, add the boiling water, cover and steep for 2 hours. Strain the liquid into a pot and simmer gently until it is reduced to 1 cup. (Discard the plant material) Sweeten with 1/2 cup honey (for children under 1 year, omit the honey and replace with maple syrup or sugar to taste) Cool to room temperature, store in the jar in the fridge.
To use ~ Dosage is 1 tsp as needed for children one to three years old,
1 Tbsp as needed for older children, 2 tbsp as needed for adults.
This is the recipe I use to make Elderberry Syrup for Cold and Flu season. I use dried elderberries that I ordered from Vitacost. I almost always have a jar of this syrup in my fridge- better safe than sorry!