Wise Herbal Ways

Talking about plants and the healing properties of herbs makes my heart happy. If you are new to herbal remedies and herbal teas, I hope this article gives you some herbal wisdom to use in your daily life. Let’s talk about various herbal preparations and the benefits of certain herbs on common discomforts.

“Plants have long been recognized for their therapeutic properties. For centuries, indigenous cultures around the world have used traditional herbal medicine to treat a myriad of maladies.” 


assorted spices near white ceramic bowls
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Herbs come in many different forms:

  • Powder
  • Root
  • Dried
  • Tincture with vegetable glycerin or alcohol
  • Capsules
  • Tablets
  • Teas
  • Infusions
  • Salves

Your herbalist may make her own or teach you how to make them yourself. Some teas are best made with the fresh or dried leaves and some with the root. Some are the most potent by steeping and others need to be boiled. I have made tinctures and herbal salves and I have mixed dried herbs for unique blends of tea. I find that when I take part in the creation of herbal remedies, they are more potent.

Why add alcohol in herbal preparations?

When you see 40 – 60% alcohol on the label of an herbal tincture, it can be shocking. When you think about congesting herbs for increased health and well-being, it may seem counter-intuitive to mix herbs with alcohol. There are people who may not want to have alcohol of any kind, for various reasons: religious preferences, recovering alcoholics, children, health concerns, compromised liver function, pets.

Why not just make a tea with herbs? Some herbs do very well when they are extracted in boiling water. However, tea will only last for a maximum of two days in the refrigerator. Some herbs, especially roots, need to soak in alcohol for several weeks to pull out the medicinal qualities of the plant.

The higher amount of alcohol, the more medicinal benefits of the tincture.

Facts about alcohol-based tinctures:

  • Most plants need roughly 40% alcohol for extraction.
  • One dropperful is about 30 drops, which equals one milliliter.
  • For a 40% alcohol tincture, you will ingest 13 drops of alcohol.
  • For a 65% alcohol tincture, you will ingest 19 drops of alcohol.

Comparing food and drink items with alcohol content, to put it into perspective:

  • A ripe banana contains alcohol, due to fermenting
  • Some breads contain alcohol, due to the yeast fermenting process
  • Kombucha contains alcohol, about 0.5%
photo of citrus fruits beside banana
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Compare a glass of wine with a dropperful of a tincture. A glass of wine is roughly 30 milliliters of alcohol. Compare that to one milliliter in a tincture dosage and you will see how minimal the amount of alcohol is.

action alcohol art beverage
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If you want to reduce the amount of alcohol in a tincture:

You can release the alcohol in a tincture by boiling hot water in a cup- add a dose of the tincture to the boiled water. Allow this to sit until it cools and then drink the water/tincture mix. Most of the alcohol will dissipate in the steam. This will lower the amount of alcohol in each dose.

“We are entering an exciting era where the ancient wisdom distilled into the world’s traditional herbal medicines can be reinterpreted and exploited through the lens of modern science.”

Peppermint Tea Benefits Headaches

Migraine sufferers are always looking for something to help break the pain, of course. We understand how incredibly painful migraines can be.

We suggest trying peppermint tea because it has extremely minimal side effects (if any) and has been shown to reduce headaches. Even if you get stress and tension headaches, peppermint tea benefits headaches of all kinds.

The sweet aroma of menthol and the antispasmodic properties of the compounds in the tea leaves may help soothe and calm your throbbing head. By encouraging blood flow, menthol can help ease your pain. You may also want to add peppermint and lavender essential oil to your diffuser as you work through your headache.

About Meditative State of Mind tea

When you think of lavender tea, you may imagine having a hot cup before bed to help induce a full night’s sleep. This is an excellent way to enjoy You, Me, and Uni’s Meditative State of Mind. With or without honey it has a full-bodied flavor that is pleasant to anyone. Because the tea is loose leaf, the flowers and leaves will plump up when submerged in boiling water. You don’t have to worry about removing the tea after a few minutes like a fine green or black tea. There will be no bitterness from steeping Meditative State of Mind for hours, if you desire or if you get distracted.

Meditative State of Mind Ingredients

Most of us are familiar with the healing benefits of lavender and the yummy scent of lavender in beauty products and teas. When you combine this fragrant flower with mint and chamomile, you are left with a relaxed digestive tract as well as mind and body. The flavors combine in symbiotic harmony, combining a balance that can only be accomplished by working together. Lavender, mint, and chamomile are not the only flowers and herbs in this incredible tea, the master herbalist, Jennifer Vollbrecht also added moringa. Read more about this delicious tea in our past article here.

The Benefits of Dandelion

Digestive Tonic

Dandelion is widely known for its soothing digestive qualities. Add this herb to a combination of chamomile and lavender for a relaxing after-dinner drink. Dandelion is helpful for heartburn, so ingest it after spicy meals or before bedtime to avoid that uncomfortable feeling.  Know Your Gut, Trust Your Gut tea combines dandelion with red clover blossom, cornflower petal, and comfrey leaf for a delicious tea- hot or cold! Sweeten however you like. Steep for 2-4 hours for a stronger version to increase dandelion tea benefits.

Consider making an iron tonic for a delicious way to consume dandelion.

  • Making Iron Tonic Syrup

Place ½ ounce each of yellow dock and dandelion roots into a quart jar and fill with boiling water. Cover the jar tight and steep for eight hours. Strain into a stainless-steel pot and simmer uncovered until the liquid reduces to one cup. Add ½ cup of blackstrap molasses (also high in iron). Stir well and turn off the heat. Pour into a jar and store in the refrigerator for many months. Dosage is 1-2 tablespoons daily. (Romm 2014)

I hope this article finds you well and cozy at home, perhaps with a cup of tea in hand.

Anastacia Elizabeth Walden

Freelance writer and editor at Walden Writes For Women, in Gainesville, Florida




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