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How To Start Your Own Home Herbal Apothecary

How To Make Your Own Herbal Home Remedies and Homemade Medicine

How to make homemade medicine

There’s so much satisfaction you will get from making your own herbal home remedies. Once you get started, you will look back and ask yourself why didn’t you make homemade medicines five years ago? 

Hundreds of years ago, everyone made their own homemade medicines, and utilizing herbs from their environment was the standard way to heal the body. It worked in China, Asia, North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and even on the Arctic tundra. Dozens of old time herbal books still remain, passing down the wisdom of the previous generations to us now. Some of these books are still available. 

What Types of Herbal Home Remedies Can You Make?

You can make teas, infusions, infused oils and vinegars, decoctions, syrups, tinctures, lotions and salves, and poultices and compresses. These are the eight primary forms of herbal home remedies. The process of making your own herbal home remedies is actually quite simple.

How to Get Started

You can choose one of the different types of remedies to make at a time and master before moving on to the next one, or simply take a class locally where all of them are explained and you get hands-on training. If you are learning how to make them yourself, it’s best to also watch videos on the process, since you’ll gain much insight from having a teacher.

Types of Herbal Home Remedies Explained

Teas

Let’s take teas for example. You might think there’s nothing to making a tea except boiling water, pouring it in a coffee cup, letting it cool a little, and drinking it. But actually, there’s a lot to tea making. If you ever go to visit a tea house that is styled in Japanese, European, or Chinese culture, there’s a whole ceremony to tea drinking that will seriously expand your horizons. You will learn that certain teas have specific water temperatures that the herbs are infused in. The temperatures vary for different reasons. 

More than that, some herb teas are best with a sliver of lemon that is squeezed into the tea to release certain phytochemicals, making them more easily absorbed in the body. And the more you experiment with different herbs, the more you will get to know their taste – or what to do to flavor them.

Infusions

Infusions are another type of tea but their steeping time varies up to several hours. Steeping gives you more time to extract the phytochemicals from the herbs. These are the medicinal agents inside the herb that bring the health benefits. Infusions may be hot like tea or cold. A good example of an infusion is sun tea where you place the herb in a gallon of water in a glass jar and set it out in the sunshine for a few hours. The sun’s energy extracts the goodness out of the herb.

Infused Oils

Infusions may also be made with oil or vinegar instead of water. You are already most likely to be familiar with infused oils that can be purchased at grocery stores or farmers markets. It’s pretty easy to make these yourself simply by placing a few sprigs of rosemary or basil in a jar of olive oil you have right now. The medicinal ingredients of the herb will be imparted into the oil over a few weeks, and then you can cook with the oil. The dishes you create with these infused oils taste a lot better than those where you use the oil without infusing it. 

Fancy Oil Infusions for Pennies: Fancy and Delicious Infused Oils for Pennies
  • Wood, Keanu (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 68 Pages - 12/14/2021 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)

Infused Vinegars

Infused vinegars are similar to infused oils because you simply add the sprigs of the herbs to the vinegar and let it sit for a few weeks. The medicinal components of the herb are then extracted out by the vinegar. 

Decoctions

Decoctions are also easy. For this one, you’ll need a 2-quart pot. You’ll fill the pot with water, add the herb, stir, put a lid on the pot, and simmer at a very low flame until the volume of water goes down a fourth or even a half of what it was originally. This method is used for roots, stems, and barks for a minimum of 20 minutes and up to 4 hours. These parts of the plants need more time to break down the plant parts so the medicinal ingredients can be released. 

Syrups

Leftover decoctions that you make that don’t fit into the standard mason jars or small 1 or 2-ounce bottles that you’ll store your remedies in may be used up by making syrups. In these, the sweetening agent is sugar or honey. In fact the best ratio to remember for syrups is a 1:1 ratio. This means for every cup of decoction you add to the syrup, you’ll add 1 cup of honey. This extends the shelf life of your syrups.

Tinctures

Tinctures use alcohol instead of water. To make these homemade remedies, you’ll preferably use 40 to 60 percent alcohol by volume, which is 80 to 120 proof. Tinctures extract out the alcohol-soluble active ingredients that won’t be released by teas and infusions. There’s a lot more instructions for tinctures than teas, but again, if you focus on making a few dozen tinctures of different herbs on the same day, you’ll get the process down quickly and it will be there for long-term memory.

Salves and Lotions

Salves and lotions will need their own day to practice with them. Salves are made with infused oils you have already made and beeswax pellets or shavings. The process for these is to first know the ratio which works best – ¼ cup beeswax to 1 cup infused oil. Then melt the beeswax over slow heat, add the infused oil, mix, and transfer to a small salve tin. As it cools fully, it will set. Lotions are a little different but you’ll learn them too.

Poultices and Compresses

Poultices and compresses are the last to learn because you will only need them when you have a wound or injury on your skin. Poultices are made by soaking a cloth in a tea, infusion, or decoction and then placing it directly on the area of the skin that needs repair. A compress though used the actual herb, wrapping it up inside a clot, and then applying it to the affected area. You’ll learn the details from great herb books that explain how to make homemade medicines. 

Equipment Needed

To get started then, it’s recommended you have these items to prepare for your homemade remedies creations:

Stainless steel tea kettle • Measuring spoons

• Pure filtered or distilled water • 80 to 120 proof alcohol, usually Ever Clear

• mason jars and salve tins • 2-quart stainless steel pot

• large, medium, and small bowls • high-quality honey

• herbs • cloths to wrap herbs for compresses

• beeswax pellets or shavings • 1 and 2-oz glass bottles with eyedroppers

• small pot for melting beeswax • olive and/or coconut oil

• gallon glass jug for infusions

These are widely available and you can get them online at Amazon along with some great books for reference on how to make your own herbal medicines.

Making homemade herbal remedies could become your new hobby! It will bring you benefit after benefit for the rest of your life!

Hi, I'm Janiece

It all started with a midnight epiphany and the rest is history.

I've worn the hat of a dedicated corporate woman, a tenacious go-getter, and a passionate career climber. After welcoming my first bundle of joy into the world just three weeks into a global pandemic, I realized there were fragments of myself I had set aside while on my upward career trajectory. Somewhere over the years, I realized I stopped wholly caring for myself and my family in exchange for career success.

So, I made a choice – a choice to embrace whole living, nurturing every part of myself from the inside out.

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