Herbal medicine and homeopathy have similarities but they are not the same. They differ in both the remedy itself and also in how the remedy is chosen. Let me explain…
Herbal remedies can be either the medicinal plant material itself or an extract produced from it. In some cases, the remedy might be a whole plant including the leaves, stems and roots. More often a remedy is from a specific part of the plant such as the flowers, bark, leaves, berries, seeds or roots. For example, elderflowers, willow bark, peppermint leaves, goji berries, fennel seeds and dandelion roots are all herbal medicines.
So, how do we use these plants to make herbal medicine? We can sometimes extract the herbs with just water, as in making a herbal tea, infusion or decoction. Or, we can make a tincture using a mixture of alcohol and water. There are other herbal preparations but as a herbalist, the herbal infusions and tinctures are the extracts I use most often. [Read more…]