Herbal Home Remedies Course. By Laura Carpenter MNIMH

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1 Herbal Home Remedies Course By Laura Carpenter MNIMH

2 Herbal Home Remedies Course Introduction The herbal home remedies course consists of four parts, each with a theory and practical element. Chapter 1 Introduction and infused oils Chapter 2 Herbal history and ointments and lip balms Chapter 3 Simple remedies and teas, poultices and decoctions Chapter 4 Harvesting and drying and tincture making This is an introductory level course and does not lead to a professional qualification of any kind. Safety It is important to remember that just because herbal medicine is natural does not mean that it is automatically safe. Some people can have reactions to herbal medicines, and although this is rare it is important to bear in mind. If you are taking any form of medication it is important to check that it is safe to take a particular herb with that medication before proceeding. Some herbs can directly interact with a drug and some can stop the drug working altogether. If you are pregnant or there is a chance you might be, you must only use herbal medicine with the supervision of a medical herbalist. If you are unsure about a herbal medicine and how you might react to it, the safest thing to do is not take it and consult a medical herbalist for more information. It is important to recognise when a condition is more serious, and to know your limits. If you become ill with something you'd normally go see the doctor about, it is important that you still go as normal. Also some more serious conditions can seem like a minor or common ailment at first, so if in doubt always go to your doctor (or phone NHS direct). Diagnosis is an in-depth art and even for those trained in diagnosis self-diagnosis is not easy or recommended. There are some things you can be fairly sure of, such as if you have a cold, or get hay fever every year, but for anything other than minor conditions you have had before and recognise as the same, get checked out. It is better to go to the doctor and be told it is something minor than to miss something more serious. Reviewed 09/02/16 2

3 The Herbal Home Remedies Course The aim of this course is to provide you with a basic knowledge of herbal remedies and some practical skills so that you can start making remedies at home. This course is an introductory level course and is really a starting point in the exciting world of medicinal plants. I have provided recommended reading and some useful websites at the end of each chapter. Reviewed 09/02/16 3

4 Chapter One What is herbal medicine? Herbal medicine is the use of plant based medicines to restore and maintain health. It is the oldest form of medicine in the world, with over 80% of the world s population using herbal medicine as their only form of medicine (WHO statistic). In the UK, herbal medicine is often seen as a complementary medicine, as it can be used safely alongside orthodox medicine. Many orthodox medicines in use today originated from medicinal plants, for example aspirin from willow bark, and digitalis from foxglove. Medicinal plants have been used for thousands of years for health and nutrition, and modern scientific research is now starting to explain how that works. For example, Valerian has been shown to improve sleep in several studies and is now available to buy over the counter as an alternative to sleeping tablets. Reviewed 09/02/16 4

5 Infused oils The first herbal preparation that I am going to introduce to you is the infused oil. Infused oils are a brilliant way of extracting herbal constituents, any oil or fat will work but a form of vegetable oil is used now. Quite simply the oil slowly breaks down the cell walls within the plant material and extracts the herbal constituents. If kept well and made correctly an infused oil can easily last for 5 years. Infused oils can then be added to creams and ointments, or applied to the skin directly. Infused oils are not to be confused with pressed oils (e.g. olive or walnut). Or essential oils which are actually not oils at all but a steam distilled extraction. Infused oils can be made from any plant material but some extract better than others. Fresh and dried plant matter can be used but remember that a fresh plant is up to 80% water and that will introduce mould into your oil. Choosing a herb to infuse Any of the herbs in your box could be used to make an infused oil, however this infused oil will form the base of the ointment and lip balm in the next part of course, therefore I recommend using either the calendula or chamomile. Infused oil Basic recipe Herb Enough vegetable oil to cover the herb completely Jar with a screw top lid (i.e. jam jar) Leave the herb and oil in the jar for 30 days (cold infusion) turning every couple of days, (away from heat and light). Hot oil infusions can be made by putting the oil and herb in the glass bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Leave the pan on a low heat for up to 4 hours. I often find that the cold infusion can have the best effects. It is important to check for mould, if the oil smells bad or appears cloudy it has probably gone off and must be thrown away. Reviewed 09/02/16 5

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