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Herban Dictionary

In a bit of a continuation from last week's blog, The Well Planned Home Apothecary, this week we want to explore some common natural medicine terminology.  Familiarity with herbs and the ways in which their benefits are utilized will help you feel assured when selecting what is best for you and your family.  


There are several methods to implement the healing properties of plants, fungi and crystals.  Therapeutic preparations include dry teas, liquid extracts and tinctures, infused oils, rollers, sprays, salves.  So why choose which?  Depending on individual preference and health needs, the answer may vary.


Dry Herbs/Teas Most herbs are consumable in their raw form.  In this state, some are already powerful plant medicines and need little preparation.  An example of this would be tea.  Plants which are used to make tea are generally selected because of the bioavailability of their benefits through merely steeping them in hot water.  The recipe for tea is simple and so it is not an intimidating choice when exploring wellness through herbs.   Plants which make useful tea include a mix of flowers, leaves, stems, roots and fungi.  A useful tea for this purpose is one which offers health benefits at this strength and dosage.  Some of our favorites can be found in the tea section of the Roots to Remedies website.


Infusions for Oral use


When using herbs for an acute medicinal reason, liquid oral extracts are an excellent choice.  An extract does exactly as its name implies and uses a process which harvests the beneficial herb components for a concentrated potency.  Typically when an Herbalist is mixing an extract the liquid solvents used are glycerin, purified water. The process is time consuming but produces highly effective concentrations of medicinal herbs.  


A Tincture is a liquid extraction which uses alcohol as the extracting agent.


An Extract is a liquid extraction which used glycerine as the extracting agent.


A Tonic is another liquid extraction preparation where vinegar is used instead of glycerine or alcohol.


A Decoction is an extraction process in which herbs are boiled and reduced in water to obtain their healing properties.  Herbalists then use decoctions mixed with honey or agave to form a Syrup.  Such is the case with Elderberry Syrup.


Roots to Remedies carries a comprehensive line of syrups, extracts, tinctures and tonics for a variety of symptoms and health concerns.





Infusions for Topical Use


Herbal or crystal Infusions are peparations which use soothing carrier oils such as apricot oil, castor oil, coconut oil, hemp oil, olive oil or liquids such as Witch Hazel.  The oils or witch hazel are combined with plant material, minerals or crystals in a soaking process where the liquid absorbs the beneficial plant properties and the crystals or plant material can then be left in the mixture or strained off leaving the liquid infused with the benefits.   It should be noted that oil infusions are not the same as essential oils but the herbs used to obtain them are the same herbs and carry their benefits.  


This type of mixture is ideal for skin application.  Our skin is our largest organ.  It has an amazing ability to distribute healing properties applied topically.  Topically applied products also are absorbed through our sense of smell and olfactory process.  These avenues of access to your body can help offer comprehensive support when caring for the wellness of your whole person. 


Products you might choose that use this process include 


     * Crystal Infused Sprays


        Albert Einstein understood and conveyed that the universe is comprised of energy and vibration.  Crystals are incredible natural wonders which form deep in the earth when mineral meets glass meets pressure and time.  Their unique ability to resonate at particular frequencies make them valued healing tools.  Some crystals resound at the same vibration as healthy circadian rhythms, and so their presence facilitates sleep.  Others have frequencies which match those of confidence or self worthiness.  Liquids and oils can be infused with crystals to absorb their healing properties.  Our Crystal infused sprays include are mixed with herbal infusions and essential oils to offer multi facetted benefits.


     * Magnesium Sprays


        Most of the population are deficient in magnesium.  This mineral, or the lack thereof, is pertinent to healthy human function.  Without adequate amounts, you're prone to insomnia, anxiety, high blood pressure, muscle soreness and fatigue, hair loss.  Nothing pleasant really.  Magnesium can be gotten through dietary choices like nuts seeds and leafy greens.  It is, however, particularly well absorbed through the skin, especially when infused in alcohol.  Our incredible sprays combine herbal infused which hazel with magnesium for targeted healing support.  If you are prone to worry and you believe you may also be magnesium deficient, our Don't Worry Magnesium Spray might be a more preferable option than the roll on or oral extract options.  They may also be combined for magnified therapy.

     * Rollers, Salves, Balms and Lotion Bars

        The topical roll on formulas we offer provide the herbal benefits of the oil infusions and essential oils they contain.  The rollers are convenient and easy to carry on the go.  Their healing effects are absorbed through the skin and sense of smell to offer assurance anywhere you go.


       A salve is topically applied remedy.  The formulation which deems a salve so is a Beeswax base, mixed with herbal infused oils and essential oils.  Other ingredients often found in salves are detoxing agents and herbs which are particularly beneficial applied topically and prepared using Beeswax.  Examples of Detoxing Agents would be Activated Charcoal and Bentonite Clay.

We carry a line of soothing salves to address a variety of skin concerns, including bug bites, cuts, scrapes and burns, acne, pain and even mood issues. 


Our Lip Balms and Lotion Bars combine infused oils and essential oils to provide your skin with soothing support when it needs some TLC.




Essential Oils


Essential oils are produced exclusively by the plant itself.  The oils are then extracted through steam distillation or mechanically, such as through cold press.  These oils are highly concentrated and often require a carrier oil for safe application. 


I hope this review in terminology is helpful. Sometimes organized and categorized lists can help us understand more clearly the way things are intended to work. We love natural medicine and we want you to as well. Information and education are just some of the tools we hope you will find useful here.


Until Next time 💚

- Roots to Remedies

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