Sunday, November 14, 2010

Herbal Extraction and Preparation

I am learning about herbal extractions and the different descriptions and methods. Water, alcohols,vinegar, honey and oils are the menstrums we will be using. Good thing Eric and I just harvested some honey and made vinegar! I have made an infusion in my teapot, to enjoy while working.  Good thing I made it in the bigger pot this time, as my friend Val stopped in while in the middle of all this:) I will make various decoctions, extract tinctures, vinegars, infused oils, and infused honey today also.
I am also learning about fomentation, ointments and poultices. I chose to try lavender essential oil for a cool fomentation on the back of my neck for a bit of tension and headache-yness I have been having. I could feel the muscles relax and calm down as the herbal constituents permeated my skin. A different kind of calm from simply inhaling lavender! This was a muscle and nerve ending kind of calming:)
For my ointment I used some comfrey oil I had previously infused, some of our own beeswax.
I hope when you click on the picture and it enlarges, the beautiful green vibrancy of the comfrey oil is evident to you:)
Of course, I had to set the stage for the these herbal preparations by assembling my recipes I would be working on. See that cute little felt heart hanging from the cabinet door? My sweet friend Rita made that for me and it is a lovely herbal sachet:) So nice to use a clothespin to hold a recipe I am working on:) Each time I clip the pin, scent is released:) The other little hive thing was actually suppose to be a picture display piece, but I find it handy to hold the herbal recipe queue.
I adore my cast iron melting pot by Lodge, for melting beeswax and working with warming oils. It does retain heat though, and in order to get on with it, I poured the melted beeswax and comfrey oil warm mixture into another pan, to cool enough to be whipped up and then lavender essential oil added it to it.
I like the consistency of the final product and think the comfrey and lavender will work well together for the purpose of this ointment! When finished, I include these recipes in my little recipe box.
While I was busy in the kitchen apothecary anyway, I made the Varicose Vein Spray I had in the remedy making queue:)
Yikes, I need to get in the habit of always including the botanical names of the herbs, as well as these common names! I will make a new label for this while working on the other labels I need to make tonight!
Big hugs to all who visit Comfrey Cottages


Anke said...

I wish I could peek over your shoulder and be in your kitchen while you work. I could learn so much from you!

Comfrey Cottages said...

Nothing I am doing is that complicated Anke! I always am wishing I could peak over your shoulder as you cook and craft! lol Wish we were neighbors!!

Rita M said...

And I wish, I could peek over your shoulder Leslie - and learn to make salves and oils.
Hey... I recognize that little heart on your kabinet :)
I wish you good luck with your lessons my friend.
Have a nice day my dear friend xxx

Anonymous said...

Hi There! found your beautiful blog through the Herbal Bouquet, I have so much comfrey growing around here I found your blog name intriguing! what a lovely visit.

Comfrey Cottages said...

Rita, just message me if you want further instructions on the methods i use! Yes, that is the little heart you made me dearest friendxx
So nice to meet you Rosemary:) I will have to dash over and check out your blog also. Thank you so much for stopping in

Rita M said...

Thanks Leslie, I will!