Decoction, tinctures, and teas, which are infusions used to prepare herbal remedies. Using fresh or dried plants, the time of preparation may vary. Often, herbs work in combination with other herbs for best results; but it will take some skill and one should consult with a Chinese herbal practitioner for correct dosages.
Herbal remedies may consist of the following:
- Teas/Infusions: Made with leaves, flowers, or soft stems of a plant.
- Decoctions: A water extract made from the root, bark, and sometimes twigs, berries, or seeds of a plant.
- Tinctures: Use alcohol to make a more concentrated extract than teas and decoctions.
- Syrups: To relieve coughing or to mask the flavor of a tincture.
- Compresses: Known as a fomentation which is soaked in a soft cotton cloth in a hot infusion or decoction.
- Poultices: Used like a compress, but the herb itself is applied against the skin.
- Oils: Used for massage and in creams and ointments.
- Creams: An oil-and-water mixture that is easily absorbed in the skin and relieves dry, flaky skin, insect bites, or sunburn.
- Ointments: A waterless, waxy or oily salves that form a protective layer over the skin.
- Powders: Are ground from dried herbs, and are sprinkled on food and in drinks, mixed in water, or used to make capsules.
Remember to always use caution when mixing or taking herbs. Homeopathy guidelines should be followed to the letter. You should never substitute other substances or drugs for the ones recommended by your practitioner. If you consistently have any signs of illness, discontinue use and call your practitioner. Also know that herbs can interact with other drugs. Call your physician before taking any herbs.