An herbal syrup is a herb or a combination of herbs that are added to gylcerin or honey. It is steeped in the liquid for 4 weeks so that the herb can soak up the medicinal power of the herb. You can also use the slow heat method. The slow heat method requires you to combine herb and liquid and slowly heat them on the stove for 1 hour or more. Syrups are nice to have for people who are sensitive to a tincture or for use with children.
Salves are generally used on sore, bruises, and inflammations. Salves are made using a carrier oil, a wax, and sometimes a butter such as shea butter. Salves are very useful for skin conditions.
A tincture is an herbal medicine made with alcohol. Herbs, or an herbal combination is added to a solution of alcohol (vodka) and purified water. Tinctures are useful to have because they have a long shelf life (up to 5 years). Tinctures are used for more severe cases of illness.
Tea or Tisane (also known as an Infusion)
A Tea or Tisane is a herb tea used for a medicinal purpose. Herbs are steeped in hot water for 5-10 minutes. For stronger tea, use more herb. Teas are used for both short term and long term effects. Mild teas can be used as a daily tonic and for general health.
There are other applications of herbs, such as herbal vinegars, and herbal powders, but these are the easiest and most common ones used.
Kathleen is a Certified Medical Herbalist and Aromatherapist. She loves teaching people the healing power of plants. When not teaching she writes for local magazines and newspapers. She and her husband Michael run Cloverleaf Farm, a small organic herb and produce farm in Effingham, New Hampshire.