A tea made by pouring boiling water over an herb and allowing it to steep, covered, with no additional heat source. Infusions generally have a short shelf life. Prepare as needed.
A thick herbal tea or soup made by boiling the herb in water for as long as desired.
Make a strong decoction of the herb. That is, boil it in water, then simmer it, covered, until you have a thick brew with very little water. Cool, and strain the boiled herb into the brew. Add an equal amount of vegetable glycerine to the thick decoction and mix well. Pour into a sterile dark glass bottle, stopper tightly and store in a cool place. Treated with care this fluid extract will last a year or more.
Aromatherapy uses pure essential oils to relax, balance and rejuvenate body,
mind and spirit. Essential, absolute and resin oils are volatile,
fragrant materials extracted from the root, bark, wood, seed, fruit, leaf or
flower of a single plant. Steam distillation and cold pressing are used to extract
the essential oil from the plant. Essential oils and absolutes are very potent
and should always be used sparingly and in conjunction with a reliable reference.
A salve is made with herb, an oil, beeswax, and a preservative.
The best kind of oil to use is olive or sesame. Do not use the drying oils,
such as soybean and linseed. A good preservative to use is Gum Benzoin, either
the powder or your own tincture made with our high grade Sumatran Gum Benzoin Powder,
or tincture purchased from your local drugstore. Choose stainless steel, glass,
or earthenware to mix or store your herbal preparations.
The containers you use to store the mixtures should be airtight and sterile.
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Absolute: Products, not strictly essential oils, obtained through chemical solvent extraction. Absolutes are highly concentrated, entirely alcohol-soluble perfume material. Absolutes are obtained by alcohol-extraction of concretes, chassis or pommades. Most absolutes will contain traces of ethylalcohol (less than 2%). The final product may be liquid, solid or semi-solid.
Alternative Therapy: Complementary medicinal disciplines that typically use natural, rather than chemical, approaches. Also see Holistic-oriented.
Aromatherapy: The art and science of using pure essential oils extracted from natural botanicals to relax, balance and rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit.
Aromatherapy Benefit: The emotional or physical effect evoked by aromatic essential oils. Examples include balancing, energizing, rejuvenating, cleansing, deodorizing and purifying.
Attar: Extracted through the distillation of flowers.
Ayurvedic: The ancient Hindu art of medicine and of prolonging life.
Balsam: A natural raw material exuded from a tree or plant. Balsams are resinous masses, semi-solid materials or viscous liquids and are characterized by their high contents of benzoic acid, benzoates, cinnamic acid or cinnamates.
Botanical Name: Refers to the Latin name of the plant in the biological classification system. A botanical name is composed of the genus followed by the species.
Carrier Oil: A vegetable oil base in which essential oils are diluted to create massage blends and body care products. Examples include sweet almond, apricot kernel, jojoba and grapeseed.
Certified Organic Farming: Cultivation without the use of artificial herbicides, fertilizers or pesticides. Certification by an independent third party ensures the plants are grown, harvested, transported and processed in ways that protect their integrity.
Cold Press Extraction: See Expression.
Concrete: A prepared perfume material extracted from non-resinous or low resinous natural raw material (almost exclusively of vegetable origin, e.g. bark, flower, herb, leaf, root, etc.) Concretes are extracted from previously live tissue, while resinoids are extracted from plant exudations (not tissue). Concretes are usually solid, waxy, non-crystalline masses. Like absolutes, concretes can come from chassis and pommades.
Diffuser: An aromatherapy accessory used to gently disperse essential oils into the air for olfactory benefit.
Diffusion: The volatilization, or evaporation, of the aromatic components of an oil into the atmosphere through the use of accessories such as ceramic diffuser lamps, electric diffusers and unglazed porous clay diffusers.
Distillate: A product of distillation. For example, lavender oil is the distillate of the fresh, blooming lavender plant.
Distillation: A method of deriving an essential oil from plants using evaporation and subsequent condensation of a liquid (water) through the plant material.
Enfleurage: Age-old method of extracting essential oils using odorless fats and oils to absorb the oil from the plant material.
Essential Oil: A volatile material derived from odorous plant materials from a single botanical form. The oil bears the name of the plant from which it is derived. Distillation is the most common method for isolation of essential oils, but other processes--including enfleurage (extraction by using fat), maceration, solvent extraction, and mechanical pressing--are used for certain products. Younger plants produce more oil than older ones, but old plants are richer in more resinous and darker oils because of the continuing evaporation of the lighter fractions of the oil.
Expression: Method of obtaining essential oil from plant material, such as citrus fruit peel. The complete oil is physically forced from the plant material. Also known as cold press extraction.
Extract: Prepared materials that can be used for perfume, flavoring, and medicinal purposes. Extracts are usually concentrated products obtained by treating a natural raw material with a solvent.
Extraction Method: The method by which essential oils are separated from the plant. Common extraction methods include distillation, expression and solvent extraction.
Fixative: (AKA fixed oil) In perfumery, a material that slows down the rate of evaporation of the more volatile materials in a perfume composition. So-called vegetable oils fall into this category.
Food Grade: Considered safe for use in food by the Food and Drug Administration.
Fragrance: Aroma. Products labeled as fragrances are not pure essential oils. They are derived by synthetic means.
Herbal, Herbalism: Pertaining to natural botanicals and living plants.
Holistic-oriented: A natural, synergistic approach to healing which can include Western empirical medicine but also includes other traditional and innovative ways at looking at the whole person.
Homeopathy: Therapy using plant, animal and mineral substances in dilutions to overcome illness by stimulating the body's natural immunity. The AMA was founded in 1847 to protect the regular physicians, the allopaths (Greek alloion, "different") against competition from the well-organized homoeopaths (homoion, "similar"), and from the not so well-organized but popular herbalists, eclectics and midwives. The homeopaths' "like-cures-like" microdosing, as well as their faith in hypnosis, were legally recognized. Although many homeopaths were dogmatic about their infinitesimal doses, which supposedly cured by calling up the body's own resources, they had an empirical bias that helped to discredit the cupping, bleeding, leeching and chemical poisoning of the "regulars." Inoculation, the efficacy of which is beyond empirical dispute, is, after all, like-curing-like.
Insoluble: Unable to be dissolved in a liquid such as water.
Massage Therapy: A hands-on therapy in which essential oils are applied to the body for emotional and physical benefits.
Oleo-resin: A natural or prepared material. Natural oleo-resins are exudations from tree trunks, bark, etc.; prepared oleo-resins are extracted using solvents.
Olfactory: Of, relating to or connected with the sense of smell.
Pommade: Perfume materials obtained by the Enfleurage method (which is carried out almost exclusively in the south of France). The Enfleurage process is applied to flowers that do not yield any appreciable amount of essential oil by steam or water distillation. Pommade actually refers to the saturated fat created out of the process. (This process is hardly used anymore.)
Properties, Chemical: Characteristics of essential oils based on their chemical constituents.
Resin: A natural or prepared product. Natural resins are solid or semi-solid, almost odorless exudations from trees or plants formed in Nature by the oxidation of terpenes. Prepared resins are Oleo-resins from which the essential oil has been removed.
Resinoid: A perfumery material prepared from natural, resinous substances by extraction with a hydrocarbon type of solvent. True resinoids contain all the hydrocarbon-soluble matter from the natural starting material, including the resins, but they contain no solvent.
Sebaceous Glands: Present in the dermis. Open to the surface at pores located in the epidermis. Produces sebum (oil).
Sebum: The oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands which function to lubricate the skin and seal moisture into the cells. The level of sebum production determines whether your skin is normal, dry or oily.
Single Note: A pure, 100% natural essential oil: no additives; no adulterations.
Species: Major subdivision of a genus of plants. A biological classification composed of related plant individuals.
Synergistic: A characteristic in which the total effect is more effective than the individual parts.
Synergistic Blend: A combination of multiple essential oils that produce a completely new aroma with a different therapeutic effect.
Synthetic: An artificially produced substance designed to imitate that which occurs naturally.
Tincture: A prepared perfumery material, flavor material or pharmaceutical product. Tinctures can be considered alcoholic extracts of natural raw materials; the solvent is left in the extract as a diluent.
Viscosity: Pertaining to the thickness or thinness of a liquid.
Volatilization: The rate of evaporation or oxidation of an essential oil.