Tag Archives: dried herb use

Nov
18

Herbs in the Bible

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herbs in the bibleHerbs in the Bible

With Christmas right around the corner, there is so much to do to get ready for it! Decorating, presents, making Christmas cookies, and the list goes on! Are you working on any new and exciting holiday projects? Or maybe you’re looking for a new unique gift to give to your loved ones for the holidays that is a way to remind them of what the Christmas season is really all about? Well, maybe you could try something with herbs! It just so happens that there are many herbs that have been used since Biblical times and are referenced in the Bible!

 

Aloe Vera- Aloe has been used since Biblical times to treat many wounds, burns, skin irritations and even constipation. It was also used as a perfume, and used to embalm the dead. Now a days, when used in soaping and cosmetics, aloe vera can be used to treat sunburns, acne, skin aging, and stretch marks. It is also used as a moisturizer, and has over 75 different nutrients such as enzymes and amino acids that help to keep you healthy.

aloe vera

Hyssop- Hyssop was used in the Old and New Testaments as a cleansing agent. It was used in Israelite ceremonial rituals as an inner cleanser. Now hyssop can be used to treat bronchitis, bruises, and coughing. It also helps to inhibit sweating, increase or induce menstrual flow, and has anti-fungal and anti-spasmodic properties.

hyssop

Myrrh- In the Bible, myrrh is one of the gifts the three wise men brought for the baby Jesus. It was also used as a salve to purify the dead and as an ingredient for anointing oil in the Tabernacle. Myrrh has anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibiotic properties. It can be used in cosmetics and bath and body products to preserve the complexion, reduce swelling, skin rejuvenation, reduce wrinkles and to treat canker sores, bad breath, blisters, gum disease, sore throats and even bad breath.

myrrh (2)

Saffron- In ancient times, saffron was coveted for its’ distinct yellow color. It was used as a dye and for food flavoring. It was also used medicinally to treat bubonic plague, upset stomach, and smallpox. Today, saffron can be used in cosmetics to help to smooth and brighten skin, cure acne, stop hair loss and promote new hair growth. It can also be used medicinally to treat depression, allergies, cancer, and help dieters to feel full.

saffron

Frankincense- This herb, along with myrrh, was one of the gifts for baby Jesus from the three wise men. It was used during ceremonial offerings in biblical times, as a way to fumigate peoples’ homes, and it was considered an article of luxury. In candles and cosmetics, frankincense is used to reduce lung and sinus congestion, treat wounds, rejuvenate skin, fight bacterial and fungal infections, and to treat acne. It can also reduce wrinkles and repair scarring.

frankincense

Cinnamon- Cinnamon was once considered more valuable than gold. It was used for perfumes and was an ingredient in anointing oils. Now cinnamon can be used in cosmetics to inhibit the growth of fungi, treat acne and eczema, plump the skin, promote hair growth, and it can be used to relieve an itchy scalp.

cinnamon

Anise- All parts of this plant were used in biblical times. It was considered so valuable that it was even used as currency. It was also used for tithes and offerings. Anise was also used as a medicine for flatulence and to avoid indigestion. In soaps, anise can be used for exfoliation and to bring some natural color. In cosmetics it is used to treat oily skin, coughing, body odor, and it is used as a natural antacid.

anise star

Rosemary- Rosemary signifies love, remembrance, and friendship. It was used in ancient times to cleanse altars and placed underneath beds or in love satchets as protection from harm. One story tells that all of the rosemary flowers turned from white to blue when Mary was fleeing from Herod’s soldiers with the baby Jesus. It can be used as a natural decoration for candles. It has antioxidant and antiseptic properties so when used in cosmetics, it reduces wrinkles and removes dead skin. It also treats bruising and relieves arthritis pain.

rosemary

Lavender- When referenced in the Bible, lavender is actually called spikenard.  Mary used it to anoint the feet of Jesus and it was regarded as a way to protect people from evil. It can be used is cosmetics and soap for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and anti-bacterial properties. It is used to treat eczema, acne, psoriasis, and oily skin. In bath teas and facial masks it is used as a relaxant and to soothe skin.

lavender

Lady’s Bedstraw- otherwise known as Madara or galium verum. It is said that Mary actually prepared the manger for the Christ child using this herb. It is rich in antioxidants that slow down skin aging and it also helps to reduce wrinkles. It has many skin rejuvenating, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties.

ladys bedstraw

All of these herbs in the Bible were used for specific and unique reasons! They are perfect to use for any holiday gift or project!  Enjoy them all and watch out for more Enlightened by Layla!

enlightened-by-layla (1)

Jan
15

Herbal Infusion

This entry was posted in all natural, bath and body, bath products, essential oils, fragrance oil, herb, herbal oil infusion, herbal tea, herbs, Natures Garden and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

Herbal InfusionHerbal Infusion

Many times the herbs that we seek out to use in a bath or body recipe may be a little too coarse for our skin.  This is the point where typically a conundrum lies.  The battle that is at hand is the great skin loving nutrients and benefits that herbs are able to provide versus the rigidity and awkwardness of the herbs physical form.  This is especially true for herbs that are cut and sifted.

There is however great news to share.  An herbal infusion is the problem solver in this situation.

What is an Herbal Infusion:  The true definition of the action of infusion is a procedure of withdrawing various nutritive compounds of an herb into a solvent, and allowing them to linger in the solvent for a period of time.  Basically, an herbal infusion is the method of extracting the medicinal benefits of herbs and steeping them to allow the transfer of herbal benefits into another medium.

There are different kinds of herbal infusions that can be made.  They all vary according to what medium is used.  The different solvents or mediums that can be used for an herbal infusion are water, oil (such as olive oil, apricot kernel oil, or sweet almond oil), vegetable glycerin, vinegar, propylene glycol, or alcohol.  Typically, herbal infusions made with alcohol or vegetable glycerin are referred to as tinctures or extracts.  The difference between extracts and tinctures is the amount of herb infused in the alcohol or glycerin.  An extract is considered 1 part herb to 1 part alcohol or glycerin.  A tincture is considered 1 part herbs to 3 parts alcohol or glycerin.

Infusions are necessary with some herbs due to their delicate nature.  Typically the fragile parts of the plant are used for infusions; this would be the parts that are above ground.  These parts would include:  leaves, flowers, stems, or aromatic pieces.   It is important to know your herbs and understand their nature before deciding the best infusion route to take.

Hot infusions:
Hot infusions will bring out vitamins, and enzymes.  This type of infusion will also allow the aromatic notes of the herbs out, which are also known as essential oils.  This method works best for the herbs that are a little more reluctant to forgo their medicinal characteristics.  This is generally the herbs in the form of barks and roots; although all portions of the plant can be used.  Herbal tea is the most popular example of a hot herbal infusion.

Cold infusions:
Cold infusions are best for herbs that have a heat sensitive nature.  Using the hot method with these types of herbs may eliminate some of the remedial properties.  This process is best for these types of herbs because through steeping (allowing a plant material to set in a medium undisturbed), they will release their medicinal attributes without being forced to do so with heat.

It is believed that the best types of herbs to use for an infusion are dried ones.  This is because nourishing minerals and phytochemicals that are naturally in herbs are best accessed by the drying out of the herb.  However, fresh herbs may also be used.

Depending on the method of your herbal infusion, it will vary the strength of the infusion itself.  Another deciding factor with infusion is the time that your herbal infusion will take as well as the deadline of your need for the infusion.  There are several different ways varying in strength and steep time that you can infuse herbs.

solar herbal infusionSolar Infusion:  This method involves the placement of your herbs and your solvent into a covered glass jar.  Make sure the cover is on tightly.  Then you allow your jar to set undisturbed in a warm/sunny area of your home-under a skylight or in a window sill. Allow this mixture to set for at least two weeks.  For more potent infusions, allow to set for 4-6 weeks.  After the time has passed, you may strain the herbs out with cheesecloth and use.  To make an even stronger infusion with this method, after straining, add another round of herbs to the same oil and allow it to set and steep again for two additional weeks.  Solar infusions typically use oils as the medium.  NOTE:  While sun tea can be made this way, it is important to understand that water can grow mold and bacteria within days.  Therefore, refrain from allowing sun tea to set in the sun more than a day before using or before refrigerating.

Oven Extraction:  The best method to use if you have selected a heat sensitive oil as your solvent and you are in a time crunch.  This method involves placing your herbs and solvent in a glass jar.  You will also want to make sure that you have it covered with a tight fitting lid.  Once sealed, select a deep cake pan and fill it with water.  The water level should rise to cover about half of your jar.  Then, simply place your deep cake pan into the oven and allow it to heat for several hours.  You want to make sure your oven temperature is on its lowest setting.  Once the time has passed, strain the herb out and allow the infusion to reach room temperature before using.

Hot water herbal infusionHot Water Steep:  This herbal infusion can be done if water is your selected solvent.  To do this method, place your herbs in a glass container.  Then, boil water.  Once your water is at a boil, turn off the stove top and carefully pour the boiling water over the herbs and into the jar.  Once the hot water has been added, quickly lid the jar tightly.  Allow the herbs to steep for 4-10 hours before opening the container to strain the herbs out.  Allow the infusion to reach room temperature before using.  A recipe for this hot water tea infusion:  Place 1 cup of dried herbs into a quart jar.  Pour hot water over the herbs.  Lid.  Set for 4-6 hours.  Strain.

Double Boiler:  This method is done by placing the herbs and oil in a lidded pot with the tightest lid possible.  Herbal Oil Infusion Recipe:  45 grams white sage leaves  + 392 grams of apricot kernel oil.  Next, take a second bigger pot and place water into it. Then, place the bigger pot on the stove top and set it on a lower temperature setting.  Next, place the smaller lidded pot containing your herbs and oil into the bigger one.   Allow this to simmer slowly for 30 minutes to an hour.  Throughout the time, continuously check your oil to make sure it is not overheating, and stir.  After the time has elapsed, strain the herbs out using a cheesecloth.   Allow the infusion to reach room temperature before using.

Tips for Infusions:
You can add extra scent to your infusion by adding fragrance oils or essential oils.

You can place the herbs that you will be infusing into a teabag or cheesecloth to help make the straining process easier.

No matter which method of infusion you are doing, a tight fitting lid is essential to the process.

You can combine herbs to make creative herbal infusions.

Uses for Infusions:
Water infusions can be used as a hair rinse.  This rinse can be left on the hair until the next time you shampoo.

Water infusions can be ingested as a tea (hot or cold) as long as the herb is safe for consumption.  Some herbs cannot be ingested at all, and can be deadly if consumed.   Check with your doctor before ingesting any herbs.  Honey can be added to make the taste of the tea more favorable.  If you have remaining infusion, refrigerate to slow spoilage rate.

Herbal infusions can be applied directly to the skin.  Oil infusions can be used for oil based bath and body products like massaging oils.

Herbal infusions can be inhaled for aromatherapy purposes.

Oil infusions can be bases for salves and balms.

You can use an oil infusion for emulsion products like sugar scrubs, lotions, and soaps.

For all natural herbs that you can use to make your own herbal infusions, shop Natures Garden’s Herbs.

Natures Garden sells our herbs for external applications only.  We are providing this information for herbal infusions for educational purposes only.  Nothing we mention should be construed as medical advice or for medical treatment purposes.   Please consult your doctor before using any herbs for treatment or other medicinal purposes.