Shopping for Herbs
Preparing Medicinal Teas
Types of Products to Choose From


When shopping around for herbs look for high quality products. If shopping for bulk herbs to brew teas again, look for quality products, is the herb the color it should be, does it smell like it should, is the odor strong or weak? Does the plant material look dull and lifeless? How small are the pieces? Has the root been powdered? How long has it been this way. Herbs keep their potency best when stored in dark containers or dark areas, chopped into pieces rather than ground into powder. If you can buy the herbs in their whole form, as in a leaf intact rather than broken into many peices, the whole leaf keeps its potency longer than the broken leaves.

If you can buy your herbal products from a herb shop, one that specializes in herbs, often you get the best products available. And if you need to powder an herb they can do it for you. When buying herbs, look for organically grown products. The time has come where harvesting from the wild is putting great pressure on our native populations of herbs. Mother Nature cannot keep up with the world's demand for herbal products, especially the popular ones. When ever possible please buy organically grown herbs over wild crafted plants. Organics are also preferable to commercially grown herbs as well.

If purchasing bottled products, read the label carefully. Again look for products that are organically grown. Look for well known companies with a good reputation; companies who work closely with herbalists when developing their products. Look for products in their natural form, rather than processed.

When deciding what to buy, bulk herbs, tinctures or capsules try to find out if one form is better for what you want to use it for. Some of the medicinal properties of herbs are better extracted or captured by water while others give themselves up to alcohol extracts more readily, this varies between herbs. To find out which form is more effective consult with the individual herb pages for more information; if you can't find any information about a particular herb that means that the information is not available to my knowledge or it may not make any difference.



Bulk Herbs - This means the herb in its natural form, usually dried but some plants can be used fresh if available. Bulk dried herbs can be purchased from your local herb store. Check your phone book if you don't know where one is. These days, most places in the US have some sort of herb shop or natural food or healthfood store in the general area.

Bulk herbs are used to make tea, infusions and decoctions (infusions and decoctions are medicinal strength teas)

A Tea is made by pouring boiled water over herbs, and breifly steeping, creating a flavorful tea, used when brewing tea from the delicate parts of the plant (same as an infusion) which include leaves and flowers. Tea is flavored water.

Infusion - When brewing a tea from flowers, leaves, or whole plant this is the method to use. The amount of herb may vary, but generally ounce to 1 ounce of dried herb per quart of water. If using the fresh herb more is used about 2-3 tablespoons of chopped herb to 1 teaspoon of dried herb per cup.

An infusion is made by placing the fresh or dried herb into a quart canning jar, spaghetti jar, or similar container with a tight fitting lid. Boil water. Pour the boiled water into the jar over the herbs. Cap and leave for 30 min. Strain, sweeten if necessary and drink a cup at a time. Store the rest, reheat as needed.


Decoction - Is best for making medicinal tea using roots, seeds and barks. One ounce of plant material per quart. In a stainless steel pot, combine the herbs and water, cover with a lid. Slowly bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer gently for 20-30 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half. Keep a close eye on it! Buring it is very easy to do!! Cooking times may vary depending on the herb. It is important not to boil the herbs too hard since it destroys the herb's properties. Simmer gentlely. Keep the pot covered. When finished allow the decoction to cool for 15 - 20 minutes then strain and drink.


Powdered herbs/Capsules - It is difficult to say how effective these are at ending pregnancy. It this time I beleive they are not as effective as a freshly brewed tea or infusion, with the possible exception of dong quai which seems to be effective when used in capsule form. The advantage of using manufactured capsule products is that you can more easilly gauge dosages.


Tinctures A tincture is an extract made from the herb capturing its medicinal properties. Tinctures are made by soaking the herb in alcohol, some are also make in a vegetable glycerine base. Tinctures can be purchased online or at local health food stores & herb stores. A small amount is taken in half a cup of warm water or under the tongue, which may burn because of the alcohol content, chase down with water.

Herbal Products not used for Herbal Abortion

Flower Essence - are made with a spring water base with alcohol as a preservative. Flower essences work on the emotional body not the physical, they may aid you in dealing with the trama of being placed in the position of ending an unwanted pregnancy, but will not help you in physically ending a pregnancy. Do not confuse them with a tincture, as both are make using alcohol, but their actions are completely different.


Essential Oils - are very strong, extremely concentrated herbal products. They should never be used internally, meaning they should not be taken orally. They can be used on the skin, but because of their high concentration they can be irritating to the skin. Essential oils are not recommended for use during herbal abortion. They should only be used by those who are knowledgable in their safe usage. They are not for the inexperienced. You can identify them easily, because them come in a small bottle, usually with a child proof cap, due to their poisonous nature. Many of them are deadly poisons. They are on the market mostly for their scents, several are used as insect repellents.




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