In your first lesson,Be Your Own Herbal Expert – Pt 3 Articles you learned how to “listen” to the messages of plant’s tastes. And you discovered that using plants in water bases (as teas, infusions, vinegars, and soups) – and as simples – allows you to experiment with and explore herbal medicine safely.
In your second lesson, you learned about herbs for teas and how to preserve and use their volatile oils. You leaned about vitamin- and mineral-rich herbal infusions, and how to use them to promote health and longevity. And you continued to think about using herbs simply.
In this lesson you will explore the https://conolidine.shop/ differences between nourishing, tonifying, stimulating/sedating, and potentially-poisonous plants. You will learn how to prepare and use them for greatest effect and most safety.
All Herbs Are Not Equal
All herbs are not equal: some contain poisons, some don’t; some of the poisons are not so bad, some can kill you dead. I divide herbs into four categories for ease in remembering how (and how much) to use. Some herbs nourish us, some tonify, some bring us up or ease us down, and some are frighteningly strong.
Nourishing herbs are the safest of all herbs. They contain few or no alkaloids, glycosides, resins, or essential oils (poisons).
Nourishing herbs are eaten as foods, cooked into soups, dried and infused, or, occasionally, made into vinegars. They provide high-level nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, proteins, phytoestrogens and phytosterols, starches, simple and complex sugars, bioflavonoids, carotenes, and essential fatty acids (EFAs).
Nourishing herbs in water bases (infusions, soups, vinegars) may generally be taken in any quantity for any period of time. Side-effects – even from excessive use – are quite rare. Nourishing herbs are rarely used as tinctures (in alcohol), but when they are, their effects may be quite different.
It is generally considered safe to use nourishing herbs in water bases with prescription drugs. They may also be taken even if you are using tonifying, stimulating/sedating, or potentially poisonous herbs.
Some examples of nourishing herbs include:
· burdock roots
· chickweed herb; tincture dissolves cysts
· comfrey leaf
· elder blossoms and berries
· fenugreek seeds
· mallow leaves and roots
· nettle leaves and seeds
· plantain leaves and seeds
· red clover blossoms
· rose hips
· slippery elm bark
· violet leaves and blossoms.
Tonifying herbs are generally considered safe when used in moderation. They may contain alkaloids or glycosides or essential oils, but rarely in quantities sufficient to harm us.
Tonifying herbs act slowly in the body and have a cumulative, rather than immediate, effect. They are most beneficial when used for extended periods of time. Tonifying herbs may be used regularly (but usually not daily) for decades if desired.
Tonifying herbs are prepared in water and alcohol bases: tinctures and wines, as well as infusions, vinegars, and soups.
The more bitter the tonic tastes, the less you need to take of it. The more bland the tonic tastes, the more you can use of it.
Side effects from overuse and misuse of tonics is uncommon but quite possible. The dividing line between what is tonifying and what is stimulating differs from person to person. Ginseng is tonifying to my sweetheart, but stimulating to me. Even herbal authorities disagree on which herbs are tonifying and which stimulating.
Take care to counter any tendency to overuse tonifying herbs or you may experience unwanted side effects.
It is generally considered safe to use tonifying herbs in water bases if you are taking prescription drugs. You may also use tonifying herbs while using nourishing, stimulating/sedating, and even potentially poisonous herbs. Tonifying herbs in alcohol bases are considered safe to use with nourishing herbs, but may produce unexpected results if combined with drugs or strong herbs.