Herbal pharmacy is both an art and a science.
While the choice of herbs you will use is of course important, knowing how to prepare and administer them to your patients is just as vital. Various methods of extracting the medicinal properties have plants have been developed over the years, and current technological advancements have expanded options for clinicians in many ways. The preparation of herbal remedies must be done carefully and consciously in order to maximize their therapeutic benefit.
Different herbal preparations will release different healing properties, and thus the effect of the plant itself. With our modern knowledge of pharmacology we can make conscious choices as to which process we use to release the biochemical constituents for healing. However, we should not neglect the traditional forms of using herbs by our ancestors, which often involves using the whole plant and not merely it’s individual constituents.
Moreover, the medicinal properties of any herb is not just the sum of the actions of the various chemicals present. In the words of David Hoffman “There is a synergy at work that acts to create a therapeutic whole that is more than the sum of it’s parts”. If the method of preparation destroys or loses part of the whole, much of the plant’s healing power can be lost.
Preparations for Internal Use:
Note: Many of these can be used in various ways externally (eg. Infusions as eye/skin washes, foots baths etc.
Preparations for External Use: