How To Use Herbs
Your Herbal Remedy Guide

This guide was created to show you how to use herbs for health in various ways, besides cooking.  Giving you a basic understanding of the many types of herbal remedies.   And although you may choose to purchase your herbs, I myself, love to grow and cultivate them as needed.  

How To Use Herbs

You are likely familiar with the more common forms of herbal preparations, such as in a capsule, as a salve or maybe a tea.  But there are countless other methods as well; here are the basics to get you well on your way.

Alphabetical list of how to use herbs

Bolus

A form of internal poultice used in the rectal or vaginal area to help draw out toxins and promote healing. It is made by adding powdered herbs to cocoa butter creating a thick consistency.

Capsules
A common way people enjoy using herbs. Eliminating any unpleasant taste and assisting with swallowing the needed herb for healing purposes.

Compress
Similar to using ointment; generally, a cloth soaked in the herbal preparation then placed on the body securely. I have used this method often for sprains and strains. Helpful for circulating blood and to promote healing.

Decoction
Extracting the herb by boiling (5-20 minutes), similar to infusion but uses the bark and root of a plant. You actually boil it because the bark or root is very hard and will not extract well in hot or cold water. Always strain while hot.

Extract
A concentrated herb mixed with alcohol or water generally. The extract can be rubbed into the skin. Can also be used to make massage oils.

Hydrotherapy
Essentially an herb bath. Useful for illness, as bathing in this manner the herbs are absorbed through the skin quickly. Generally, the herbs are boiled, strained and the liquid is then added to the bath water.

Infusion
Generally the flowers, leaves and stems are used. You would simply pour hot water over the herbs and allow them to sit or steep. Useful for tea, if steeped longer the stronger they become. Strain and drink hot - great for colds and flu.

Ointment
Rubbed into the skin. Basically two tablespoons of herb boiled with Vaseline added, stir, strain and use once cooled.

Oils
Instead of using a compress or ointment. You simply pound the herbs (fresh or dried), then add oil (such as avocado is what I prefer, but olive oil is often used) gently heat for an hour then strain. Adding Vitamin E will help preserve it longer.

Poultice
Useful for drawing out infections. Usually a handful of herbs applied hot, by adding hot water to moisten the herbs. Useful for inflammation, bites, boils etc.

Powder
Herbs that have been crushed into a powder form. Can be sprinkled onto food in this manner. Or used externally when combined with an oil or even aloe vera.

Salve
Place your herbs in a shallow pan, just cover with water, simmer for 30 minutes or so, strain, add oil, simmer until remaining water has evaporated. Mix with beeswax for a thicker consistency.

Syrup
Useful for coughs, sore throats and congestion. Boil herbs gently with water until much of the liquid is absorbed. Stir in honey while still warm.

Tincture
Concentrated form of herb using alcohol, not water, a better way to preserve the herbs. You allow it to sit for a few weeks, shaking daily.

All of the above herb information will help guide users in understanding common terminology and to make informed decisions about how to use herbs.

Feel free to print or bookmark this page for future reference.

For more specific and detailed information on herbal remedies I recommend purchasing one of many great books available on the subject.

Learn how to use the main four featured herbs here.

Return home to Health Results Today

This how to use herbs page is not medical advice, rather it is here for your herb use and general information only.

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About Me

Hi, I'm Jennell...

A busy 49yr old mother & grandmother who 'learned' the how to's of health ... today I help others do the same!

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