Tinctures & Glycerites
Tinctures are made with a mixture of water and alcohol, which are used as extraction mediums for herbs. The benefits of this herbal preparation are that a wider range of constituents will be dissolved in this extract and alcohol also acts as a preservative.
Glycerites are herbal preparations where glycerite is used as a substitute for alcohol. Their sweet flavour makes them especially suitable for children. It extracts a range of herbal constituents that are not dissolved in water or alcohol. Although it is a preservative agents it is inferior to alcohol.
Teas & Decoctions
Teas are prepared by simple infusion of herbs, either fresh or dried, in hot water. The parts used are flowers, leaves and other non-woody plants. Infusions can be drunk as teas, used in baths or as a skin wash.
Decoctions are prepared the same way as infusions with the difference of using hardy plant material that is simmered over low heat for approximately 20 minutes to extract its medicinal properties. Hardy plant material such as roots, rhizomes, bark, seeds have a strong cell walls that need more heat to effectively extract its constituents.
Both herbal infusions and decoctions are efficient methods of administering herbs, also benefiting the body by providing hydration.
Creams & Oitments
Creams are a mixture of infused medicinal oils and water using an emulsifying agent and are therefore better absorbed into the skin, thanks to its water content.
Ointments are more protective and oily preparations, as water element does not feature here.
Both are topical herbal preparations. Creams are generally lighter in texture than ointments. Either fresh or dried herbs can be used in their preparations, often mixed with beeswax, cocoa butter and essential oils.