Essential oils are derived from aromatic herbal botanicals. They are the volatile odor compounds, or VOC’s for short found within many different plant materials, such as stems, blossoms, leaves, roots,and bark and are derived in multiple ways. Steam distillation and cold pressing are a few examples. But let’s get back to their parent plants, herbs.
Herbs are another tool in our Holistic Health Toolkit and may be used in a variety of ways as well. Many simple methods can be used to incorporate herbs into our daily routines, such as daily cups of tea. Whether you are feeling run down or just going about your day, incorporating whole herbs, fresh or dry, is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and sometimes even proteins! More on that later.
10 ways herbs can be incorporated into a daily routine
- Teas- A cup of herbal tea three times daily is a simple relaxing and rejuvenating way to get your vitamins and minerals. Don’t forget about tea baths.
- Infusions- This requires more plant material and longer steeping times and only a tablespoon or so is used at a time.
- Decoctions- A useful method of extraction for tougher herbal material such as roots and barks.These materials require a longer, gentler steeping in order to extract their valuable compounds.
- Tinctures- Made with alcohol, vegetable glycerin, or vinegar, tinctures are concentrated extractions of herbs. Just a few drops four-five times a day is enough for these powerful herbal extracts to have supportive health benefits.
- Salves – An herbal salve contains extracted herbs in a formula with beeswax to be used as an emollient topically. They are useful for minor skin abrasions.
- Ointments – I always have an ointment or salve close by to use on dry chapped hands or lips
- Tonics- As their name implies, these concoctions are supportive of toning. May be used as facial tonics or added to recipes or drinks for internal support.
- Poultices- Used for sore and fatigued muscles, a poultice is created from whole plant material macerated and placed between to pieces of cloth
Herbs inspire creativity and connect us to our mother earth. They are an excellent support for daily living. At Wild At Heart Botanicals, we incorporate whole herbal extracts and essential oils in our products. Keep a lookout for future blogs with some of our favorite herbal recipes you can make on your own at home.