Beyond eating delicious healthy meals, there are a variety of ways to use food and culinary herbs as medicine. So, strap on your apron and get ready for some healing home remedies.
Let’s get started with the basics: infusions, decoctions, and extractions.
- Infusion: An infusion is gentle medicine that is delivered via a liquid (water) base. Some examples include tea with a variety of herbs rich in essential oils (culinary herbs and wild herbs) that is steeped for 5-10 minutes. Simply add your herbs into a French press or glass mason jar, fill with boiling water, and steep, keeping it covered to preserve the essential oils. The longer you steep, the stronger the infusion. You could also infuse herbs for much longer periods of time or overnight. Generally, with dried berries (hawthorne, elder, shizandra) or hearty roots (burdock, licorice, bupleurum), you want to infuse for longer periods of time (30-40 minutes or overnight).
- Decoction: A decoction is the process of extracting the essence of something by boiling or heating, then simmering for a long time. This is different than an infusion because you are actually boiling or heating the plants continually to draw out their healing constituents. For example, many of the medicinal mushrooms (reishi, chaga) and barks (wild cherry, cinnamon) require a 3-4 hour decoction to be most effective. A bone stock can be considered a decoction, as well.
- Extraction: I bet you thought this only happens when you go for a facial! You can extract the constituents of any culinary herb or other plant by using an extraction process. You would use alcohol, vinegar, or vegetable glycerin to draw out the healing properties from the plant. A good example is apple cider herbal vinegar (ACV). You can use any fresh or dried culinary herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil, dill, oregano) and steep in ACV for 30 days. Strain the herb from the vinegar and discard. Save the ACV in an airtight container. Use the vinegar in salad dressings or mix with honey.
Kitchen remedies are easy, and you can incorporate them into your diet on a daily basis to give your body a regular dose of food as medicine.
Do you want to see how it’s done instead of just reading about it?
Meet me in the kitchen to get a healthy dose of Kitchen Remedies for Optimum Health.
You’ll never look at your kitchen the same way again!