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Making medicine- How to make a decoction

Updated: Dec 23, 2023

Last week I talked about doing an herbal oil infusion. If you missed that post go back and read thru it. continuing down the path of herbal preparations today I am going to talk about a medicinal decoction. So, what in the world is this? A decoction is basically a strong tea made from the harder woody parts of the plant. This could be the root, stem or sometimes the bark or twiggy parts.

To make this you would use about 4-6 tablespoons of dried herb or 6-8 tablespoons of fresh herb to 1 quart of water. Cover and with low heat bring to a simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Pour in a jar to sit overnight. Strain and drink. The longer you let it steep or sit after will determine its strength. ***As always do your homework to know what you are using and for what.***

I will give you an example of this kind of medicinal decoction. When I was a kid, my mom and grandpa would go collect blackberry roots. They would wash and scrub them then put them in a pot to make a decoction. When it was done steeping, they would strain them to keep the liquid. my mom would then jar it to have on hand. Blackberry root is very healing for an upset stomach and diarrhea... and it's disgusting. BUT after one dose you felt a lot better! It was one of those things that you did because you knew it worked. Another plus is that you never had to worry about your kids faking sick and trying to stay out of school!

The best time to usually dig roots are early spring or late fall. It is because during the growing season the plants energy moves up into the plant to grow and then moves back down into the roots for dormancy.

Here are some more amazing benefits of blackberry root.

"Blackberry root bark is a good old-time and reliable remedy for diarrhea, hemorrhage, and vomiting. Its astringency has made it very valuable in the treatment of internal and external bleeding, dysentery, hemorrhoids, cystitis, loose bowels, excessive menstrual flow and excess water. The entire plant was once believed to possess a significant power both as a medicine and as a charm. Herbalists regard Blackberry root as a powerful astringent which, when applied to the skin, cleanses wounds and relieves the pain of insect bites. It is a wonderful skin cleanser for oily skin and is thought to treat acne, as well as boils, skin eruptions, and burns.

The root of the Blackberry plant contains high quantities of tannins, which have a desirable astringent effect on the intestinal lining, particularly on the mucous membranes of the digestive tract. Because the body uses diarrhea to flush out toxins from food and intestinal invaders such as viral or bacterial infections and parasites, it's not always a good idea to stop it. Your best bet sometimes is to use herbs that not only stops diarrhea, but it also helps to treat the problem that caused it to begin with. Fortunately, Blackberry root has high tannin content, which tones and temporarily tightens the intestinal lining. This action helps to prevent the irritating and toxic substances that caused the problem from being absorbed back into the bloodstream. When mixed with syrup, it is useful for children with weak stomachs and no appetite. Some gastrointestinal conditions are serious, and you should consult your health provider prior to using any herbal remedy.

The tannins of the Blackberry root extract constrict blood vessels; thus, it decreases bleeding. This herb has been effective in cases of hemophilia, bleeding from the rectum or mouth, uterine hemorrhage and excessive menstrual.

The Blackberry Root tincture is a good solution, in a rinse, for weak gums and mouth sores. The tincture is thought to help ease a sore throat, mouth ulcers, and gum inflammations. It has also been included in poultices for the relief of wounds, and used externally for insect bites, scalds, as a skin toner and to reduce the blistering of burns."

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