Tuesday, January 7, 2014

How to prepare effective herbal medicines?


On my succeeding blogs, I plan to write about herbal medicines, particularly those herbs, which are found in the Philippines and those which can treat common health problems like cold, cough, high level of bad cholesterol, high blood sugar level, fungal infection, urinary track infection, and others.

Before I introduce to you the different herbal medicine plants, let me first give you some tips on proper handling and preparing herbal medicines:

Tips on Handling Medicinal Plants / Herbs:

Ø  If possible, buy herbs that are grown organically - without pesticides.

Ø  Medicinal parts of plants are best harvested on sunny mornings. Avoid picking leaves, fruits or nuts during and after heavy rainfall.

Ø  Leaves, fruits, flowers or nuts must be mature before harvesting. Less medicinal substances are found on young parts.

Ø  After harvesting, if drying is required, it is advisable to dry the plant parts either in the oven or air-dried on screens above ground and never on concrete floors. 

Ø  Store plant parts in sealed plastic bags or brown bottles in a cool dry place without sunlight preferably with a moisture absorbent material like charcoal. Leaves and other plant parts that are prepared properly, well-dried and stored can be used up to six months.

Tips on Preparation of Herbal Medicines:


Ø  Use only half the dosage prescribed for fresh parts like leaves when using dried parts.

Ø  Do not use stainless steel utensils when boiling decoctions. Only use earthen, enamelled, glass or alike.

Ø  As a rule of thumb, when boiling leaves and other plant parts, do not cover the pot, and boil in low flame.

Ø  Decoctions loose potency after some time. Dispose of decoctions after one day. To keep fresh during the day, keep lukewarm in a flask or thermos.

Ø  Always consult with a doctor if symptoms persist or if any sign of allergic reaction develops.

For best result, please observe the above tips. 

          Be healthy and enjoy life!


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