The proper preparation of herbs is necessary to get the maximum medicinal benefit.  Once you decide the best method of use and the safety factors surrounding the natural herbs you have chosen for your treatment, you are well on your way to better health!


How to Prepare and Use Dried and Fresh Herbs

1. Use only stainless steel, glass (Pyrex) or earthenware pots for preparation.  Do not use aluminum; it is poisonous!


2. Use approximately one teaspoon of dry herb for every cup of water (fresh herbs may need more than one teaspoon).


3. Use honey, maple syrup, or raw sugar if you want to sweeten.  Refrain from using white sugar.

 

DEFINITIONS: 

INFUSIONThe most common way of preparing herbs.  The usual amount is a teaspoon of leaves, blossoms or flowers to a cup of boiling water.  The water is poured over the herb; then steeped for 3 to 5 minutes.  Strain before using.  Honey or Maple Syrup may be added to taste.

DECOCTION To extract the deeper essences from harder or coarser herbs such as stems, bark, and roots.  The herbs are usually simmered uncovered for 10 to 20 minutes until 1/3 of the water has decreased through evaporation. Strain before using.

FOMENTATIONA fomentation is an external application of herbs, generally used to treat swelling, pains, colds and flu.  To prepare a fomentation, soak a towel or cloth in the desired tea, and apply the towel over the affected area as hot as can be tolerated without burning.  Cover the towel with a dry flannel cloth.  Repeat as needed.

POULTICEA poultice is usually used to reduce swelling by applying a warm mass of powdered herbs directly to the skin.  To prepare, add enough hot water to make a thick paste, then apply directly to the skin.  Cover with a hot moist towel.

STEEPRecommended preparation for fresh herbs.  Heat herb in water until it reaches a full boil.  Turn down heat, let cool, strain, and drink.

 

 

How to Use this Safety Guide

This helpful safety guide will provide useful information on the use of herbs and herbal products.  Prior to the use of herbal remedies, we strongly recommend that you educate yourself on their proper use.  This list will be updated periodically and will soon have a simplified navigational feature. 

There are two charts below.  The first is a list containing a safety number along with its safety description.  Immediately following,  is a list of herbs along with a designated safety guideline number.  Just refer to the first chart when viewing the safety number on the herb chart.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Safety

# 

Description 

1 

Not to be used during pregnancy. 

2 

Not recommended for internal use. 

3 

Not recommended for long term use. 

4 

May cause dizziness in large amounts. 

5 

Not for use by persons with gastritis or ulcers. 

6 

Not recommended for use by persons with ulcers. 

7 

Use with caution. Avoid excessive or long-term use. 

8 

Not to be used during pregnancy or while nursing. 

9 

Should not be applied to extensively damaged skin. 

10 

Not recommended for persons suffering from depression. 

11 

Not for use by persons with low blood pressure or hypertension. 

12 

Should be used with caution. Avoid excessive or long-term use. 

13 

Not recommended for use by persons taking blood thinning agents. 

14 

Not to be used during pregnancy. Large doses may act as an emetic. 

15 

Not recommended for use by persons with a history of kidney stones. 

16 

Not recommended for long term use. Not to be used during pregnancy. 

17 

Not to be used during pregnancy or by persons taking blood thinning agents. 

18 

May cause nausea and vomiting if ingested. Not to be used during pregnancy. 

19 

Not recommended for persons taking MAO inhibitors or with high blood pressure. 

20 

Not to be used by persons with ulcers or when stomach inflammation is present. 

21 

Not to be used during pregnancy or with persons with a history of kidney stones. 

22 

Not to be used during pregnancy or while nursing, or by persons with hyperthyroidism. 

23 

Should be used with caution. Not to be used during pregnancy or while nursing. 

24 

Use with caution. Avoid excessive or long-term use. Not to be used during pregnancy. 

25 

Should only be used with adequate liquid. Not for use by persons with bowel obstruction. 

26 

For external use only. May cause allergic dermatitis with extended use or in sensitive persons. 

27 

Not to be used by persons with gallstones, serious liver conditions or obstruction of the bile duct. 

28 

To be used only under the supervision of an expert qualified in the appropriate use of this substance. 

29 

Not recommended for use by persons taking blood thinning agents. This product may cause a skin rash. 

30 

Not to be used during pregnancy or by person taking blood thinning agents. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. 

31 

Item considered unsafe by FDA and is not to be used for human consumption except in an alcohol extracted beverage. 

32 

Not be used by person with protein hypersensitivity and chronic-progressive infections such as tuberculosis and AIDS. 

33 

In large quantities may cause dizziness, stomach pains, rapid pulse, nausea, anxiety, liver pain, double vision and coma. 

34 

Not to be used by persons with inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal and bile ducts and severe diseases of the liver. 

35 

Not to be used during pregnancy, contraindicated in kidney disorders. Not for prolonged use without consulting a practitioner. 

36 

Not for use in large amounts by persons with pre-existing kidney disease and liver conditions, such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. 

37 

Do not use if you have or develop diarrhea, loose stools or abdominal pain. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product. 

38 

Not to be used for more than six weeks in succession. Persons with inflammatory kidney disease should not use this herb. Not to be used during pregnancy.

39

Not for prolonged use except under supervision of a qualified health practitioner. Prolonged use may cause hypertension, edema, headache, vertigo and potassium depletion. Not for use by persons with hypertension, hypolakemia, edema, cirrhosis of the liver and cholestaatic liver disorders, and diabetes. Not to be used during pregnancy.

40

Should not be used if you have developed diarrhea, loose stools or abdominal pain. Consult your physician if you have frequent diarrhea. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.

Botanical 

Safety 

# 

ABSINTH (AJENJO / WORMWOOD)

24 

ACORO (CALAMUS)

2 

AGAR-AGAR

25 

AGRACEJO

1 

AJENJO (WORMWOOD)

24 

ALCIBAR (ALOE)

37 

ALELUYA (SORREL)

15 

ALFALFA

13 

ALFALFA CAPS

13 

ALFALFA PWD.

13 

ALFALFA SEEDS

13 

ALOES

37 

ALUINOS (AJENJO)

24 

ANGELICA

30 

ARNICA

26 

ASPERULA

13 

BARBERRY

1 

BEARBERRY (UVA URSI)

35 

BITTER ROOT (GENTIAN)

20 

BLACK COHOSH

8 

BLACK WALNUT

3 

BLADDERWRACK

22 

BLESSEDTHISTLE

1 

BLOOD RT.

1 

BLUE COHOSH

1 

BLUE VERVAIN

1 

BOLDO

27 

BOLSA DEL PASTOR

21 

BOLSETILLA

21 

BORAGE (BORRAJA)

16 

BORRAJA

16

BROOM

19

BUCHU LVS.

1

BUCKTHORN BARK

40

CALAMUS

2

CANADA SNAKE RT.

24

CARDIACA (MOTHERWORT)

1

CARDO BENDITO

1

CARMIN (POKE RT.)

28

CASCARA DE ROBLE

9

CATNIP

1

CHAPARRAL

36

CHERRY BRK. WILD

7

CHIQUISA

1

CIMIFUGA (BLK. COHOSH)

8

CLOVER RED

17

CORN FLOWER

1

CRAMP BARK

6

CREOSOTE BUSH

36

CUASIA

1

CULANTRILLO (MAIDEN HAIR FERN)

14

CYANI FLOWERS

1

DEVIL’S CLAW

6

DONG QUAI

17

ELECAMPANE RT.

1

ENCINO (WHITE OAK BRK.)

9

ENEBRO (JUNIPER BERRIES)

38

ENULA (ELECAMPANE)

1

ESTAFIATE

1

EUCALIPTO (EUCALYPTUS)

34

EUCALYPTUS (EUCALIPTO)

34

FLOR DE CERVEZA (HOPS)

10

FLOR DE TILA

31

FRANGULA

40

FUCOS VEJIGOSA

22

GATERA (CATNIP)

1

GENCIANA

20

GENTIAN RT.

20

GOBERNADORA

36

GOLDEN SEAL LVS.

24

GOLDEN SEAL RT. PWD.

24

GRAPE RT. OREGON

1

GRAVEL RT.

23

GUAMIS (CHAPARRAL)

36

GUAR GUM

25

GUAYUBA (UVA URSI)

35

HEDIONDILLA (CHAPARRAL)

36

HOLY THISTLE

1

HOMBRE GRANDE

1

HOPS (FLOR DE CERVESA)

10

HOREHOUND (MANRUBIO)

1

HORTENSIA (HYDRANGEA)

7

HYDRANGEA

7

JEDIONDILLA (CHAPARRAL)

36

JUNIPER BERRIES

38

LEMON GRASS

1

LEVISTICUS

29

LICORICE RT. (REGALIZ)

39

LINDEN (TILA)

31

LOBELIA

18

LOVAGE (LEVISTICUS)

29

MACE PWD.

33

MADRE SELVA

13

MAIDENHAIR FERN

1

MANDRAGORA

28

MANDRAKE RT.

28

MANRUBIO (HOREHOUND)

1

MASTO (HOREHOUND)

1

MEADOWSWEET

23

MISTLETOE

32

MOTHERWORT

1

MUERDAGO

32

MUGWORT (ESTAFIATE)

1

MULBERRY

13

MYRRH

1

NEBEDA (CATNIP)

1

NOGAL (WALNUT LVS.)

3

NUTMEG

4

OAK BARK

9

OLD WOMAN (WORMWOOD)

24

OREGON GRAPE ROOT

1

OROZUS (LICORICE)

39

PALO MULATO (PRICKLY ASH)

1

PAN Y QUESILLO

21

PEACH LVS.

1

PENNYROYAL (POLEO)

1

PERIWINKLE

11

PLEURISY ROOT

1

POKE ROOT

28

POLEO

1

PRICKLY ASH

1

PSYLLIUM HUSK

25

QUASSIA (CUASIA)

1

QUEEN OF THE MEADOW

23

RED CLOVER

17

RHUBARB ROOT

40

ROUALFIA (SNAKE ROOT)

24

RUDA

17

RUE

17

SARSAPARRILLA

7

SAVILA

37

SENEGA (SNAKE RT.)

5

SENNA

40

SHEEP SORREL

15

SHEPHERDS PURSE

21

SNAKE ROOT CANADIAN

24

SORREL

15

STILLINGIA

8

SWEET FLAG

2

TANSY

1

TE DE LIMON

1

TILA

31

TREBOL MORADO

17

UVA DUZ (UVA URSI)

35

UVA URSI

35

VERBENA AZUL

1

VERVAIN (VERBENA)

1

VETIVER (LEMON GRASS)

1

VINCA (PERIWINKLE)

11

WALNUT LVS. (NOGAL)

3

WAMIS (GOBERNADORA)

36

WHITE OAK BARK

9

WILD CHERRY BARK

7

WOODRUFF

13

WORMWOOD

24

YERBA CARMIM

28

YERBA DEL ANGEL (ANGELICA)

30

YERBA DEL ESPIRITU SANTO

30

YERBA LUISA (LEMON GRASS)

1

YERBA SAN CRISTOBAL

1

ZARSAPARILLA

7

 

Copyright 1999 Herbs of Mexico.  All rights reserved