How to prepare and consume medicinal teas to maximize their effects
Herbal teas should be drunk not for a few days, as is usual for chemical drugs, and not constantly, as we consume plain tea, but in cycles.
For the treatment of specific diseases and for preventive reasons, it is useful to drink herbal teas made from both one type of plant and mixtures thereof. One type of herb is usually sufficient when the patient is satisfied with its taste and healing properties; in addition, such tea is easier to prepare. Blends of medicinal plants are complexes of active substances of various herbs for the treatment of specific ailments; they must be prepared in accordance with special rules and in proportion. Usually, blends contain one main plant that determines the healing effect of the tea, and auxiliary plants that further enhance it, improve the taste of the tea, or provide an additional effect. Very often, these additional components improve the assimilation of the active ingredients of the main plant. Medicinal tea blends are usually made from 3-5 types of plants.
As already mentioned, the most important component of medicinal tea is the medicinal plant, on which the healing effects of tea depend. It is a plant from which tea or decoction made without any additional components is suitable for the treatment of any specific ailment. Additional active ingredients enhance, mitigate or supplement the effect of the main plant. They work in a similar way to the substances in the main plant, but at the same time improve the taste of the tea or inhibit side effects. When preparing the infusion, the herbs are only infused with boiling water, they are not boiled. Infusion is one of the most widely used methods of “extracting” active ingredients from herbs. This is done in the same way as for tea-making – the herbs are placed in a sieve or other suitable for this purpose container and poured with boiling water. The pot is then covered and left to soak for 5-10 minutes (some recipes may specify a different duration). Hot infusions of herbal flowers (such as marigold, linden-blossom, chamomile) and leaves (nettle, lemon balm, peppermint etc.) are most commonly produced. The water the medicinal raw material is poured with must not be boiling (so as not to destroy volatile substances such as essential oils) but hot enough (70-85°C), as this is the only way to extract their active ingredients from herbs.
Decoctions are prepared when mineral, bitter or tannic substances are to be extracted from herbs or parts of medicinal plants (these substances usually accumulate in the roots, bark, stones or seeds of the plant). The cell walls of those parts of the plant break down (and give off the necessary substances) only when they are boiled at high temperatures for a long time. Therefore, it is recommended to rub the roots and stones of medicinal plants slightly before boiling, to rub to soften the fibrous and hard cells. The quantity of medicinal plants or parts thereof specified in the recipe is then placed in a pot, poured with half a litre (unless otherwise specified in the recipe) of cold boiled water and boiled over low heat. It is recommended to cover the pot before that to prevent the evaporation of many volatile active substances. Keep the pot on the fire for as long as indicated in the recipe, occasionally lifting the lid and stirring. The prepared decoction is gradually cooled and strained – now it is ready for consumption.
Medicinal herbal teas should be drunk warm (not too hot) and necessarily slowly. Unless otherwise specified in the prescription, it is recommended to drink 1.5-2.5 glasses of medicinal or prophylactic tea per day. Recipes for herbal blends do not always indicate the ratio in which to add certain plants. In this case, the blend should be prepared in equal parts and the total amount determined according to your individual needs.
Caution! If you have diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases or diarrhoea, do not sweeten herbal tea in any way! It is recommended to slightly sweeten with honey tea and decoctions for treatment of colds and coughs.
What you need to know to treat yourself with herbal remedies
Treatment should not be started until an accurate diagnosis of the disease or illness is known. Although many plants seem to be completely harmless, using some of them, relying solely on your intuition, can give the opposite result. Even close relatives or a family member cannot be treated without making sure that the patient wants it, because the success of the treatment depends very much on the patient’s attitude. He needs to be explained how the treatment will be implemented, how long the treatment will last and when the treatment results can be expected. Only those plants and their blends that you know very well and know the peculiarities of their effect, or that have been recommended by specialists, can be used for home treatment. If you do not have any herb, you can replace it with another herb with a similar effect after consulting a specialist or a pharmacist.
The patient’s condition should be closely monitored throughout the course of treatment. Allergy sufferers and people who consume plants containing so-called cardiac glycosides and potent alkaloids should be monitored particularly closely. It should not be forgotten that herbal treatment is usually necessary to combine with diet. Diet is especially important in the treatment of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and urinary system, many endocrine diseases, hypertension and various allergies. Some foods (especially seasonal fruits, berries and vegetables) have their own healing properties and may therefore enhance the effects of phytotherapy. For example, salt and sugar can be very harmful to a patient. A very important rule must be followed: if you decide to choose the treatment using herbs or their preparations, you must first consult a doctor.
Easy to use: brew a teaspoon in one glass of hot water at about 70 ˚C and after 7-10 minutes the remedy is ready to use. The chances of side effects are minimal, sometimes you can expect allergic reactions if a person is very allergic. A course is short – at least 21 days one cup a day, then take a break or change to other herbs. Herbs cure chronic diseases.
The practice of use by many people fully confirms the pleasant, gentle and harmonizing effects of herbal compositions on health in the presence of its various disorders.