A Guide on Herbal Help

General rules for collection and preparation of herbal

A Guide on Herbal Help

  • Leaves and flowers should be collected in clear, dry weather, in the morning, after the dew has disappeared. Biennial plant leaves should be gathered in the second season or year.
  • Collect stalks after the fruit has ripened.
  • Gather bulbs after they are completely formed, before the leaves decay.
  • Gather the roots, trunk, and branch or bark either during flowering or when the fruit is ripe – don’t collect dead or decaying material!
  • Collect seeds when they are fully mature.
  • Gather the rhizomes and roots of plants:

  1. Just before they flower, if annual;
  2. After the first leaves of the first season appear, if biennial;
  3. Between the falling and reappearance of leaves, if perennial.
  • Dry plant material in the shade, quickly and thoroughly, if it needs drying. Store in a cool dry place. Never use moldy or mildewed material.
  • Never use aluminum vessels.
  • The water used in remedies should be pure and soft whenever possible. 

Infusions and decoctions

To make a hot infusion

Pour boiling water over the collected herb, steep for 15 minutes and strain. This method is used for flower and leaves to make a tea for use right away. It could also be used for powdered bark, roots, seeds, or resins and bruised nuts, seeds, bark or buds.

To make a cold infusion

Steep in cold water for several hours, strain, and use.

To make a decoction

Gently simmer the hard parts of the plants, such as the twigs, roots, barks, rhizomes, berries or some seeds, in water for about 30 minutes: strain before use.

Normal dosage for adults:

Infusions and decoctions4 or 5 cups a day.

Normal dosage for 10-15-year-old:

3 to 4 cups a day.

Normal dosage for 6-9-year-old:

2 cups a day.

Normal dosage for 2-5-years-old:

1 cup a day.

Normal dosage for 1-2-year-old:

Half a cup each day.

Normal dosage for infants below 1 year of age:

A quarter of one cup or less each day.

Juices and powders

The normal dosage for juices is:


5 drops of juice in a tablespoon of water taken every 3 hours.


3 drops of juice in a tablespoon of water taken every 3 hours.


2 drops of juice in a tablespoon of water taken every 3 hours.


1 drop of juice in a tablespoon of water taken every 2 hours.

Juices must be taken as soon as possible because it oxidizes very quickly and its healing properties diminish rapidly.

Herbs may be taken in a powder form if the powder is fine. The normal dosage is between one-quarter and one-third of a level teaspoon. The powder is placed on the front part of the tongue and washed down with water. Be careful not to inhale the powder into the lungs.


Poultices can take several forms:
  • The direct application of fresh herbs or dry herb sachets;
  • The pounding of the fresh herb to form a homogenous mass which is then applied using a clean cotton cloth;
  • The application of cold poultices on swollen or inflamed areas, or hot poultices for painful inflammatory conditions;
  • The application of cold compresses or hot fomentations, by immersing clean cloth in a strong decoction of the required herb or plant.


Ointments may be prepared by finely cutting the plant or herb; either use it to form a strong decoction or add it directly to coconut fat, almond oil or any vegetable oil. Avoid using lard or petroleum jelly. Use beeswax, or if necessary, paraffin wax as a hardener.


Add the decoction or plant to the base fat or oil, and simmer until the moisture of the herb or decoction has evaporated. Strain while hot, and add hardener if necessary. If the ointment is too soft, re-heat and add more wax. Place the ointment in suitable containers to cool store.

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