Herbs can be administered to veterinary patients in a variety of ways. Tea (water infusions) are popular amongst pet owners because they are easy to make and most active constituents of herbal medicines are water soluble, making this a valuable method of internal application for its healing tonic effect. Herbal infusions can also be used externally as a compress for wounds, an eyewash for infected eyes, mouth wash for painful, sore gums, a foot soak for yeasty, itchy feet, to dry up hot spots and as an insect repellent.
From the very beginning of herbal pharmacy, herbalists throughout the world have favored the simple water infusion of herbs as their predominate form of extracting the medicinal properties of the plants. Only within this last 100 years has there been an emphasis on making stronger alcohol and or glycerin solvent tinctures and other highly concentrated botanical extracts.
A properly prepared herbal infusion is not merely a cup of tea, it is a quick method for preparing and administering an easily assimilated herbal tonic, medicine, food which also helps supply water for keeping the body properly hydrated, as well as providing appropriate materials for pro-biotic proliferation in the intestinal tract.
Hot infusions are made of 1 part (1 ounce) dried. coarsely ground herb or 2 parts (50 grams) fresh bruised herb added to 20 parts (1 pint) of boiling water.
1. Put the herb into a suitable glass container (with a lid).
2. Pour boiling water over the herb.
3. Cover the container tightly, and let it stand for 15 to 30 minutes in a warm place.
4. Strain and press out the pulp pouring the liquid back into the infusion. Bulky herbs and flowers like Red Clover blossoms, Mullein leaves or Chamomile will retain a considerable proportion of the herbs medicinal extract and this would be lost if the herbs are not pressed.
5. Add enough hot water (pouring it through the pressed herb) to bring the infusion back up to 1 pint.
Cayenne (use only a pinch), Chamomile, Cleavers, Comfrey leaf, Dandelion leaf, Elder flower & berry, Fennel, crushed seed, Ginger, dry, Ginkgo, Goldenseal ‘leaf’, dry (Goldenseal root is not soluble enough in water to be prepared as a tea), Hawthorn leaf, flower, and berry, Mugwort, Mullein leaf, Nettle herb, Oat straw, Peppermint, Plantain, St. John’s Wort, Saw Palmetto berries, Scullcap recently dried, Valerian, Yarrow.
Cold infusions are made of 1 part (1 ounce) dried. coarsely ground herb or 2 parts (50 grams) fresh bruised herb added to 20 parts (1 pint) of cold water.
1. Put the herb into the water and let it stand covered overnight at room temperature. When making a cold infusion we recommend that the herb be contained in a small cotton pouch, suspended in the water overnight, and squeezed out when the infusion process is finished.
2. Strain, and press the herb.
4. If necessary, add enough cold water to the infusion to bring it back up to measure 1 pint.
Burdock root, Chamomile, Cleavers, Comfrey root, Marshmallow root, Nettle root or whole herb, Peppermint, Uva Ursi, Slippery elm.
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