The use of plants for therapeutic purposes has always been present in the life of man, and a still valid despite the vast power and responsibility of the pharmaceutical chemistry, mainly based on active principles of synthesis. However, phytotherapy is not an activity that can improvise.
The enormous development of the pharmaceutical industry, with its huge economic interests throughout the world, as well as the obvious advantages offered by many industrial products, have erased almost phytotherapy of the practice of modern medicine. The availability of active ingredients in preparations perfectly stable, carefully pre-dose, easily transportable, with therapeutic effects in short enough recognized, had in fact relegated to a narrow window of herbal use.
The recent awakening of interest in this ancient art healing can be considered as part of that general movement of contestation of the most alienating aspects of contemporary industrialized societies, towards an attempt to recover human values are crushed by the machinery of consumption.
with other therapeutic forms, which criticism comfort is defined as alternative or unorthodox, phytotherapy has very peculiar characteristics, especially for specific indications and for the experienced strength of these that have passed the screening of a tradition rather than old. It must be admitted that much of the so-called
unorthodox medical practices are based on theoretical principles often quite disparate, and in any case, in contrast to the widely accepted views of modern science, while some negligible in their operational resources are characterized by a charge difficult to accept at the sound -
VALIDITY OF FITOTERAPIA
Teas, herbal teas and tinctures have undoubtedly been defeated by the chemical pharmacology, yet generally recognized scientific validity thereof, but denies and not only conflict of interest, the possibility of using the same scale in daily medical practice. In hypertension, for example, would be criminal to trust the fate of a patient andalusia andalusia mistletoe and garlic instead of using synthetic hypotensive drugs that have recently revolutionized the therapy of this pathogen. However, herbal medicine could be a bulwark against the excessive and dangerous use of drugs, detectable especially in more developed societies. Phytotherapy not so much the resort rather than the herbal pharmacy, but rather to accept and nurture a new approach to existence, based essentially on a recovery of nature and its resources, among which are also but not only, medicinal plants. It is, ultimately, to break through the stereotypes of the consumer society to appreciate the things around us and their applications.
In this case, phytotherapy is the first need to regain the ability to recognize and distinguish, based on the experience of our ancestors and not to abandon the action, often suspect, who was devoted to commercial plants, therefore, to the extent possible, we must personally come to the collection of useful plants, their conservation and extraction of active principles, rebuild a communion with nature that is the primary basis for a better life
COLLECTION AND STORAGE
The best time to collect and preserve medicinal plants begins in April and May and lasts until autumn. To remove them from the largest possible amount of active ingredients is necessary to choose a clear day, sunny, starting at the collection end of the morning, so that stems, leaves and flowers are completely dry, and giving preference to the most beautiful . Some plants were collected from flowers and leaves at the ends of other flowers, are used only a few roots, rhizomes or bulbs, This depends on the gender of the plant and its parts which are richer in active ingredients. Collect
not destroy. Everything has to be taken with sensitivity, so that the plant does not suffer. The result will be booted only when they have collected that roots, rhizomes or bulbs. The leaves are collected when they appear on the stem of the flower buds, since before flowering are very active because they contain too much water after flowering are also insufficiently active, because the flowers have the best of themselves.
The flowers are collected immediately after bloom, because that's when having a greater wealth of active ingredients. Only the flowers of chamomile and arnica can be collected when they are still buds.
There are plants like rosemary and sage, which have stems, leaves and flowers are rich in essential oils, these plants will have to pick up the ends flower. On the other hand, if the plant jealously hides its active principles in the roots, the collector must make a distinction between annual and biennial plants. In the first case the root has to be collected in spring, time of awakening, when it is plump and full of humors. If, by contrast, is an annual plant or a bulbous plant, root and bulb must be collected in autumn or after the fall of the leaf, when it saps nutrients from the plant back down to the base before the onset of winter makes it die. As far as the plants from which the branches are used because they are richer in active ingredients, the time of collection varies from one species to another. The leaves, carefully selected and cleaned, are left to air dry and the shade, spread on mats, reed bed, etc.. The bulbs, flowers and flower ends are dried in the sun, covered by sheets of paper so it does not fade. The roots and rhizomes, previously selected and separated from roots and several fragments were exposed to direct sunlight. In the evening, you should put everything at home, away from dampness of the night.
Products, perfectly dry, are kept in tin boxes or glass jars were cleaned before use, each with its label to avoid confusion, and finally stored in a dry place.
These are, in short, the general rules to be followed by the person wishing to collect medicinal plants for their personal use. However, it must be remembered that anyone can not suddenly become a collector or a herbalist, you must have some notion of botany and know for sure the plants you want to collect. It is very easy to get confused. Many plants are similar to each other so that if one is not good connoisseur, you run the risk of cutting a poisonous plant.
Natural remedies, herbal roots, flowers and leaves, require careful selection and preparation of medicinal plants if
you wish to obtain a preparation effective from the therapeutic point of view, since only thus will remain intact all the principles active drug.
Medicinal plants can be treated according to three different methods .. < BR> decoction. The operation involves baking the rich in active ingredients (flowers, leaves, fruits, seeds, roots or whole plants) for a few minutes. To prepare the decoction or tea, is the plant part selected from the boiling water and let it cook over medium heat in a covered container, for the time indicated in each case in the recipe.
When using roots wood and bark, it is necessary after maceration in warm water for 12-24 hours. The liquid will be used for mashing decoction.
Infusion. Generally applies to those plants whose active ingredients may be altered by boiling. The infusion is obtained by pouring the solvent on the floor a boiling point. It is desirable to immediately seal the container to prevent the plant essences evaporate. It is left to fire over the time specified in the recipe. When using bark, wood and roots, it is advisable to maintain the infusion for 10-15 minutes on a water bath in order to facilitate the extraction of active ingredients.
Maceration. The operation involves putting the plant submerged in a solvent for a period longer or shorter time. It is usually used when soaking the plant contains active ingredients that would be lost or modified by action of heat, or by altering the solvent with heat. A product of maceration is the dye, which is prepared for a few days left in fine alcohol (not denatured) or wine (red wine) or dry plants and reduced to coarse powder in a sealed glass container. It is worth mentioning in this regard vegetable juices and fruit (real cocktail of high-energy vitamin) of herbs and medicinal plants, which can easily be prepared at home. To prepare the plants can also:
cataplasm in which plants are obtained by mixing flour with a liquid can be water, a decoction, an infusion or a saline solution. Can be used hot or cold and are applied only externally, in
liniments, which are drugs or semi-liquid consistency and external use, consisting of a combined fat emulsion excipient in medicinal substances, ointments are prepared churning with energy in a fresh squeezed juice of the plant or plant needed (whole plant, leaves, fruits, roots) or the corresponding fluid extracts and tinctures, all depending on the dose given in the various recipes. Ointments can be simple or compound, as if made of one or more medicinal substances;
into ointments, which, like ointments, are intended for external application on the skin or mucous membranes contain several types For excipients, such as Vaseline, petroleum jelly oil or lanolin. The ointment is prepared by beating strongly in a suitable container (dish soup, source, etc..) Listed the various ingredients in the recipe to obtain a homogeneous emulsion; in
sufumígaciones, sahumerios that allow you to enter into the airway by suction vapors that are obtained by burning parts of plants or putting in hot water a few drops of essential oils;
fluid extracts, which must be purchased at the pharmacy, because its preparation requires special equipment.
In the preparation of infusions and decoctions should not use aluminum containers, but preferably glazed earthenware or stainless steel to prevent the active ingredients of plants are altered during the preparation process. Herbal teas and herbal teas are filtered through a fine strainer, pressing the herbs with a spoon. The liquid resulting from the casting operation can be again filtered through a fine cloth. Alcoholic tinctures prepared at home with fresh and dried plants to be filtered through a triple gauze or cloth, then squeeze out waste, by contrast, which are purchased directly from the pharmacy or prepared at home but with the corresponding fluid extracts, do not require filtration. The herbal teas or decoctions to be cast and filtered when still hot to avoid losing those substances that precipitate when cooled and are therefore removed with the cast and filtering operations, the herbal teas and infusions must be heated on a water bath. < BR> To make it a nice tea or an infusion can sweetened or flavored. You should not add sugar instead of digestion, that to be truly and tonics stimulate gastric secretion, must be rather bitter.
For the maceration of plants in alcohol and wine is essential to use glass with hermetic sealing. During maceration, it is necessary to shake it once a day,
plants to be used to make teas, herbal teas, etc. are prepared as follows:
a) flowers, leaves and whole plants have crumbled;
b) bark and roots should be reduced to small pieces, or scrape a coarse powder;
c) seeds and woody stems should be reduced to coarse powder.
For the preparation of the dyes used alcohol alcoholic whose gradient varies from one plant to another. Ethanol lowered sales in pharmacies has only 950, but you can easily prepare the gradient of alcohol on the desired alcohol 950, and adding distilled water or boiled in the following doses:
16 g of distilled water or boiled + 84 g of alcohol at 950 = 100 g of alcohol 800
26 g of distilled water or boiled + 74 g of alcohol at 950 = 100 g of alcohol 700
37 g of distilled water or boiled + 63 g Alcohol 950 Alcohol 100 g 600
47 g of distilled water or boiled + 53 g of alcohol at 950 = 100 g of alcohol 500
58 g of distilled water or boiled + 42 g alcohol 950 = 100 g of alcohol 400
68 g of distilled water or boiled + 32 g of alcohol at 950 = 100 g of alcohol 300
79 g of distilled water or boiled + 21 g of alcohol = 950 100 g of alcohol 200.
tinctures dose: 1 g of dye is 60 drops of liquid as the density of an extract varies from one plant to another is easy and there is a difference of a few drops more or less depending on the dyeing.
simple: you get to the water bath by dissolving 170-180 g sugar per 100 g of pure water and then filtering the result through a coarse cloth.
: can be prepared in two ways:
a> using the appropriate fluid extracts of the plants chosen, which may be purchased at specialized stores. In this case there is no
to prepare the simple syrup, filter and tie it to the extracts;
b> preparing the infusion or decoction of plants selected, then slip through a fine cloth, expresses , weighed coladura water and add 170-180 grams of sugar per 100 g of said liquid, melt the water bath and then by passing a cloth.
in elixirs and Spirits: liquor and elixirs are can prepare: 1
> using extracts fluid sales in the market, which simply add alcohol and simple syrup
doses as indicated in the recipe;
2) Press or grated plants learned to reduce them to a coarse powder and then allowed to macerate in alcohol during the time period and within a glass container tightly covered. Then, filtered through a cloth and squeeze. Besides, you make the simple syrup in the manner indicated above and binds it to the mix, cold, left to rest a couple of days, then filtered through a triple cloth, or through a role filter if you want to get a clearer product.
no aromatic plants, which contain heat-stable principles, taking advantage of the roots, bark, seeds and other hard parts less penetrable by the water, generally used as a decoction or tea.
The decoction is obtained by spreading the floor crumbled in the specified amount of boiling water, then cover and let cook on medium heat for 10-20 minutes. Below is filtered through a piece of clean cloth or a strainer.
When preparing small quantities of tea, it is desirable to add a little more water to compensate for losses due to evaporation and absorption by the plant.