There are many ways to take a plant into your body. The simplest and sometimes exactly the right way to experience a plant's message is to quietly sit with the plant. You may find yourself sitting under a Willow tree or next to a Rose bush quietly listening for the lessons they have to teach you. Having this direct contact may bring you peace of Spirit so that your body can heal. However, you may need to experience a plant in a stronger manner. Here are descriptions of the different ways I preserve and extract the medicine/message of a plant. As we humans have many attributes so do plants and different menstrums (ways of extracting components from the plants) are able to pull out some or all of these attributes. At Chicken Coop Botanicals I work with the whole plant and treat a whole person. We always recommend listening to your own body for what might be the underlying reason for dis-ease in the body or mind. I want to serve you best by getting to the heart of the matter; not just treating symptoms.
Bath Salts--A combination of salts infused with essential oils and herbs that when put into the bath tub or foot bath will infuse the water with the healing energy and attributes of the plants.
Bath Tea--A strong tea brewed on the stove top that is added to bath water. Alternatively you can put the "tea bag" directly in the bath to steep as you soak.
Decoction--Instead of steeping an herbal "tea", when you are working with roots or dried berries you Decoct them by simmering for 15-20 minutes. An Indian Chai is a good example of this. For ease of recognition we refer to all our herb based drinks as Tea.
Double Decoction--After an Alcohol Tincture has macerated for at least six weeks it is strained and the used plant material is decocted as a strong brew. Tea and Tincture are then combined as one. We use this process with Mushrooms to get as many healing attributes as possible.
Elixir--A combination of Brandy and raw Honey used to extract the medicinal and nourishing attributes from herbs. They are nourishing and can be taken directly into the mouth or in water. Not as effective as a higher alcohol tincture in pulling full attributes from a plant.
Essential Oil--A distillation (usually using steam) to extract the concentrated, volatile oils from a plant.
Flower Essence--A Flower Essence is truly the essence of a flower, picked in its prime, suspended in water and preserved in brandy. A Flower Essence works on our subtle energy level to help us work through emotional issues. For those that are sensitive to the essences this is very powerful work.
Glycerite--Medicinal or nourishing constituents of herbs extracted into this highly sweet hydrolized vegetable fat. An alternative for children or those not wanting an alcohol extract. Does not raise Blood Sugar levels. Does not pull all attributes from the plant.
Infused Honey--Raw honey infused at least four weeks with whole herb, flowers or berries. A note on raw honey-it is a wonderful source of natural medicine to taste daily for allergy sufferers especially. For that use you should eat local to you raw honey to get small bits of the local flora pollen that can help you to build your immune system. Also, children under one year old should not eat honey as it is strong medicine for a system that is still developing. It could cause allergies to develop instead of diminish. I offer Glycerites for wee ones.
Infused Oil--Whole herbs macerated in a plant oil. We use a hot method for resinous plants and cold method (steeping for at least six weeks) for most others.
Infusion--Steeping your herbal "tea" for at least 4 hours will begin to pull the medicinal qualities from the plants. We love to make a pot before bed that is then enjoyed throughout the next day. For ease of recognition we refer to all our herb based drinks as Tea.
Oxymel--A combination of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and raw Honey used to extract the minerals and nourishing attributes from herbs. They can be taken directly into the mouth, used in a vinaigrette or in sparkling water as a drinking vinegar. Not as effective as a higher alcohol tincture in pulling full attributes from a plant.
Salve--A combination of an Infused Oil (and sometimes Essential Oil) with Beeswax for ease of use. A Balm or Ointment is a looser version of a salve.
Tea--A drink made from the plant Camellia Sinensis. Varying levels of caffeine are present depending on the fermentation process of the leaves. For ease of recognition we refer to all our herb based drinks as Tea.
Tisane--A drink made from herbs that do not contain caffeine. Drinking a tisane involves steeping the herbs for 4-5 minutes in warm to hot water. While you do not receive a lot of the medicinal qualities of the plant often the flavor and fragrance is a relaxing antidote that the body needs. For ease of recognition we refer to all our herb based drinks as Tea.
Tinctures--A high alcohol extraction of a plant. We use the simpler's method of macerating herbs to pull out those attributes that are alcohol soluble. We use both 80 proof Grain and Organic Grape alcohols. Each product will say which is used. We are in the process of moving all future tinctures to Organic Grape Alcohol. Each tincture macerates in alcohol for a minimum of six weeks. This herbal product is meant to be taken according to the label in a small amount of water.
Please Keep in mind that there are other types of Menstrums used and that these descriptions are the way we use these Menstrums. If we add any products that use a different extraction method this page will be updated. We want you to learn as much as possible about what you put on or in your body.