Water-based Infusions

Water-based Infusions

The standard formula for a water infusion is one teaspoon of dried herb, or one-and-a-half teaspoons of fresh herb for every cup of boiling water. Unless otherwise advised, maintain those proportions even when using multiple herbs, adjusting the proportions of the individual ingredients rather than the whole.

1. Place the herbs into a non-reactive pot or container (glass rather than plastic for instance).

2. Pour the water over the herbal material.

3. Allow it to brew, usually for between five and fifteen minutes.

4. The plant material may be strained from the liquid or allowed to remain depending upon the purpose of the spell. For a floorwash, you’d want to remove the herb, for a particularly potent magickal bath, it may be more powerful to retain the herbs, even though this may leave a mess to clean up.

Sometimes a stronger, more concentrated infusion is desired for a bath or floorwash but not for drinking:

1. Place a more substantial quantity of herbal material into a non-reactive pot or container.

2. Pour only enough boiling water over the herbal materials to cover it.

3. Allow it to brew for as long as it takes the water to return to room temperature.

4. Strain the herbs from the liquid or retain, as desired.

 

Horehound Strength

Horehound Strength

Studying? Engaged in an activity that strains your brain? Try this infusion as a brain pick-me-up.
Place 2 teaspoons of Horehound into boiling water. Let it seep for for 5 min. Strain the liquid and enjoy.
Unless you are a black coffee drinker who likes a STRONG cup of coffee, it would be a good idea to sweeten this with some honey and milk.
The extra powers of clearing the mind, quick thinking and mental strength lasts approx. 4 hours.
Repeat as needed.

Various Teas

Teas

 

Truth Awareness Tea!

Sometimes it’s nice to give yourself a boast of psychic power before you tackle a problem! This is great to use just before you want to see if someone is telling you the truth or not!

Place a few tablespoons of Mugwort & a small Crystal in a Tea Ball & put the Tea Ball into your Mug/Cup.

Pour Boiling Water into the Mug/Cup and let the Mugwort/Crystal seep for 3 – 4 minutes.

Remove the Tea Ball and sweeten to taste (is a good idea to do as Mugwort is not very tasty). Drink the Tea and pose your question — but be ready to “hear” the truth!

 

 

Headache or Insomnia Tea

Put a pinch of Willow bark, Chamomile, Wild Clover, and a Catnip in a coffee filter in your coffee maker, (or a teaball in a mug) with enough water for one serving.

Brew. (For insomnia, Willow bark can be excluded because it acts more as a pain inhibitor.) Within about 15 minutes to half and hour of drinking the mixture, you should feel quite tired and less sore. Be sure to have a comfortable place to sleep.

 

 

Dream Tea

2 parts Rose petals

1 part Mugwort

1 part Peppermint

1 part Jasmine flowers

1/2 part Cinnamon

Mix. Add one teaspoon to a cup. Pour boiling water over this and let steep, covered, for a few minutes. Drink before going to bed to produce psychic dreams.

 

 

Anti-Anxiety Tea

Add two teaspoons of valerian root to one cup of boiling water. As it steeps, chant:

Nervous anxiety, you are dead.

Roots and water, soothe my head.

Bring to me your calming peace.

As I will, so mote it be!

Though very effective, this tea has a strong flavor that some people find unpleasant. To cut the taste, you might want to heavily sweeten it with honey.

 

 

 

Anger Relief Tea

This tea works equally well for soothing anger and the antsiness associated with pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). The mixture lasts indefinitely when stored in a jar with a screw-on lid.

2 tablespoons catnip

5 tablespoons chamomile

3 tablespoons rose petals

2 tablespoons lemon balm

4 tablespoons lavender

1 1/2 tablespoons vervain

Mix the ingredients thoroughly. Use two tablespoons of tea for every cup of water. As the tea steeps, chant.

Fiery anger, go away,

Calmness come, and with me stay.

Soothe my mind so I can think,

Steep peace of mind within this drink.

Sweeten your tea with honey, if desired

 

 

 

Centaur’s Tea

Chiron the centaur served as spiritual teacher and mentor to many Greek heroes. Centaury, the herb name in honor of centaurs, a favorite of medieval witches’ brews, is said to serve as a magickal teacher, inducing psychic power. Like mugwort and wormwood, plants with similar power, centaury has a bitter taste.

Create centaury tea: play and experiment by adding herbs whose flavor you like so as to create a palatable brew.

 

 

 

Cup of Psychic Courage Tea

Chamomile replenishes and reinforces courage as well as psychic power. Have a cup of chamomile tea as a cup of courage.

 

 

 

Apathy Relief Tea

Use two tablespoons of dried peppermint leaves to one cup of boiling water. As the tea steeps, chant:

Add excitement, herb of spice,

Restore my interest in this life.

Indifference, please, now chase away,

Remove this villain now, I say.

Drink the tea hot. Sweeten with honey if you like.

Herbal Preparations

Herbal Preparations

Decoctions


A decoction is herbs that have been simmered in water.
It is the best method for drawing the healing elements from tough plant parts such as bark roots, stems and heavy leaves. To make a decoction use 1 ounce of dried herbs to 1 pint of water that has been brought to a boil. Keep water just below boiling for about 30 minutes and let herbs simmer. Simmering may take up to 1 hour, depending on plant used.
A higher heat than infusions is necessary because of the toughness of the plant parts.


Decoctions should always be strained while hot, so that the matter that separates on cooling may be mixed again with the fluid by shaking when the remedy is used. Use glass, ceramic or earthenware pots, or clean, unbroken enameled cast iron. Do not use plain cast iron with astringent plants.

 


Electuary


When powders are mixed with syrup, honey, brown sugar, or glycerin to produce a more pleasant taste or to make them easier to use internally, they are called electuarys. These are rarely prepared in advance, but are done when needed. Different substances need different proportions of syrup. Light vegetable powders usually require twice their weight, gum resins 2/3 their weight, mineral substances about half their weight. If an electuary is made up in advance and it hardens, add more syrup. If it swells up and emits gas, merely beat it in a mortar.

 


Extracts


Extracts are solid substances resulting from the evaporation of the solution of vegetable principles. The extract is obtained in three ways: by expressing the juice of fresh plants, by using a solvent such as alcohol, or simmering a plant tea and reducing it to a thickened state.
The last is done by simmering a plant and by repeating the process until most of the water used has evaporated, making a decoction. This gives a distillation of the most active principles in the plant. Add 1/4 teaspoon of alcohol (brandy, gin or vodka will do), glycerin, or tincture of benzoine to preserve the extract.

 


Fomentations


A fomentation is a strong herbal tea in which a clean cloth is dipped.
The cloth can be filled with herbs. The cloth is then applied to the affected part.

 


Infusions


This is the origin of the idea of witches potion. It is a process of soaking herbs in water.

 


Hot Infusion 

 

To make an infusion boil water. Add the boiled water to 1 teaspoon dried herb. Cover and let steep for 9-13 minutes. Strain, cool. Infusions are drunk as teas, added to bath, rubbed into furniture and floors, and to anoint body. Powdered Bark, root, seeds, resin and bruised nuts, seeds, bark and buds may be used in hot infusions.

 


Cold infusion

 

Steep in cold water or cold milk for several hours. Wet, mashed herbs can be used internally as a tea or ad poultices on body.

 


Oils


Aromatic oils and rectified alcohol can be combined. The oils seep into the alcohol to produce an essence. Oils may be captured by evaporation from flower petals. Vegetable, nut, or fruit oils can be used as a medium for steeping aromatic plants to extract volatile oils. Aromatic oils can also be steeped in alcohol to extract essence.


To make an oil, pick your own fresh herbs or purchase dried herbs form a reputable source. Pack a large jar with the chosen herb and pour in any favorite mono unsaturated or polyunsaturated oil. Use enough to cover the herb. Close tightly. Label the jar and place in a sunny place for several weeks. Strain out the herb by pouring through cheesecloth into a fresh jar.


Hold the cheesecloth over the opening of the jar containing the herbs and secure with a rubber band. Invert the jar and pour the infused oil through the cheesecloth. Before discarding the herbs, squeeze all the oil out of them. Repeat the entire procedure.


Repack a clean jar with more of the same herb. Add the infused oil, plus enough additional oil to cover the herbs. Store again in sunlight. Strain again through cheesecloth. Pour the oil into a labeled jar and store until needed.

 


Syrups


Medicinal syrups are formed when sugar is incorporated with vegetable infusions, decoctions, expressed juices, fermented liquors, or simple water solutions. Sometimes tinctures are added to a simple syrup, and the alcohol is evaporated. The tincture is sometimes combined with sugar and gently heated, or exposed to the sun until the alcohol is evaporated. The syrup is then prepared with the impregnated sugar and water. Refined sugar makes a clearer and better flavored syrup. Any simple syrup can be preserved by substituting glycerin for a certain
portion of the syrup. Always make syrups in small quantities.

 


To make an herbal syrup, add 2 ounces of dried herb with 1 quart water in a large pot. Boil down and reduce to 1 pint, then add 1-2 tablespoons of honey. If you want to use fresh fruit, leaves, or roots in syrups, you should double the amount of herbs. Store in refrigerator for up to a month. Honey-based syrups are simple and effective way to preserve healing qualities of herbs. Syrups can soothe sore throats and provide some relief from coughs.

 


Teas

 

Home-made herbal teas are much more potent than the store bought teas. Their flavor can be quite strong and sometimes unpleasant.

 

To make a tea, boil 1 pint of water. Add 1 ounce of dried herb tops ( leaves flowers, stems) steep 3 -5 minutes.

 


Tinctures


Tinctures are solutions of medicinal substances in alcohol or diluted alcohol. To make a tincture, grind plant parts with mortar and pestle (or a blender). Add just enough high-quality vodka, whiskey or grain alcohol to cover herbs. Let sit for 21 days then add a small quantity of glycerin (about 2 tbs per pint) and about 10 % volume of spring water.
Strain and store in airtight amber colored glass. If kept cool and dry it will last for up to 5 years.


Dose is usually 20 drops in a cup of tea or warm water, 4 times a day.
For a stronger tincture place herbs in a cone-shaped piece of parchment paper. Pass alcohol repeatedly through the powdered or cut herb. Catch the slow drippings in a jar.


When it has passed once, you may use it, but the more you repeat the process, the stronger the tincture will be. It is acceptable to dilute any alcohol tincture with water.


Add 4 ounces of water and 1 teaspoon of glycerin for every pint of alcohol. The glycerin is optional, it is an additional preservative.

 


Non Alcoholic Tincture


Alcohol is a near perfect preservative of plant attributes.
If for some reason you wish to evaporate the alcohol, add the tincture dose to a cup of water then add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of boiling water. Some herbs can be steeped in milk to make a milk tincture. Strain out the herbs, and store in a labeled jar in the refrigerator.

 


Ointments


An ointment is a soothing, healing, slightly oily or fatty substance into which the essence of a healing plant has been dissolved. This is done by heating the fat or oil with the plant until it loses its normal color and the oil or fat has absorbed the healing chemical principles. the plant is then strained out, and beeswax is added to harden the ointment.

Preservatives such as drops of tincture of benzoin, poplar bud tincture, or glycerin are optional additions. If you make ointments in small batches and keep them tightly closed with paraffin wax, they don’t decompose. The traditional folk, herbal, and pharmaceutical base for ointments is pork lard. Purify it by simmering and straining. It has healing abilities even without the addition of herbs, but so do a lot of fats and oils. It is said to have great drawing power. Purified, liquefied anhydrous lanolin is also used as a base for ointments. Lanolin is the substance washed from the wool of sheep. It comes in many levels of purity, so the results vary depending on the product. This oil is the closest to skin oil.


Almond oil, cocoa butter, wheat germ, and vitamin E are neutral bases for ointments. If no other product is available, Vaseline may be used, but is listed here in case nothing else is available. All ointments must contain one substance that will thicken the final product. Lanolin is a thickener, as is cocoa butter. Both are non sticky and mix well with most other oils.


Other useful but sticky thickeners are glycerin, honey, or liquid lecithin.
Also, various powdered resins and gum swell up and thicken when first soaked in cold water, then simmered in gently boiling water, and added to preparations. Agar-agar and Irish moss are seaweed thickeners.
Green apples provide and excellent acid fruit pectin that is a good addition to creams and ointments. While any of the above sticky and non sticky thickeners will help swell a product and keep it emulsified, you will still need some wax to harden a cold cream or ointment. Beeswax is perfect, although expensive. It may be combined with paraffin wax.

 


Poultices


A poultice is a raw or mashed herb applied directly to the body, or applied wet directly to the body, or encased in a clean cloth and then applied. Poultices are used to heal bruises, putrid sores, soothe abrasions, or withdraw toxins from an area. They may be applied hot or cold, depending on the health need. Cold poultices(and compresses) are used to withdraw the heat from an inflamed or congested area. Use a hot poultice or compress to relax spasms and for some pains.


To make a poultice, use fresh or dried herbs that have been soaked in boiling water until soft. Mix with enough slippery elm powder to make poultice stick together. Place on affected part then wrap body part and poultice with clean cloth.

 


Vinegars


Herbs that are soluble in alcohol are usually soluble in vinegar, and are useful for salad vinegars, cosmetic vinegars, some liniments and preventive sickroom “washes”.

 


Waters


Steeped herbs, water, and alcohol and steeped herbs plus honey and other fruits are often called waters. Sometimes extracts or spirits of various herbs, such as lavender, are also called waters.