At the Green Witch Apothecary, we create a variety of folk herbal medicines. Some of which may be new to our customers, so we thought we would provide a short get to know the types of plant medicines we make, what they are good for, and how they are used. Each type of medicine is used differently and each herb has a specific role within that herbal remedy.
At the Green Witch, each herb for our plant medicine is wild harvested from local Hawaii farms or organically sourced from mainland farms to ensure the purity of the medicinal properties of the plant are in tact. Herbs are then combined with different substrates to extract the medicinal properties of the herb. Then the herbs are sold as single origins or combined to create herbal blends to create a remedy that will bring out the specific health benefits of the herbs that we want to use.
There are a variety of types of plant medicines that can be made and used to obtain the health benefits of the herb. Some examples are outlined below.
Oxymels and Shrubs are types of herbal vinegars. Shrubs only differ from Oxymels in the fact that they contain fruit. This type of herbal medicine has a variety of ways it can be used depending on what type of herb has been used within the remedy, whether it's a medicinal food herb or strictly used as a medicinal herb. Shrubs can be used in a variety of ways: daily as a tonic, in cooking as a yummy sauce, salad dressing, or marinade, It can also be used in creating tasty cocktail drinks or refreshing flavored spritzers or waters for a fun backyard BBQ. Any way they are used, the shrubs will provide herbal medicinal properties to improve health and support a specific organ or body system.
Herbal Honeys are made with local organic honey and combined with specific herbs that will bring out the medicinal properties of the herb and the honey. This type of herbal medicine has a variety of ways it can be used as well. The honeys can be used daily as a tonic by taking a spoonful in your favorite hot or cold beverage. It can be used in cooking as part of a yummy sauce, marinade, or dessert. Anyway these honeys are used, they will provide herbal medicinal properties from the specific herb as well as provide healing properties from the honey it self to improve and support health.
Honey has tremendous health benefits and can be used internally and externally as medicine. Honey is a great anti-bacterial, emollient vulnerary (topically) to help soothe tissues of the skin when used on burns, rashes, or even applied as a beauty face mask.
Tinctures or Glycerites are herbal extracts where 80-100 proof alcohol or vegetable glycerin is used to extract the medicinal compounds from the herbs. These type of plant medicines are used as supplements only to help support health of a particular organ or body system depending on what herbs are present and medicinal compounds they have. Tinctures are added to 2 oz of water or juice and taken as a supplement daily tonic or as needed depending on the herb used. Glycerites, on the other hand, have a sweeter taste since they are made from vegetable glycerin and are typically used as herbal medicines for children and do not need to be added to water.
Tea is one of the best ways to receive all the health benefits of a herb. You can make a hot brew by simmering the herbs in water for the recommended time or make a cold brew by pouring boiling water over the herbs, let cool to room temperature, and place it in the fridge for 6-8 hours to brew. You can also do it the old fashioned way and put it out in the sunshine to brew as well. All of these brings the medicinal properties of the herbs out and infuses them into the tea. Then you can strain the tea, add a little honey to taste, and Enjoy!