The Herbal Academy: From Field to Product

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An Herbal Academy Studies Update

I’m back with another summary of my life as a student at the Herbal Academy. If you didn’t catch my first post, hop over here. The course is still fun and super informative. I walk away from every lesson with my mind full of facts, and ideas.

The most recent lessons I completed covered the topic of taking the herbs from field to apothecary to final product, particularly focused on herbal teas and tinctures. Starting with the process of selecting herbs, here are some things to consider:

  • Better quality herbs at the start means a better quality final product.

  • Always source organic, or wild-harvested, when possible. These types of herbs should come with a certified seal or marking.

  • Make sure the packaging keeps the herbs fresh – think airtight seal, strong scent, and fresh coloring.

Once you have the herbs in your apothecary, you will want to make sure you keep everything stored properly. That means no sunlight, no extreme temperatures, low moisture environment and everything sealed properly. And don’t forget to label your jars! Speaking of labeling, some studies and independent tests show that some herbal products do not actually contain the ingredients listed – this could quite possibly be due to lack of proper labeling! An herbarium, a collection of dried and preserved plants, can help you in identifying your plants.

The lessons went on to discuss in detail the following:

  • Supplies and equipment needed for making herbal preparations.

  • The use of different solvents in teas and tinctures.

  • The difference between infusion methods.

  • Steeping times and proportions.

  • Uses and methods of making alcohol tinctures.

There is so much information to glean from these lectures! As always, if you have questions, feel free to reach out! And stay tuned for the next post in this series: Syrups, Topicals, and the Medicine Around Us.

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