Harvesting Herbs for Rabbits and Making Herbal Preparations

Information contributed from members of the Herbal Rabbit  group.
Individual acknowledgements are shown.

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"I dry mine for all summer use and winter use, just because they are suppose to be harvested before fruit ripens or flowering to maintain their medicinal values. It's best to dry them in a hot area not in direct sun. Store the dried leaves in a dark area or cupboard. Brown glass jars are recommended. The less light for storage the better." - Cheryl

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Making Herbal Preparations
Information provided by Cheryl

Infusion
Extraction of the medicinal or flavor elements of plants by soaking in cold or hot water. Used for leaves, stems and flowers. For internal and external use. I prefer using hot water, since it works better and faster.

Decoction
Extraction of medicinal constituents by gently simmering the denser parts of plants for extended periods of time. ie. roots, barks, seeds, berries, etc. - dried or fresh. To make, add 30g dried or 60g fresh herb to 750ml of cold water. This reduces to around 500ml after simmering. Store in a covered container in a cool place or in the fridge for up to 48 hours. Don't make more than you need. Internal and external use.

Medicinal or Beverage Tea
Prepared by placing the herbs in a vessel of boiling water (preferably distilled). Stir, cover and let steep for 10-15 minutes.

Poultices
Fresh or dried herbs mixed with enough liquid to make a thick, pasty consistency for external application to the skin and muscular injuries.

Syrups
Syrups are generally made by simmering fresh or dried herbs down into a concentrate. Honey, glycerin, Sucanat, Nutri-Cane, maple syrup, rice syrup or other natural sweeteners are added, then simmered down until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. Quick syrups can also be made by adding herbal extracts to the sweetener, with the advantage of not using heat. This method best preserves the volatile (best) constituents. It can also be done with a infusion or decoction. Use 500 ml infusion or decoction and 500 ml honey or unrefined sugar. Can only be stored for approximately 3 months.