Tinctures are concentrated liquid extracts. They are more potent than infusions and deliver a more consistent amount of the plantâ€™s healthy chemical compounds. They are best taken diluted in warm water or juice.
How to Make Your Own Lemon Balm Tincture
Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis is a great herb to use if you need a little relaxation or have a nervous stomach. It helps those frayed nerves to calm down.:
What you need:
– Fresh or dried lemon balm
– Cutting board, knife or food processor
– A clean glass jar (mason jar )
– Solvent of choice (grain alcohol (e.g. vodka), glycerin)
Step 1: Chop the herbs either by hand or in the food processor. Often dried herbs are already cut and sifted and donâ€™t need to be ground any further.
Step 2: Place 1 part of the herb to 5 parts liquid in the jar. Liquid needs to cover the herb well. Label the jar (name of herb and date) and place the jar in a warm, dark place for at least 4 weeks. The longer the herb sits in the solvent, the more potent the tincture will be. Shake the jar daily and add more liquid if necessary.
Step3: Strain the tincture through a fine wire-mesh strainer lined with a cheesecloth or coffee filter, in to a measuring cup.
Step 4: Pour the liquid carefully into dark bottles, using a funnel and label these with the name of the herbal and date of preparation.
Spring is the time for harvesting the first tender buds of th tea plant, and many tea lovers are excited about tasting the new crop.Â Tea is an agricultural product like wine and just like the production of wine, the yield, character, color and flavor of eachÂ tea is determined by a long list of variable factors.Â Some of these are the location of the plantation, altitude, climate, seasonal changes, cultivation and plucking methods and processisng of the leaves.
Unfortunatley, this year, the weather has been anything but kind to the tea plants in many different growing regions of the world.
- In Sri Lanka, tea growers experienced a 12% drop in crop production due to poor weather. Since Sri Lanka is a large tea exporter of particularly black and oolong tea, this means that there will be less of these teas on the world market, thus effecting their price.
- The same holds true for Kenya and South India – both producers of black teas.
- According to a report published by the World Tea News, many key areas in China have experienced critical rain shortfalls or lingering cold temperatures. Cold weather has damaged the tender young shootsÂ of the tea plants in many regions Â and in the West Lake are, which is famous for the production of Dragon Well (Lung Ching), farmers expect significant losses due to the coldest spring in 10 years.
- The Yunnan region, where Pu-erh and black teas are produced,Â the worst drought in 50 years has delayed the harvest and greatly reduced the yield – also resulting in increased wholesale prices for the 2010 crop.Â
The best recommendation I have for consumers is to stock up on the still available 2009 harvest because once this year’s teas hit the market, all of us tea drinkers must be prepared to dig a little deeper into their pockets.