Preparations of Natural Herbs

Preparation methods
Forms of herbal preparations are reported as the following types:

Internal Applications
Tea (chá) – various plant parts or the whole plant are placed in a pot of water then boiled. The boiling time varies depending upon the quantity of plant material, the type and amount of water. Plant parts including the fruit rind, root, bark or inner bark generally require longer boiling times than leaves, seed or whole plant.

Drink [cooled] (bebida morno) – various plant parts or the whole plant are placed in a pot of water then boiled similar to preparation of teas. However, the water is allowed to cool for a period and then is consumed. Tonic is a type of bebida generally applied to conditions of ‘bad blood’, lack of energy with the objective of boosting the persons’ energy or strength, and immune system.

Infusion (infusão) – plant parts are place in a pot or cup of water, sometimes water, which has already been boiled. Cold water is also used and the length of time for leaving plant part in the water varies from minutes to overnight to several days.

Juice (suco) – a drink commonly obtained by squeezing or compressing mature fruit in to liquid by hand.

Garrafada – various plant parts or the whole plant are placed in a plastic 1 liter or 2 liter container similar to preparation of teas. An admixture of grain alcohol (cachaça) is added and stirred. Sometimes stored for extended periods.

Syrup (xarope/lambedor) – various plant parts or the whole plant are placed in a pot of water then boiled similar to preparation of teas. An admixture of sugar or honey is added and stirred for a period to allow the mixture to congeal. Sometimes stored for extended periods.

Inhalation (inhalação) – various plant parts or the whole plant are placed in a pot of water then boiled similar to preparation of teas. Individuals will cover head with a cloth and inhale the vapors being given off, sometimes used in collaboration with a bath and consumed as a tea following inhalation of vapors.

External Applications
Compress/Poultice (compressa) – various plant parts or the whole plant are placed in a cloth and applied gently to the region or body part being treated, sometimes the plant is boiled, or passed over a fire to be heated briefly. Sometimes a cloth or plant part may be bound to the body part.

Bath (Banho) – various plant parts or the whole plant are placed in a pot of water then boiled. After boiling this is added to water in a large washtub. Individuals usually sit in the basin and either wash themselves or are in the case of elderly individuals or young children are bathed.

Direct application/Rubbing (expressão) – various plant exudates including resin (resina), sap, juice (suco), water (água), latex, gum (goma) are directly applied gently to the region or body part being treated including the ear, eye or skin. Exudates are often rubbed into the skin.