|from the American Botanical Council:|
|Herb: The word herb (sometimes referred to as botanical) has several different meanings depending on the perspective:
In commercial terms – herb generally refers to plants used for culinary purposes. Additionally the terminology differentiates Temperate Zone plants from tropical and sub-tropical plants (i.e., spices).
In horticultural terms – herb refers to “herbaceous,” which describes the appearance of the plant (i.e., a non-woody, vascular plant).
In taxonomic terms – herb generally refers to the aboveground parts or the aerial parts (i.e., the flower, leaf, and stem).
In terms of herbal medicine – herb refers to plants used in various forms or preparations, valued for their therapeutic benefits, and sold as dietary supplements in the U.S. marketplace.
|Menstrum (Solvent)||the liquid used to extract the constituents from plant material.|
|Common Menstrum liquids:|
|Water||Used to make infusions & decoctions.|
|Alcohol||Used to make tinctures, generally above 100 proof.|
|Glycerin||Used to make tinctures. Sweet, vegetable based menstrum good for childrens remedies.|
|Apple Cider Vinegar||Used to make tinctures, oxymels and culinary preparations.|
|Wine Vinegar||Used to make culinary preparations.|
|Honey||Sweet and preservative.|
|Olive Oil||Conditioning, cleansing, softening, absorbs easily, anti-oxidant.|
|Coconut Oil||Protective, conditioning, and helps to keep other carrier oils from going rancid. Solid in cool temps.|
|Grapeseed Oil||The lightest of the oils and virtually odorless. It is also very “drying”.|
|Sweet Almond Oil||An light oil used to soften, soothe, and re-condition the skin.|
|Witch Hazel||An astringent used in cosmetic preparations.|
|Rubbing Alcohol||Used to make liniments.|
|Infusion||Herbs steeped in a water menstrum and strained. Sweeten and drink.|
|Decoction||Roots, bark, berries, and seeds boiled in a water menstrum and strained. Sweeten and drink.|
|Tincture||Plant constituents extracted in a menstrum. Tinctures are usually alcohol, glycerin or vinegar based.|
|Infused Oil||Extract of a plant using a carrier oil.|
|Essential Oil||A highly concentrated liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants, derived through distillation.|
|Salve||An ointment used to promote healing of the skin or as protection.|
|Liniment||Extract of a plant using alcohol or vinegar and applied topically.|
|Poultice||Topical application of a soft moist mass of bruised fresh herbs, usually wrapped in a cloth.|
|Electuary||Powdered herbs preserved in honey.|
|Oxymel||A honey and vinegar blend.|
|Beeswax||Used to thicken salves.|
|Vitamin E Oil||Used as a preservative in salves and infused oils.|