Originally Posted by Azreial
how do you take the stinging nettle? Is it tea, tiniture, or a pill?
Herbs can be in any of those forms. Nettle is an herb that stings when fresh (so if you are gathering this for yourself, wear gloves and long sleeves) but loses all its stinging capacity when dried. So, you can use the dried leaves to make a "tea" (properly an infusion, as "tea" is an infusion of tea leaves
An infusion is my favorite form of taking nettles: It tastes pretty good, quenches my thirst, and is very absorbable this way. One's body can assimilate it easily. This is a great method for plants who's medicinal properties are mostly water soluble.
A tincture is the liquid left over from the soaking of leaves (or root or seeds or fruit of a plant) in either alcohol or vegetable glycerine. Some plants have medicinal properties that are only really soluble in alcohol. For instance, in my experience, goldenseal is best taken in a tincture. I can't stand the taste of it in a tea and its medicinal properties are more soluble in alcohol. So, I take it in a alcohol tincture. Glycerine tinctures are usually not as strong and they don't last as long on one's shelf as an alcohol tincture. The amount of alcohol is very small, by the way. One take these things in dosages of drops, not ounces.
take herbs in pills. Pills have been heat-treated and "glued" with various gums, etc. to form them. The ground up herb is in there, but I think that one's body doesn't get the most medicinal properties that way. The digestive tract has to break down all the woody parts of an herb -- the fiber -- before it can use the medicinal parts. This last part is also why I don't take herbs in capsules. Capsules aren't heat-treated; but, they are just the herb so I'd have to work harder to digest it.
Another reason I'd take the nettles, red clover, and oats in an infusion ("tea") is because I'll need the liquid. I'll need the fluids for the nursing and to allow my kidneys to excrete all the stuff that is in my body that is making me itchy and sneezy. Also, the more hydrated one is, the better the mucilaginous (soothing) effect on the mucus membranes.
Don't dry out!!