Making an Herbal Decoction
And an Herbal Infusion
Making a decoction with healing herbs is simply another way of making herbal tea.
A decoction, as well as an infusion,
can be used not only for relaxation, but also to help reduce stress, relax tight muscles, and even for things such as reducing cholesterol.
Herbal tea steeped in a cup for 10 - 20 minutes is done with the tender parts of a
plant, the flowers and the leaves.
For teas made from roots, bark and berries, a
longer process is needed, more time in hot water to extract the constituents.
(The exception to this rule is roots that are very high in
volatile oils such as Valerian and Golden Seal).
- You will need a pot to boil water in a pot. Glass or ceramic pot is preferable,
but stainless steel and enamel will also work. I found a nice pyrex double boiler on ebay.
Aluminum is very bad to cook in ever. Metal is released in toxic amounts while cooking so
avoid these in anything you do. Copper is also bad because it destroys the vitamin C
in some herbs.
- You will also need measuring cups or spoons
- a strainer
- cheese cloth
- your herbs
(purchase your herbs here)
Now, let's get busy. Put the water in the pot first, then add
your herbs. Add ingredients the same as when making tea, 1-2 t. per cup of water,
x4 for a quart. Bring it to a boil, then gently simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes.
Just as you need to put a lid on your herbal teas, put a lid on the pot so you don't loose
those volatile oils. Bring it to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes to extract the
constituents from those fibrous parts. When done, strain and drink your herbal decoction.
- To make it even stronger medicinally, allow it to sit after removing from the heat for another
four hours or overnight.
- You can usually use the same roots, etc. for a second or even third pot of decoction.
Each pot will become milder so you might want to add a little fresh plant material to
keep the strength.
- When making your own herbal tea and a recipe calls for both roots and flowers, a decoction of the
more tenatious parts of the plants should be prepared first, then turn the heat off and add the flowers,
allowing them to steep for the appropriate amount of time.
Herbal Infusion. An herbal infusion, simply put, is a really strong herbal tea.
And it just as simple to make as regular herbal tea but much more practical than
making just one cup at a time.
This time you are going to start with:
- a quart jar instead of a cupyour herbs,
fresh or dried
- scale to measure your dried herb
If you are using
you need one ounce of herb.
If fresh, fill the jar one-third full loosely. (Remember that herbs have different properties
and you may want to adjust the amount to your personal preferance or need.
Pour boiling water over the top until the jar is full.
Screw the lid on so that the volatile oils do not evaporate.
Allow the infusion to steep for at least four hours. This gives it time to extract
most of its constituents. Leave it over night for the best extraction.
- To make it even more powerful medicinally, place the herbs in the pot with cold water and
bring it to a boil. Keep the pot tightly covered. Then place it all in a quart jar and
screw the lid on. Let it sit overnight.
- You can also make sun tea by putting the herbs in a jar of cold water and sit it in the
sun (called a solar infusion) and let it infuse for at least four hours - the longer the stronger.
Remember: Drink what you make within 36 hours. After that it may no longer be suited
for drinking. You can use it for rinsing your hair (it really makes your hair feel
clean and silky) or use it to water your plants.
To drink your herbal tea, you may want to add honey, stevia, lemon, cinnamon, cream, or any other way
you prefer it. Adding herbs that are known for their good taste such as peppermint,
licorice, or lemon balm or lemon verbena is also an option.
Have fun and enjoy your tea.
Return from Making Decoctions and Infusions to Making Herbal Tea
Return from Making Decoctions and Infusions to Dealing With Stress Using Herbs
Return to Namas Natural Remedies Home Page