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Herbal Infusions, Tea, and Decoctions

Medicine Making Basics: Herbal Infusions

Herbal Infusions and Decoctions

Tea is a water extract of herbs called an infusion.

Hot Infusions

Hot infusions draw out vitamins, enzymes, and aromatic volatile oils.
A few good herbs for hot infusions include chamomile, holy basil, ginger, nettle, peppermint, and skullcap.

Basic Method

~ Scoop 1-3 tablespoons of dried herb into a strainer.
~ Heat 1 cup of water until it just comes to a boil.
~ Place strainer in your cup.
~ Pour hot water over herbs and cover to keep the oils from escaping.
~ Steep for 15 minutes to 1 hour and strain.

Medicine Making Basics: Herbal Infusions

Cold Infusions

Cold Infusions are ideal for slimy herbs and herbs with delicate essential oils.
A few good herbs for cold infusions include marshmallow root, chia seed, and fresh lemon balm.

Basic Method

~ Fill a quart jar with cold water.
~ Bundle 1oz of herb in cheesecloth.
~ Slightly moisten the bundled herb.
~ Submerge the bundle just below the water in the jar.
~ Drape the tied end of the bundle over the lip of the jar.
~ Secure by loosely screwing on the cap.
~ Allow to infuse overnight.


~ Place herbs in a quart jar, fill with cold water, and cap.
~ Allow to infuse overnight.

Medicine Making Basics: Herbal Infusions


Decoctions are simmered teas that are perfect for the extraction of hard roots, dried berries, barks, and seeds.

Basic Method

~ Place 3 tablespoons of dried herb into a small sauce pan.
~ Cover the herbs with a quart of cold water.
~ Slowly heat the water to a simmer and cover.
~ Allow to gently simmer for 20 to 45 minutes.
~ Strain the herb and reserve the tea in a quart jar.
~ Pour additional hot water back through the herb in the strainer to fill your jar.

Medicine Making Basics: Herbal Infusions

Fun Tip!

Add a bit of honey, fruit juice, licorice root powder, or powdered stevia leaf to sweeten your tea.
Freeze in ice cube trays or popsicle molds. Kids love these herbal ice pops!

Herbal Syrups

Making herbal syrup is a great way to preserve your herbal teas. Plus, they are super tasty!

Basic Method

~ Decoct roots, barks, and berries for 20 mins.
~ Add leafy herbs and steep for 10 mins.
~ Strain the herb and measure the liquid.
~ Add equal amount of raw local honey.
~ Simmer gently (below 110 degrees) until dissolved.

~ Pour into dry, sterilized amber bottles.
~ Optional: Add 1 part tincture to 3 part syrup for a boost and longer shelf life.
~ Label your syrup!
~ Store in refrigerator for 6 months.
~ Take 1 teaspoon as needed.

Medicine Making Basics: Herbal Infusions

Enjoy your herbal infusions!


Topics: All Recipes, Herbal Education


Written by Friends on June 28, 2011