Drink Your Herbs and Vitamins with Herbal Infusions and Decoctions
Did you know there isn’t much difference between an herbal infusion and decoction? One is made of aerial plant material (the infusion) and decoctions are made of root material. Otherwise they are the primarily the same. Both are made just like tea, with boiling water. The secret tip to incredible herbal infusions and decoctions, is to cover them while they steep. Medicinal properties can evaporate into the air while the water is cooling and the plant material is dispersing all of its healing qualities.
Herbalists call them infusions, lay people call them tea. Whichever term you prefer is up to you. All herbalists will know what you are talking about. Tea is an actual plant and herbal infusions do not have tea leaves in them, unless they are added for flavor.
An infusion is simple the gathering of herbs, fresh or dry, and pouring hot water (the solvent) over them to create an herbal remedy.
Herbalists will call them decoctions, lay people will refer to this medicine as tea as well. Decoctions are made from roots of plants, either fresh or dried. The method is exactly the same as making a regular pot of tea, but the plant material is from underground. Some decoctions will take longer to infuse, requiring a longer steeping period. You’ll know when it is done by the texture of the root. Is it soggy? Can you squeeze liquid from it?
Or you may adjust the flavoring of your decoction by its steeping time.
With both methods, you will need to let your infusion or decoction set up or steep while covered. The steam will trap a lot of the healing properties of the plants, so you want to capture that steam so you drink it up.
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