Herbal Infusions and Decoctions: What You Need to Know

Herbal Infusions and Decoctions: What You Need to Know

herbal infusion

Herbal infusions and decoctions are an easy and natural way to ingest herbs and receive their medicinal properties. And even if you’re not into herbal medicine, you can still love the taste and just enjoy drinking these hot beverages. Either way, making your own herbal infusions is so worth the benefits. But what’s the difference between an herbal infusion and herbal decoction? Keep reading to find out more, the plants tend to know everything!

What is an Herbal Infusion?

An infusion is simply the process of steeping or soaking herbs in water until the water absorbs all the oils and flavors of the herb. An herbal tea infusion is a form of infusion that steeps herb leaves in hot water for a short amount of time. 

How to Make an Herbal Infusion?

To make an herbal infusion all you need is the herbs, some water and something to steep the herbs in. The ratio of herbs and water can be increased proportionately to make a larger batch if you would like. Let’s say you want to make a quart of tea; this will require 1 cup of dried herbs and 1 quart of water. 

dried herbs for infusion

Items needed to make an herbal infusion:

  • 1 Tbl dried herbs of your choice
  • 1 cup boiling hot water
  • Saucepan 
  • Cup and lid

Directions on how to make an herbal infusion:

  1. Fill saucepan with water and boil over high heat
  2. Place herbs in a ceramic cup or glass container
  3. Pour boiling water over the herbs so they are covered completely
  4. Cover the ceramic cup or glass container with a plate or lid to keep the steam and volatile oils from escaping
  5. Allow infusion to steep until water cools to room temperature or time is up on the infusion recipe.
  6. Strain the herbs out of the water using a cheesecloth or muslin bag. Repeat if necessary and squeeze out any excess water. 

May be refrigerated for up to 48 hours, after that it should be discarded.

Tip: to avoid straining place your herbs in your muslin bag to keep your herbs bundled inside and then place in the boiling water to steep. 

roots and bark for herbal decoction

What is an herbal Decoction?

A decoction is just a stronger infusion, using the roots and bark and other plant materials that require stronger steeping to extract the volatile oils. 

Items need to make an herbal decoction:

  • 1 Tbl dried herbs of your choice
  • 1 cup of water
  • Saucepan with lid

Directions How to Make an Herbal Decoction:

  1. Combine herbs and water in a saucepan
  2. Cover with lid and slowly bring to a simmer
  3. Allow mix to simmer for 20-45 minutes (or according to the recipe)
  4. Remove from heat, strain, and pour into cup or storage jar to consume over next 48 hours


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