Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Preparing Herbal Teas: Infusions
Making an infusion simply means that you are using the dried leaf, flower, or stalk of an herb to make a tea (versus a decoction, which uses seeds, roots, barks, or sometimes berries). Examples would be peppermint leaf, chamomile flowers, oat straw, elderberry flowers, lemon balm, or nettle leaf.
Infusions are easy to do and there are many ways to make them. When I am making medicinal or nutritional infusions, I want to draw as much of the healing and nutritional properties from the herbal matter that I can. A excellent way to do this is to make your infusion the night before you want to drink it. I simply take the days dose of herb I want to use, place in it a quart or 6 cup canning jar, then fill it with water that has been brought to a boil. Seal the jar and allow to stand overnight. In the morning, drain the herbal material and your tea is ready to drink. If you want it hot, simply heat it up. If you like it cold, add ice or place in the refrigerator for a few hours. Honey can be added if you want to sweeten it up.
When I brew teas in this manner, I make the entire day's dose at one time, so the tea is drunk throughout the morning and afternoon, not all at once.
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