MoonDragon's Health & Wellness Therapy
HERBAL INFUSIONS & DECOCTIONS INDEX
For Informational Use Only
For more detailed information contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.
TEAS, INFUSIONS & DECOCTIONS
The two ways to extract medicinal properties from herbs to make teas are infusing and decocting. Which process you will want to try will determined by the part of the plant used to make the tea.
INFUSION: When working with the delicate parts of an herb - the leaves and flowers - you will want to make an infusion. Making an infusion involves pouring hot water over the herbs and then steeping the herbs in the water.
DECOCTION: If you are using the tough parts of the plant - the roots, bark, twigs, seeds or berries - you will want to make a decoction, simmer the tough parts of the herbs in boiling water. The process can also be used to reduce or boil down herbs to make a stronger preparation. For example, the base of cough syrup. If a remedy combines leaves or flowers with bark or roots, make a mixed decoction/infusion for best results.
Boiling diminishes the active ingredients of some herbs, such as Valerian Root or Dill. It is possible to process delicate herbs without heat by making a cold maceration. This is done by placing 2 teaspoons of a dried herb in a glass dish. Pour 2 cups of cold water over the herbs and let stand overnight. Strain. Add Honey to taste. Drink 3 times daily.
TYPES OF INFUSIONS
The process to extract the medicinal virtues of an herb need not be complicated. Just make sure you are familiar with the many different preparations.
For a Pot Infusion, add the herbs to a teapot and pour in boiling water. Cover and let it set for 10 minutes. Strain.
Try a solar infusion (called "Sun Tea") for very delicate herbs, such as Chamomile, Peppermint, or Spearmint, to keep in the essential oils. Place herbs in a glass container (I use a gallon-sized glass "pickle" jar with a screw lid for large quantities and a 1/2 gallon or quart-sized glass canning jar with the screw on lids for smaller amounts). Add water that is slightly warm to room temperature. Cover and let stand in direct sunlight for several hours (In a south facing window or porch).
Add 2 teaspoons of the herb to 1 cup of cold water. Let the mixture stand for 8 to 12 hours. Strain. Take it as you would an infusion.
Soak a cloth in an infusion or decoction that has been cooled. Wring out the cloth and apply it directly to injuries, swollen joints and inflammations.
Soak a cloth or towel in an infusion or decoction. Wring it out and apply hot if you need to bring heat to an area.
BREWING TECHNIQUES INFUSION
Herb Leaves & Flowers
Warm the pot, then add 1 teaspoon of herbs per cup. Pour boiling water into the pot, cover and let steep for 10 minutes; strain. Sweeten tea with Honey, if desired.
Roots, Bark, Twigs, & Berries
Cold Purified Water
Break herb material into small pieces and put 1 teaspoon of herbs per cup into a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for about 10 to 20 minutes or until the water is slightly reduced; strain through a sieve.
Fresh or Dried Herbs
Cold Purified Water
Mix the bark, berries or roots in a saucepan and add water. Bring to a boil and gently simmer 10 to 20 minutes. Place the flowers and leaves in a teapot. Strain the hot decoction into the teapot and infuse for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture into a glass container.
Infusions and decoctions allow you to release the healing properties of herbs into water. The value of many medicinal herbs lies chiefly in their volatile oils; in order to keep these valuable oils from being evaporated while brewing, keep the heat low and cover the pot when preparing.
FOR DOSAGE AND SAFETY
An average dose is about a teacup full, three times a day of an infusion or decoction. Use smaller doses for children or the elderly. Some herbs, such as Feverfew, are so strong tasting that they are not always suitable for infusions or decoctions. Note: Always verify the safety and check the toxicity warnings of the herbs you are planning to use, or check with an herbalist.
Extra Tip: When preparing a decoction or infusion from plants from the wild, make sure they are correctly identified. If there is any doubt, do not use the herb. Use only plants away from polluted areas, avoiding harvesting plants along roadsides or drainage ditches containing chemicals, fertilizers, or insecticides. When gathering, do not be greedy and do not over harvest. Leave some plants to grow and reproduce for future use. Always make a donation back to the earth as a "thank you" for the harvest. This may be as simple as giving the remaining plants a drink of water.
You can refrigerate infusions and decoctions for about 48 hours. Always use glass or enamel containers or stainless steel and wooden spoons or steel knives. Sieves should be plastic or nylon. Never use aluminum as this element can be toxic and easily absorbed by the herbs.
HERBAL TEAS INDEX
Note: These pages will be added as they are completed.
Cinnamon Tea & Other Uses
Hyssop Tea & Other Uses
Lavender Tea & Other Uses
Pau d'Arco Tea
Peppermint Tea & Other Uses
St. John's-Wort Tea
For more information, return to the Therapy Infex:
MoonDragon's Health & Wellness Therapy Index
AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Almond, Sweet Oil Apricot Kernel Oil Argan Oil Arnica Oil Avocado Oil Baobab Oil Black Cumin Oil Black Currant Oil Black Seed Oil Borage Seed Oil Calendula Oil Camelina Oil Castor Oil Coconut Oil Comfrey Oil Evening Primrose Oil Flaxseed Oil Grapeseed Oil Hazelnut Oil Hemp Seed Oil Jojoba Oil Kukui Nut Oil Macadamia Nut Oil Meadowfoam Seed Oil Mullein Oil Neem Oil Olive Oil Palm Oil Plantain Oil Plum Kernel Oil Poke Root Oil Pomegranate Seed Oil Pumpkin Seed Oil Rosehip Seed Oil Safflower Oil Sea Buckthorn Oil Sesame Seed Oil Shea Nut Oil Soybean Oil St. Johns Wort Oil Sunflower Oil Tamanu Oil Vitamin E Oil Wheat Germ Oil
HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction
NUTRITION BASICS ARTICLES
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute? MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water
RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1 MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2 MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index
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