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June 18, 2018  |  Login
Teas (Decoction/Infusion)
By James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.D.
 

A tea consists of an herb or an herbal combination soaked in water. There are two main methods of doing this.

A decoction is used for harder plant parts, such as the bark, the root, and the seeds. These require more time and heat, in order to extract the medicinal ingredients. First, you heat the herb (1 tablespoon of the dry herb or 3 tablespoons of the fresh herb) in water until it boils, then let it simmer (covered with a lid) for 15 to 25 minutes. Next, let it sit for 10 minutes, strain, and serve. An example of a tea that would involve making a decoction is one made from raw ginger root.

The more common preparation for a tea is an infusion. This uses the softer parts of herbs, such as leaves and flowers. It is effective for herbs like peppermint leaf; the tea can be drunk more quickly to capture the volatile oils. Commercial preparations of tea bags are available, or you can use dry or fresh herbs. If using a tea bag, add 1 bag to a cup of boiling water and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. For dry or fresh herbs, bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a kettle and add 1 tablespoon of the dry herb or 3 tablespoons of the fresh herb to the water. Cover it with a lid, and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and serve.

 
 
 
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