Natural Health and Healing Therapy

How To Prepare Herbal Medicine

How To Prepare Herbal Infusion

An infusion is prepared just like a cup of tea. The dried herb is placed in a teapot or cup and freshly boiled water is poured over. The vessel should be covered immediately to avoid the loss of volatile compounds. Allow to steep for 5-10 minutes. The infusion must be strained if loose herbs are used. The drink can be:

  • Sweetened with honey or rice malt to make it more palatable to the child.

  • Less pleasant tasting herbs may need to be mixed with sweet tasting herbs such as Licorice root, Aniseed or Fennel seed.

It generally doesn't make any difference whether the tea is drunk warm or cold. However, certain groups of remedies, such as the diaphoretics used in fever management, should be taken as hot as possible.

Herbal teas made up of flowers, leaves or seeds are normally prepared as infusions.

How To Prepare Herbal Decoction

A decoction is an extract in water, like the infusion, but prepared by actually boiling the herb. Herbs made up of very hard plant material such as roots and barks are usually decocted (unless they are powdered, for example, Slippery Elm). To make a decoction:

  • Put the measured quantity of herb in a stainless steel saucepan and pour the required amount of cold water over. Cover with a lid.

  • Bring to the boil.

  • Then reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

  • Strain before serving. As with infusions.

  • Decoctions can be sweetened or flavored with pleasant tasting herbs.

Examples of herbs that are decocted are Licorice root and Dandelion root.



How To Prepare Herbal Tablet

Capsules and tablets containing medicinal herbs are available from health foods stores and chemists.  Although some products are of high quality, they are generally not suitable for smaller children.



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