Whether you’re choosing herbal teas for taste or health, there are a couple of different ways to go about making them. You can make herbal infusions or decoctions. When it comes to herbs, some of them require a variety of preparation methods to get the full benefits. This is why herbal decoctions are helpful. A slower process is needed to get what you need from barks, roots, seeds, and berries. They are made of harder material and need to be handled in a special way.
Some herbs just need a little water and heat to release the flavor and nutrients. Others can be used in a “raw” state without any preparation needed.
Look at a bark from a tree. Most barks are tough. In order to get all the bark has to offer, one has to decoct. Just a little heat will not do. More simmering time is required to get the most out of herbal "bark".
Some barks and flowers can be simmered from five to ten minutes. To decoct any tough herbs, you need to simmer it for at least twenty minutes and as much as forty-five minutes. This is different compared to mixtures that are included in teas. Standard teas steep for a few minutes. Decocting is a longer version of this process. The longer intense heat draws out the flavors and nutrients. Some recommend letting the herbs sit in the liquid for a few minutes before heating.
Remember that this should only be a simmer. Too much heat will destroy much of what you want and could even make the liquid taste very bitter.
Take into account the condition of the herb that you are using. Fresh herbs should be cut into smaller pieces. Dried herbs can be crushed. This will help the cells release their goodness.
Once the simmer is complete, strain the decoction. Press down on the strained pieces to extract even more from them. These are invaluable for attaining medicinal benefits from dried herbs. Infusions are made with flowers, while decoctions are more often made with roots.
Customizing Your Tea
Some herbs are very aromatic and will overpower other scents and tastes present in other herbs. Make sure you like the dominant fragrance and taste of the herbs you’ll use. Here is a recipe for an aromatic relaxing tea. To see just how many benefits are derived from these herbs, visit the mountain rose herbs link on this blog.
Time Out Tea
Mix equal parts of dried herbs together. Measure 1 tsp. per 1 cup of water or adjust the quantity to taste. As a guideline, decoctions are four times stronger than an infusion (regular cup of steeped tea). Boil herbs in a clay/glass or stainless steel pot for 5 minutes. Strain and Pour into tea cups with honey or stevia.
I’ve made a special tea just for my dad. It is a combination for men’s health. Some men may be concerned with inflammation, prostate health, and reducing arthritis pain. I put this combination together with these concerns in mind. If you’d like me to customize a tea just for you, visit my site for a consultation. www.consultations4health.com
Dried Saw Palmetto Berries
Stinging Nettles (Dried Herb)
Follow the instructions for making an herbal decoction from ehow.com or another tea site. Strain and serve with honey or stevia.
This is my favorite tea that I’ve been drinking every morning for over 5 years. (This is just an infusion.) It all started when I went off coffee and black tea for a while. You may not like it as sickeningly sweet as I do, so maybe you’ll use fewer sweeteners. I love this tea!!!
Certified Organic White Peony (mountain rose herbs)
1 tsp. raw local honey (depending on wherever I’m living )
½ packet pure stevia
Brew as per instructions for tea on the package.
Go to reputable websites to learn about the safety and warnings of each herb you are taking. Herbs can be for external use only, etc. It’s very important to know facts about what herbs you’re taking.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease whether physical or mental. Please consult a licensed health care practitioner for health concerns.