Mountain Rose's Medicine Making Basics: Herbal Infusions and Decoctions *Tea is a water extract of herbs called an infusion. Hot Infusions Hot infusions draw out vitamins, enzymes, and aromatic volatile oils.
A few good herbs for hot infusions include Chamomile, Holy Basil, Ginger, Nettle, Peppermint, and Skullcap.
~ Scoop 1-3 tablespoons of dried herb into a strainer. ~ Heat 1 cup of water until it just comes to a boil. ~ Place strainer in your cup. ~ Pour hot water over herbs and cover to keep the essential oils from escaping. ~ Steep for 15 minutes to 1 hour and strain.
Cold Infusions are ideal for slimy herbs and herbs with delicate essential oils.
A few good herbs for cold infusions include Marshmallow root, Chia seed, and fresh Lemon Balm.
~ Fill a quart jar with cold water. ~ Bundle 1oz of herb in cheesecloth. ~ Slightly moisten the bundled herb. ~ Submerge the bundle just below the water in the jar. ~ Drape the tied end of the bundle over the lip of the jar. ~ Secure by loosely screwing on the cap. ~ Allow to infuse overnight.
~ Place herbs in a quart jar, fill with cold water, and cap. ~ Allow to infuse overnight.
Decoctions are simmered teas that are perfect for the extraction of hard roots, dried berries, barks, and seeds.
~ Place 3 tablespoons of dried herb into a small sauce pan. ~ Cover the herbs with a quart of cold water. ~ Slowly heat the water to a simmer and cover. ~ Allow to gently simmer for 20 to 45 minutes. ~ Strain the herb and reserve the tea in a quart jar. ~ Pour additional hot water back through the herb in the strainer to fill your jar.
Add a bit of honey, fruit juice, licorice root powder, or powdered Stevia leaf to sweeten your tea. Freeze in ice cube trays or popsicle molds. Kids love these herbal ice pops!
Making herbal syrup is a great way to preserve your medicinal teas. They are also soothing, good for sore throats, the flu, stomach upset, relaxation, and more depending on the herbs you use. Plus, they are super tasty!
~ Decoct roots, barks, and berries for 20 mins. ~ Add leafy herbs and steep for 10 mins. ~ Strain the herb and measure the liquid. ~ Add equal amount of raw local honey. ~ Simmer gently (below 110 degrees) until dissolved.
Storage ~ Pour into dry, sterilized amber bottles. ~ Optional: Add 1 part tincture to 3 part syrup for a medicinal boost and longer shelf life. ~ Label your syrup! ~ Store in refrigerator for 6 months.