Release the healing potential from leaves and flowers.
This can be done by making an infusion, it’s simple and easy to do, much like making a cup of tea.
When boiling water is poured over herbs and left to steep,
You get great benefits from their properties, by drinking or inhaling the infusion.
Check out the article Herbal Tea Recipes for more information on teas.
Making a Medicinal Infusion
It’s important to remember, when thinking about different herbs and their uses, that chopped, crushed, powdered or bruised herbs, will float to the top and infuse unevenly.
So crumbling the herbs to the size of ordinary tea leaves, will help you achieve the perfect brew.
Herbs and their Uses
What are the Right Quantities?
- The British Pharmacopeia (1914), gives a measurement of one oz to one pint of water, for a hot medicinal infusion
- For a large compress, try adding 60g fresh herbs to 600ml boiling water; or one part water to ten parts water. This is a large amount, yielding more than three 250 ml cups, but it’s a great way to prepare infusions for external use
- As a rule of thumb, the longer you allow your herbs to steep, the stronger the infusion will be
- Work on three hours as a maximum time, to fully extract the herbs potent properties and fifteen minutes as a minimum
If you are considering what herbs and their uses, this article you may find useful.
Some herbs taste very strong, if you are thinking of ingesting them and they are unpalatable, they can be diluted by adding extra water or juice, or you could sweeten an infusion with honey.
Certain leaves do contain quite volatile oils such as Mentha Piperita, so these herbs are generally infused for less time, tougher materials such as Gingko leaves, can be infused up to 4 hours for maximum benefit.
If you are wanting to know more about medicinal herbs and their uses, it is a good idea to refer to the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. This is an excellent resource, that will give you appropriate amounts for an infusion or decoction.
It is important to note, you should always keep herbs well covered, this will help to preserve any volatile oils and once infused, simply strain off the water.
For best results for cold infusions, follow the instructions below:
- Chop the herbs, then place them into a glass preserving jar
- Next, crush them with a wooden spoon before adding water
- Then cover the jar and give it a good shake
- Leave the infusion to soak for anywhere between 6 to 12 hours, ideally the longer the better
Cold water extracts take longer to infuse than hot water infusions, however it is a really useful way of getting the most out of delicate herbs….
Only use glass or stainless steel pots, Ideally you want to avoid using aluminium or teflon, which may leak into the infusion over time.