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Make Your Herbal Tea Last 10x Longer!: Herbal Infusions and Decoctions

You're sitting with a delightful cup of tea and wondering,


"wow, it would be nice if I could have a big batch ready for me to drink whenever!"


My fellow tea lovers, there IS a way you can do this!



In folk herbalism, there are two ways to extend the lift of traditional tea: infusions and decoctions.



Infusion

It's perfect for extracting the volatile oils in herbs and certain alkaloids in flowers and leaves.


This is similar to when you make your tea and forget it on the counter!


This steeping process is followed after the boiling point has been reached.


It's important to add the herbs after the boiling point has been reached, not before. Ensuring the tea is covered during this process creates a potent infusion, as the steam containing the rich chemical constituents remains in the pot rather than escaping.


Steeping time can range from 20 minutes to 4 hours, and can include the elements such as the Sun or Moon.



It can last 3-5 days in the fridge without a preservative. Keep your senses alert for signs of degradation such as bacteria forming and sour taste. [Ferrell, 2008]


Decoction

Everyone joins the pot together before boiling!; add the water (1 pint) and herbs (1-2 ounces).


Boil for about 10 minutes and strain. Since the leaves, bark, stems, and roots are usually included in a decoction, the lid does not need to stay on, as the loss of volatile oils will be extremely low.


*This is a general rule of thumb but can vary depending on the herbs included in a decoction. For example, the roots of nervine stimulants and other stimulants contain volatile oils that are only released when the roots are bruised or cut (i.e. kava kava root). [Canvasser, 1980]


This variation is best served warm, however, chilled is okay as well.


Dandelion root decoction combined with kombucha

For a deeper extraction, place the herbs in cold water and allow them to sit for4-12 hours, covered in a room temperature setting. When using fresh herbs, pulverize them to release the cocktail of chemical constituents! After this cool extraction period, add the water and herbs to a pot and bring to a boil, continuing with the instructions above.


May your teas continue to be fulfilling and long lasting! Please share this article with a fellow tea connesseuir.


 

References

1. Canvasser, Bruce, and Richard Kirschner. Botanical Medicine Manual: Outline and Introduction as Presented by Dr. Bruce Canvasser in 1979-80. National College of Naturopathic Medicine, 1980.


2. Ferrell, Vance, and Harold M. Cherne. Natural Remedies Encyclopedia. Harvestime Books, 2008.





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About

The herbalist, chemist, and medicine maker at Asili Apothecary, Gloria created this space to facilitate healing and learning for yourself and those around you. The apothecary and homestead is based in Fayetteville, NC. Gloria enjoys time with her family and Mother Nature.

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