In this video, I show you how to brew a cup of herbal tea (infusion) to help keep all the volatile compounds in your cup!
Infusions and Decoctions.
Tea is like instant gratification in herbalism.
There's something about the ritual of brewing herbs that is steeped in tradition and gratitude for what comes from the earth. While other preparations may take days, weeks, or even months to prepare you can typically make a delicious cup of in 20 minutes or less.
Teas are considered water extractions and are one of the oldest and simplest ways to convert plants into liquid extractions for consumption. There are two basic ways to create a water extraction infusions and decoctions. The method you use will depend on the type of herb you’re working with.
Infusions are made by pouring freshly boiled water over and herb and allowing them to steep for a determined length of time then straining out the plant material. Infusions are generally used with delicate plants like flowers and leaves. In some cases, cold-infusions may also be used this is where the herbs are left to soak in water (usually for a longer period) before straining.
Decoctions are made by bringing water to a boil, adding in the plant material, and reducing the heat to a simmer to help release constituents of the plant. Decoctions can help to release more minerals, tannins, and bitter principals than an infusion. This is often used for spices, barks, and roots of a plant.
Infusions and decoctions are both easy, effective, and inexpensive and a great way to begin utilizing plant magic. There may be certain instances where infusions are not the best option such as with bitter or unpleasant tasting herbs or where the constituents of the plant are not water-soluble.
More on Herbs vs. Essential Oils in this video!