How To Prepare A Herbal Decoction
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Whenever the herb to be used is hard
and woody, it is better to make a decoction rather than an infusion to
ensure that the soluble contents of the herbs actually reach the
Roots, rhizomes, wood, bark, nuts and some seeds are hard and their
cell walls are very strong, so to ensure that the active constituents
are transferred to the water, more heat is needed than for infusions
and the herb has to be boiled in the water.
When preparing a mixture containing soft and woody herbs, it is best
to prepare an infusion and a decoction separately to ensure that the
more sensitive herbs are treated accordingly.
When using a woody herb which
contains a lot of volatile oils, it is best to make sure that it is
powdered as finely as possible and then used in an infusion rather
than a decoction, to ensure that the oils do not boil away.
A decoction can be used in the same
way as an infusion.
Here's how to make a decoction:
1. Use a glass, ceramic or
earthenware container. If metal it should be enameled. Never use
2. Put one teaspoonful of herb for each cup of water into the pot.
3. Add the water to the herbs in the pot.
4. Bring to the boil and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes.
5. Strain while still hot and drink.