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How To Prepare A Herbal Decoction

"If you have a busy schedule and you want to become your own herbalist then the Principles of Herbal Medicine e-learning program is perfect for you."

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 water.

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 aluminum.

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.

 

 

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