How To Prepare a
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When we take herbs
medicinally for their therapeutic effect in home
remedies we need a way to 'extract'
their medicinally active constituents. Eating the herbs as such will
help, but you wont be able to consume large enough amounts to have a
desirable therapeutic effect.
Infusions are a water-based extract of the active constituents
of your herbs. It is
the simplest and most common way of preparing a home
remedy. Infusions are mostly
taken internally, but they are also used in other herbal preparations
such as herb baths.
Infusions can be made with fresh or dried herbs. If you are lucky enough
to have access to fresh herbs simply replace the dried herbs with three
parts fresh herb as fresh herbs have a higher water content.
Infusions are mostly used for the upper plant parts such as flowers,
leaves and green stems. Harder plant material such as bark, roots and
seed are usually prepared by way of a decoction. If you do want to
infuse these you will have to grind them with a pestle and mortar to
break the cell walls. 'Soft' seeds such as fennel and dill, can be
slightly crushed to release their aromatic volatile oils.
Infusions are usually prepared and drunk hot. The usual dosage is one
cup three times daily for chronic conditions, and up to six times daily
for acute ailments.
To prepare an infusion take a china or glass teapot (do not use a
metal container), which has been warmed and put one teaspoon of the herb
or mixture into it for every cup of tea that you intend to make. Next
pour a cup of boiling water in for every teaspoon of herb and put the
lid on. Leave to steep for ten to fifteen minutes. Strain and drink hot.
If you need a stronger brew do not increase the steeping period.
Rather increase the amount of herbs used.
When you want to make a combination of two or more herbs, first mix
the herbs in the appropriate quantities and then use one teaspoon of the
mixture per cup of boiling water.
Infusions should preferably be drunk without the addition of
sweeteners. Do not add milk. If you can't stand the taste you may add
just a little bit of honey.