Mother Earth Living

How to Make an Herbal Tea Decoction

Jeanine Pollak shares how to make an herbal tea decoction. When using a plant’s roots, bark and/or berries, a medicinal decoction will extract the plants’ beneficial properties.
By Jeanine Pollak
November/December 2003
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An herbal tea decotion is most often used for medicinal purposes.
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This herbal tea decoction is a simple way to extract beneficial plant properties.

If you’re making a tea from leaves or flowers, you’ll want to make an infusion (a tea steeped in boiling water, then strained). But if you’re using a plant’s roots, bark and/or berries, you’ll need to prepare a decoction in order to extract the plants’ beneficial properties.

How to Make an Herbal Tea Decoction

  1. Measure out approximately 1 ounce (1/2 cup) of dried herbs per quart of water (if using fresh herbs, use 2 ounces).
  2. Place herbs in a pot and pour water over them. Bring to a boil.
  3. Stir, cover and reduce heat to simmer.
  4. Simmer for 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the strength and flavor of the herbs. For very hard or woody herbs, such as astragalus, simmer for 1 to 2 hours.
  5. Strain, sweeten, if desired, and drink.

Source: Pollak, Jeanine. Healing Tonics. Pownal, Vermont: Storey, 2000.

Read more about the health benefits of herbs: How Herbs Improve Your Health.

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