|How to Make Herbal Decoctions|
|Written by Isaac&Carmen Gutierrez|
Healing with herbs and other natural remedies is becoming popular and making your own medicines is quite an art. Herbal teas can be very pleasurable to drink, but can also, with regular use, tone, soothe, and balance the body. Infusing in boiling water works well with the aerial parts of the herb, but it does not work very well to extract the active ingredients from the roots or the barks.
This harder plant material needs to simmer in water. The resulting liquid is strained off and is called a decoction. As mention a decoction is made by boiling the hard and woody parts of herbs.
Make sure to smash up the bark or roots into small pieces, the smaller the better. More heat is always needed in making decoctions than infusions because these parts of herbs are more difficult to extract active constituents and be absorbed by water. As with teas and infusions, follow the previously mentioned article on “How to Make an Herbal Infusion”).
The equipment involved in making a decoction includes a saucepan, nylon or plastic strainer, and a jug with a lid for storage. It is important no to use an aluminum saucepan to follow the directions.
Boil one ounce of your herbs in four cups of water for about ten minutes. Remember, one ounce total if you are using more than one herb. The liquid should reduce to three cups. If you wish, at this point you can add any lighter herb parts, flowers or leaves that you would use in infusions.
Cover this mixture and steep for ten more minutes. Strain and refrigerate for up to three days. Dosage is in cups per day.