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How to Make Tea

I'd like to think that everyone who reads this has, yes, already made a cup of tea. But do you know how to make MEDICINAL TEA?

There are four types of medicinal tea preparation. For a medicinal quality, the preparation of a tea varies depending on what part of the plant we are using as medicine. A bark or berry can be woody and hard, and so to extract the medicine we will want to cook the herb a little more. While a flower is more delicate, and so it is ideal to treat it as such.

Below are the best way to prepare herbs as a water extraction, with a few examples.

  1. Herbal Infusion

An herbal infusion is also known as a tea. However when we are making medicinal quality teas we want to use freshly dried, organic loose leaf herbs. Rather than using a tea ball or strainer, it is ideal to have the herbs move freely in the water. For this reason, I often make my herbal infusions in a mason jar. I add 1 tablespoon of herb per cup of water to the empty jar . Example: A quart jar will use 3-4 tablespoons of herbs, depending on how much you fill it up. Of course, a tea pot with a strainer works too.

To make an infusion, you want to steep the flowers and/or leaves of a plant for 20 - 60 minutes with boiling water. Typically, the infusion is drunk as a hot beverage. Some herbs that can be prepared as an infusion are Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Chamomile and Catnip.

  1. Overnight Infusion

An overnight infusion is almost the same as an herbal infusion (see above) however it is, yes, left to sit overnight.

To make an overnight infusion, you want to steep the leaves and/or flowers of these plants for 8 hours with boiling water. An overnight infusion can be drunk as a hot or cold beverage. Some herbs often prepared as an overnight infusion are Nettles, Raspberry Leaf, Lemon Balm and Oats.

Overnight infusions are most often used for conditions where there is a deficit of trace minerals in a person's diet. (Hint: This is why people take vitamins. When you make an overnight infusion, you are making a liquid multivitamin, for access to quick, usable green energy!) Overnight infusions are ideal for people who experience PMS, low energy, and many other chronic conditions.

  1. Cold Infusion

The most common herb used in a cold infusion is Marshmallow. The scientific name of this plant is Althea officinalis. Traditionally this herb is used to soothe mucus membranes and cool conditions.

To make a cold infusion, you want to steep the roots of this plant for 8 hours in cold water. Typically, the cold infusion is drunk as a cold beverage. Other herbs prepared as a cold infusion are Peppermint, Rose, Hibiscus, Lemon Verbena and Lemon Balm, especially because they can be added to Marshmallow for improved flavor. See "Infusion," above for more info on how to get started with a medicinal quality tea.

  1. Decoction

If you know how to cook rice, you know how to prepare a decoction.

To make an decoction, you want to bring to a boil and simmer the roots, berries and/or bark of a plant for 20 - 60  minutes. Typically, the decoction is drunk as a hot beverage. Other herbs prepared as a decoction are elderberries, ginger root, and burdock root. Anything woody and hard is best as a decoction.

Happy medicinal tea making!


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