Tips On Making and Taking Herbal Teas
Herbal teas are wonderful and soothing, and people use them for medicinal purposes. They are easily absorbed by the body as hot liquid and many herbs are optimally effective when steeped in hot water. The hot brewing water releases herbal potency and provides a flushing action that is ideal for removing toxic loosened wastes.
- Volatile essential oils are lost during cutting of herbs for tea bags. For best results, buy cut herbs or crumble leaves and flowers, and break roots and barks into pieces before steeping.
- Medicinal teas may have bitter tasting properties. Where taste is unpleasant, I add mint, lemon peel, spices, or stevia (sweet herb) to improve taste without harming therapeutic qualities.
Tip #1: Use 1 packed small teaball to 3 cups of water for medicinal-strength tea. I use distilled water or pure spring water to prepare my teas. It is recommended to use these types of water for increased herbal strength and effectiveness.
Tip #2: Bring water to a boil, remove from heat, add herbs and steep covered off heat; 10 to 15 minutes for a leaf-flower tea; 15 to 25 minutes for a root-bark tea. Keep lid down during steeping so volatile oils don't escape.
Tip #3: Use a teapot of glass, ceramic or earthenware, not aluminum. Aluminum can negate the effect of the herbs as the metal dissolves into the hot liquid and gets into the body.
Tip #4: Drink medicinal teas in small sips throughout the day rather than all at once. One-half to 1 cup, taken 3 or 4 times over a day allows absorption of the tea, without passing before it has a chance to work.
What is an Infusion?
An infusion is a tea made from dried or powdered herb. Use directions above, or pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tablespoon of fresh herb, 1 teaspoon of dried herb, or 4 opened capsules of powdered herb. Cover and let steep 10 to 15 minutes. Never boil. A cold infusion can be made by simply allowing the herbs, especially powders, to stand in cool water for an hour or more.
What is a Decoction?
A decoction is a tea made from roots and barks. Use directions above, or put 2 tablespoons of cut herb pieces into 1 cup cold water. Bring to a light boil, cover, and simmer gently for 20 to 30 minutes. Strain.
I am not a medical doctor or herbalist. I am not advocating the use of herbal teas to cure or to heal. These tips are how I make my teas, how I enjoy them, how they make me feel, and what I've discovered about them.