How to Make Herbal Teas
Enjoying the Health Benefits of Herbs

Making herbal teas is a great way to enjoy the health benefits of herbs. Here is how to make herbal teas.

Herbal teas are less concentrated and is an easy way to take herbs at home.

They have the advantage of being easily assimilated, which make them easier for a weakened body to digest.

Herbal teas, water infusions, at the standard strength are used as gargles, as lotions for the skin, and as compresses and poultices. Dilute with an equal amount of water for hand or foot baths.

The infusions you can drink are called teas. When making herbal teas, you will find that most taste great. However, some taste downright bad! For those and even the good tasting ones…you can add spearmint and raw honey to taste.

Maintaining Herbal Tea Health Benefits

Most are prepared by using hot water (hot water releases more of the herb’s active elements); however, the properties of some herbs-for example: comfrey, marshmallow, and valerian root-are destroyed by heat. They should be infused or "macerated" in cold water for up to 12 hours.

Standard Strength

  • 1 oz. (25g) herb to 1 pint (500ml.) water or 1 heaping tablespoon herb to 1 cup of water
  • Put the herb into a teapot or pan
  • Pour on boiling water
  • Brew for required time (see below)
  • Strain and use

Brewing Methods

Teas can be served hot or cold, and brewed many different ways. Here are a few of them:

  • Electric percolator: A good way to brew teas. You can brew the herbs twice for a stronger tea, using a little less fresh water the second time. A percolator heated on the stove is also effective.
  • Pot on the stove: Place the herbs and water in a pot (covered) to be heated on the stove. After it steeps for about 15 minutes, strain and serve.
  • Pot with a strainer on the stove: Another variation of the last method is placing a metal strainer in the pot before adding the herbs to the water to be heated on the stove. When the tea is done steeping, you simply lift the strainer and the tea is ready to serve.
  • Tea pot: Bring water to a boil and pour over herbs in a tea pot. After steeping, place a small strainer over each cup as you serve it.
  • Rays of the sun: Fill a clear glass jar with the herbs and water, and place the jar where it has lots of sun exposure. This method works best for teas made with flowers and/or leaves rather than roots or barks. You'll need to determine how long the jar should be exposed to the sun before your tea is ready to be strained and served.

Brewing Times

To some extent this depends on personal taste, but the following is a good guide:

  • About 10 minutes for flowers and soft leaves
  • About 15 minutes for seeds and leaves
  • About 20 to 30 minutes for hard seeds, roots, and various barks

Doses

Standard Adult Dose

  • 1 cup 3 times a day for normal conditions
  • 1 cup up to 6 times a day, or every 2 hours, for acute conditions
  • 1 cup 2 times a day for long-term strengthening tonic

Making Herbal Teas for Children

Reduce proportionally. Give a child of seven, half the standard adult dose. At six-months old use 1 teaspoon of the standard strength herbal tea. For breast feeding babies give the remedy to the mother. CAUTION: Make sure herb is safe to use for babies and breastfeeding mothers. Also if you are pregnant...consult your doctor before using any herbs.


Decoctions

Standard Strength

1 1/2 oz. (40g) herb to 1 1/2 pint (750ml.) water.

Method

  • Put herb in a saucepan
  • Add the water
  • Put on a tight lid
  • Bring to a boil, then turn down as low as possible and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Strain thoroughly
  • Discard herb
  • Pour decoction into a clean bottle
  • Will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days

Dose

  • 1/3 cup twice a day for normal conditions, and as a tonic
  • 1/3 cup 3 to 6 times a day for acute conditions

Decoctions can be diluted with an equal amount of water and used in the same ways as water infusions for hand baths, gargles, etc.

Water-Simple Syrups and Honey

Method

  • Make a standard decoction (Use recipe above)
  • Return to heat, remove lid, and simmer gently till liquid is reduced to 1/2 pint (250ml.) which may take a few hours
  • Add 1 1/4 lb (600g) honey or 1 lb. (500g) sugar, stirring until completely dissolved
  • Pour into a clean bottle, label, and date

Standard Adult Dose

1 tablespoon 3 to 6 times a day

Children Under 5 Dose

1 teaspoon 3 times a day

Syrups and honeys can be used to sweeten other herbal preparations, or added to food or drink. They are ideal for children because they are sweet.


Compresses

Can be used either hot or cold to help with aches, pains, and swollen joints.

Directions

Fold a clean piece of cotton into an infusion of the prescribed herb and apply to the point of pain. Repeat as the compress cools or, in the case of the cold compresses, until the pain eases.


Poultices

Poultices, also called plasters, are good for painful joints or drawing out infection from boils, spots, or wounds..

Directions

They can easily be made by pouring a small amount of boiling water over herbs and steeping them for a few minutes to release their healing properties. Strain the herbs and place them on the affected area with the warm herbs folded in gauze or thin cloth. Powders do not need to be steeped. Simply make the powder into a paste with hot water and apply in a cloth. Leave in place for around 2 hours or until symptoms ease.


Herbal Baths

Herbal baths are perhaps the most pleasant of all the herbal remedies. Useful as a supplement to the other forms of treatment.

Directions

The heat of the water activates the properties of the volatile oils. They are absorbed through the pores of the skin and inhaled through the nose. In both cases they pass into the bloodstream. When inhaled they also pass through the nervous system to the brain; exerting a healing effect on both mind and body.

When making herbal teas, remember the technique you use is important if you want to assure yourself of receiving the greatest health benefits from herbs.


Information on this site is provided for general information purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional.


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