Alaena Charlotte Diamon
To Make an Infusion:
An infusion (sometimes referred to as a tisane) is an extraction of the medicinal ingredients of the herb, with water serving as the solvent. Infusions may be drunk hot, which is normally preferable for a medicinal herb tea, or cold. Because many medicinal herbs may not be very palatable at first, they may be sweetened with honey. Dried herbs are often better sources of the available compounds than powdered herbs, which lose their potency quickly) but are relatively weak in action compared to tinctures. Bring water nearly to the boiling point and pour over a teaspoon to a Tablespoon of herbs in a cup. Leave to steep for ten to 15 minutes. You may make your own tea bag, or use a commercially designed infuser, if you prefer, to eliminate having loose material in your infusion. Dried herbs are more potent than fresh herbs, and the medicinal properties are more readily released into the water. As you become accustomed to the taste of herbs, you will gain an appreciation of herbal teas. They are a rich source of nutrients, minerals and vitamins!
To Make a Decoction:
A Decoction is another form of infusion used to extract the chemicals from the hard or woody parts of the plant, such as twigs, roots, barks, rhizomes, berries, and some seeds. Use one cup water for each teaspoon of herb used. Bring to the boiling point, cover to retain the oils in the herbs, and gently simmer for thirty minutes. Strain the tea and drink while hot.
To Make an Alcoholic Tincture:
Tinctures are typically made by using an alcohol and/or water mixture as the solvent. The herb is soaked in the solvent for a specified amount of time, several days to several weeks, depending on the herb. The solution is then pressed out, yielding the tincture. The strength of herbal extracts are generally expressed in two ways. If they contain known active principles, their strengths are commonly expressed in terms of the content of these active principles. Otherwise, the strength is expressed in terms of their concentration. For example, tinctures are typically made at a l:5 concentration. This means that there is five times the amount of solvent in the tincture as there is herbal material. A tincture may also be a l:10 concentration.
To make a tincture, loosely pack chopped fresh herbs (or sometimes dried herbs) into a clean glass jar that has a tight-fitting lid. Pour 60-90 proof vodka on the herbs and close the container tightly. Shake well, and top off with more vodka after a few hours, if necessary. Keep the container in a warm place for two to six weeks. Shake it well at least once each day. After decanting the bulk of the liquid through a natural filter into a dark bottle, using a funnel, pour the residue through the filter a bit at a time and wring out all the liquid. The residue makes excellent garden compost. Cap tightly. Tinctures are much stronger, volume for volume, than infusions or decoctions, so use very small dosages, a few drops at a time, placed under the tongue.