Using Water for Herbal Extracts

We can use different liquids as a solvent to extract the nutrients from a plant so we can get these beneficial properties into our body. Water, alcohol, glycerine, fruit juice, wine, apple cider vinegar. Here we look at the logics of water extracts.

The most basic water herbal extract is tea! Also called Tisane, medicinal tea, herbal tea, herbal infusion, decoction, poultice.  The decoction and poultice are teas that have much more herbs in them.

Here’s how to make a hot herbal infusion:

  • 1 oz herbs (2 tablespoons) fresh or dried cut
  • 1 quart boiling water
  • steep for 10 – 15 minutes
  • sweeten with honey or maple syrup to taste
  • keep refrigerated
  • drink 1 cup 3 or more times a day
  • Use within 2 days

Sometimes the herbs are roots or bark or woody twigs. The beneficial properties in these harder, denser parts of the plant are better extracted by simmering slowly in hot water for longer in order to make the extract. We call this a decoction and it takes a bit more effort to extract the nutrients into the water.

If you are making an infusion using roots and bark (woody parts), leaves and flowers (aerial parts) it is logical to first simmer the roots and bark for 10 – 15 minutes, then remove from the heat and add the leaves and flowers to let steep for another 10 – 15 minutes to extract the tender volatile oils and aromatic nutrients. This would give us the best of all the herbal ingredients.

Some herbs, like Marshmallow and Slippery Elm, are very mucilaginous which would extract better in a cold water infusion. This would make available all the slimy goodness which can nourish and lubricate mucus membranes.

Here’s how to make a cold herbal infusion:

  • 1 oz herbs (2 tablespoons) fresh or dried cut
  • 1-quart room temperature distilled water
  • Steep for 10 – 12 hours (overnight) till water is slimy
  • Strain and sweeten with honey or maple syrup to taste
  • keep refrigerated
  • drink 1 cup 3 or more times a day
  • Use within 2 days

If the herbs taste very strong or bitter, dilute the extract or use less of the herbs next time round. Herbs with strong or bitter taste are usually very potent so would require less to make a difference in the body. A milder herbal remedy can be taken more often rather than taking a stronger, more potent, dose.

Have fun with herbal teas.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. hocuspocus13 says:

    Reblogged this on hocuspocus13 and commented:
    jinxx♦xoxo

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