More Ways to Prepare Herbs

To Make an Infusion

  1. Take a china or glass teapot which has been warmed and put one teaspoonful of the dried herb or herb mixture into each for each cup of tea that you wish to brew.
  2. Put a cup of boiling water in for each teaspoonful of herb that is already in the pot and put the lid on. Leave to steep for 10-15 minutes and then pour through a strainer into you cup.

To Make a Decoction

  1. Put one teaspoon of the dried herb or three teaspoons of fresh herb for each cup of water into a pot or saucepan. Dried herbs should be powdered or broken into small pieces, while fresh herbs should be cut into tiny pieces. The container should be glass, ceramic or earthenware. If using metal it should be enameled. Never use aluminum.
  2. Add the appropriate amount of water to the herbs in the pan.
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer for the time given for the mixture or specific herb, usually ten-fifteen minutes. If the herb contains volatile oils put a lid on the saucepan.
  4. Strain the tea while it is still hot.

To Make an Alcoholic Tincture

  1. Put four ounces of finely chopped or ground dried herbs into a container that can be closed tightly. If fresh herbs are used, twice the amount should be used.
  2. Pour one pint of 30% (60 proof) vodka on the herbs and then close the container tightly.
  3. Keep the container in a warm place for two weeks and shake it well twice a day.
  4. After decanting the liquid pour the residue into a muslin cloth suspended in a bowl.
  5. Wring out all of the liquid. The residue makes excellent garden compost.
  6. Pour the tincture into a dark bottle. Keep it well stoppered.

To Fill a Capsule

  1. Place the powdered herbs in a flat dish and take the halves of the capsule apart.
  2. Move the halves of the capsules through the powder, filling them in the process.
  3. Push the two halves together.

To Make a Lozenge

  1. Soak one ounce tragacanth or Acacia* in water for 24 hours, stirring as often as possible. Boil one pint of water. Mix in tragacanth.
  2. Using a wooden spoon, beat the mixture to a uniform consistency. Force it through a muslin container to make a mucilage.
  3. Mix enough of your chosen herb (in dried, powdered form) into the mucilage to make a paste. Add unrefined brown sugar if you like.
  4. Dust a pastry board and rolling pin with icing sugar or cornflower to prevent sticking and roll out the paste to a layer about ½ inch thick.
  5. When the paste has cooled slightly, cut the paste into lozenges, in any shape and size you like. Leave to dry. Store in an airtight tin.

*Tragacanth or Acacia is an edible gum that can be found in any health food store or herbal pharmacy.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License