Infusing or Decocting Homemade Teas

Many people have never heard of ‘infusions’ and ‘decoctions’, but they were used for centuries around the world as ways to create teas, remedies, and compresses that help heal our bodies.

An infusion is made from the delicate leaves and petals of plants, while a decoction is made from the woody roots, barks, and twigs of a plant. Both are a form of tea that can bring all kinds of medicine to treat all kinds of illnesses and injuries.

Decoctions are made by allowing the harder, tougher parts of a plant to simmer in boiling water for a few minutes until they release their oils and juices. These oils can evaporate during this process, so it is important to keep a lid on the pot and try to keep the heat at a low, constant temperature.

Infusions are teas made from the delicate leaves and flowers of an herb or plant. This is done by pouring hot water over the plants and allowing them to sit for a few minutes. Some light weight teas like green and white can burn if left to boil too long, so get to know your teas a little before you just let them cook.

If you are not sure about the plant you want to use, do some research before you start to experiment. Talk with an herbalist, or look it up on the internet. Some native plants can be very effective, and even toxic is not prepared the right way.

Types of Infusions
Pot infusions are the most common of them all. This is accomplished by adding herbs to a pot or cup of hot water, and allowing the teas to release their elements for a few minutes.

There are also solar infusions designed for more delicate teas such as chamomile and mint. By adding cool water to the plants, and setting them in direct sunlight, this slow, gentle brew will release the essential oils without harming or distorting them.

Another method of brewing tea is the cold extract. You can get all the benefits and a few more by adding 2 teaspoons of the plant to 1 cup of cold water, and letting it sit for 8-12 hours at room temperature. This is an easy, simple way to rotate your teas without having to stop and prepare a cup when you feel like having one. 

While we don’t use cold compresses very much anymore, they were often used to cure things like snake and bug bites, fever, and inflammation. By soaking an absorbent cloth in an infusion or decoction, and applying it directly to an injury, there are many oils and chemicals that will absorb right through the skin, and begin to work on the sight right away. This can be done with a hot or cold compress.

Herbs and teas are still used today, but not nearly to the extent that they were 100 years ago. With the rising costs of healthcare, and all the spin off problems associated with modern medicine, maybe it’s time we reconsider the old ways, and re-learn what our ancestors took for granted. 

Japanese Teapots
Chinese Teapots
Tea Infuser Mugs