How-To Tuesday: How to Make Herbal Teas, Infusions, and Decoctions
The easiest and most time-honored way to use herbs is as a beverage. We usually call this liquid an herbal tea.
What we drink and refer to as tea is usually actually a weak infusion. Herbal infusions are made by covering the leafy or floral portions of the plant with freshly boiled water, using a cup of water to 1-2 teaspoons of herb. The mixture is allowed to steep for 3-5 minutes before straining out the herbs and using the liquid.
A stronger preparation, called a decoction, is made by simmering larger amounts of the herb in water over low heat for 15 minutes or more. Decoctions are usually made from the dense, woody parts of the plant. Using 2 teaspoons of herb (or more) per cup of water and simmering it until the liquid reduces by half allows the active constituents of the herb to concentrate into a more potent form than a lightly-steeped infusion.
Hot infusions made from richly-scented herbs should be covered while steeping to keep the volatile oils from dissipating into the steam. (Simply cover the pot or kettle while steeping, or if making only one serving, place a small saucer over the teacup.) Decoctions are generally used for medicinal remedies such as compresses, enemas, or concentrated herbal syrups.
Infusions and decoctions should always be made with the freshest, purest water available. They’re best when fresh, but can be refrigerated and used within a maximum of 3 days.
Both infusions and decoctions can be made using a single herb or a combination. Some blends are formulated to take advantage of the synergistic support of the selected herbs, or to allow a sweeter herb to disguise the strong flavor of a nourishing but less pleasant-tasting herb.
Beeyoutiful Herbal Tea Blends
After weeks of behind the scenes mixing, blending, researching, tweaking, tasting, and even more mixing, our Beeyoutiful product development team is finally ready to proudly introduce a line of custom formulated herbal teas!
These are the teas we reach for with our families, no matter what is going on in our lives. These delicious blends have been formulated to provide nutrition to support your body through its changing needs, and we went out of our way to make some easy button options for you.
Keep your eyes open in the coming weeks for even more blends that will be added!
Bee Ready Mama – When you are growing a new life, your own body needs access to a much larger amount of nutrients, the building blocks of life. Eating a well-balanced diet full of traditional foods as described in the Weston A. Price Guidelines helps ensure that the maximum amount of needed nutrition is available to the mother’s body to create the new life within.
Adding a tea such as Bee Ready Mama can aid in achieving the optimal nutrient level. This specific blend was formulated to support with nutrients that both nourish the body and help to support the reproductive system.
With the deliciousness of tart rosehips dancing on your tastebuds along with a subtle hint of lemon, all the herbs mingle to create a nourishing and refreshing tea that is as pleasant to drink as it is beneficial. Since every woman and every pregnancy is unique, be sure to have your pregnancy care provider review the ingredients to be sure they are appropriate for you.
Catch-A-Dream – On those long nights when sleep has not found us, we turn to a warm mug of Catch-A-Dream Tea. It’s formulated with a special blend of five herbs to support and nourish our bodies while encouraging deep and restful sleep. Effective and gentle enough for our littlest ones (2 and up!), Catch-A-Dream’s soothing mint aroma will help lull you to sleep.
Herbal Immuni-Tea – When the sniffles sneak up or your system is run down, it is time to pour yourself a glass of Herbal Immuni-Tea. With herbs carefully selected to support the body when exposed to or fighting off viruses, Herbal Immuni-Tea is a delicious tea that is sure to please your pickiest sipper.
And while it’s not for sipping, Beeyoutiful’s Madre Mender Postpartum Sitz Bath is a great way to support the healing process for uncomfortable, swollen, or damaged tissue after giving birth. With a healing and vibrant mixture of herbs, Madre Mender provides a soothing and beautiful bath mixture. Each herb was hand selected not just for its healing properties, but to bring some of the most beautiful parts of nature to your bath.
We cannot wait to hear your response to these new teas! As you are learning how to use herbs in your own home, this is a great way to incorporate them into your daily routine. These herbal teas are a great value, too; just one pound of loose herbal tea makes approximately 200 servings, making it one of the most affordable ways to incorporate the benefits of herbs into your health-building strategy.
For even more about using herbal infusions and decoctions, we suggest Herbal Antibiotics and The ABC Herbal.
About how many servings will a half pound of herbs make? Or how many teaspoons/tablespoons is in a half pound? Also is the immunity blend generally considered safe for children (toddlers) and pregnant women?
In general a half pound of herbs makes about 75-100 servings of tea, it depends on the density of the tea. Herbal Immuni-Tea is generally considered safe for children over the age of two. We do suggest that pregnant women consult their midwife or healthcare practitioner to ensure all the ingredients are appropriate for your specific situation.