Making herbal teas of medicinal herbs with hot water is an ancient art. Such medicinal teas have a long history of use in many systems of Traditional Herbal Medicine worldwide. Medicinal teas are one of the most commonly used delivery systems for natural health products.
Not every health condition requires the use of pharmaceutical drugs for relief. Many herb teas are suitable for self care of minor conditions that do not require a visit to the doctor's office. Of course, an herbally trained MD or naturopath will be able to use them in a much broader way.
Medicinal herb teas are generally formulated for common, non-serious health conditions such as
- Occasional constipation
- Occasional indigestion
- Mental and physical fatigue
- Nervousness and sleeplessness
- Minor cough & cold conditions
Such medicinal teas are made from one or more herbs and might be prepared using either an infusion or decoction method.
An infusion is made by steeping plants in freshly boiled water. It is used with herbs that consist of non-woody leaves, flowers or stems. It is also used for herbs containing aromatic oils. Boiling water is poured over the herb and allow to steep, usually 10 to 15 minutes or until the mix cools. A common proportion used is one ounce of herb to one pint of liquid.A decoction uses boiling water to extract denser herbal material, such as roots, bark and rhizomes. Water is poured over the herb and brought to a boil, simmer for 10-15 minutes, then strain while still hot. Again, a common proportion used is one ounce of herb to one pint of liquid.