Herbal Infusion – How to Make One

How to Make a Herbal Infusion

( Or “an herbal infusion” if you are in the US! )

In order to extract the wonderful healing and health-giving properties of herbs, we need to prepare them into a format that we can use to consume them in an effective way.

One of the simplest and most common ways to do this is in the form of an infusion. or if you’re British, that basically means strong tea!

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Herbal Infusions
If you already drink herbal teas such as chamomile, mint, ginger, ginseng etc, then you are already engaging in a form of herbalism, because herbal teas are very similar to infusions.

Infusions are excellent for extracting the water soluble constituents of a herb, and the hot water is also good at releasing the volatile oils (otherwise known as the essential oils) that are within the plant. It’s those oils which often give the greatest medicinal benefit.

herbal infusion

Infusions are best suited for herbs where you are using the more delicate parts of the plant, usually the bits that grow above the ground such as the leaves, flowers and stems. If you’re using the roots of a plant, then an infusion will not be sufficient to extract the needed properties of that plant, you’d need something stronger like a decoction or a tincture.

Once the infusion has been made, you can drink it hot or cold, or apply it topically to the skin. You can also inhale the vapours, obviously all depending on which herb(s) you are using and what you are using them/it for.

Some herbs need to be prepared as cold infusions as the hot water destroys their medicinal properties. Plants such as Comfrey leaf and Marsh Mallow fall into this category so it’s important to learn about, and understand the nature of each of the individual herbs that you work with.

Shelf Life
You can generally keep an infusion in the fridge for up to 24 – 36 hours after which time you’ll need to discard anything that’s left over.