People talk about the benefits of herbal teas a lot since the natural health movement has gained traction, but there’s still quite the debate about the benefits of herbal teas. The reason for this is that herbal teas that are steeped for only 10-15 minutes don’t have enough time to really extract a lot of the medicinal benefits. In addition, there is roughly only a tablespoon of herb used per cup of boiling water.
That isn’t to say that herbal teas have no place in herbal medicine. They can be incredibly comforting when someone is sick or as a great replacement for coffee or other high caffeine drinks. If you are looking for an herbal remedy though, what you want is an herbal infusion.
An herbal infusion differs from an herbal tea in a few ways. Infusions use a lot more herb than a tea. Typically, you would use ½ cup to a full cup of dried herb for 1 litre of water. Also, the length of time you allow the herbs to be submerged in the boiled water is a lot longer.
For an infusion, you want to allow it to steep anywhere between half an hour to overnight depending on the strength you want. In order to get the medicinal benefits from herbs, you need your remedy to have a good extraction method. A short steeping time isn’t ideal so the longer you allow it to steep, the more vitamins and minerals you’re getting. This makes it a lot more potent.
So, what exactly are herbal infusions good for?
Now that you know why infusions are ideal and how you can use them, it’s time to get started making some!
All these recipes require 1 liter of boiling water and will last up to 3 days in the fridge. Submerge the herbs in boiled water, allow to steep 45-60 minutes. Then strain and store in a mason jar or juice jug with a lid.
Raw honey has loads of health benefits and makes an excellent addition to herbal infusions. Make sure you are using local raw honey as honey made from plants in your environment can help prevent seasonal allergy symptoms. The raw honey also contains propolis, which is the “glue” that bees use to sterilize their beehives. It’s filled with antioxidants and cancer-fighting phytonutrients that pasteurized honey does not have.
***As with all medications, talk to your doctor before taking any infusion or herbal remedy to ensure it will not interact with any medication you may be on. If pregnant or breastfeeding, check with your doctor before using***
For more information on making herbal infusions or teas to address specific medical conditions, please contact us to schedule an appointment with our herbalists.