Herbal Teas

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-3-13 (EDT)

See Also Naturopathic Therapies
See Also Botanical Medicine (Herbalism)


Herbal teas are a gentle and effective way to experience the benefit of herbs as part of everyday life. The standard tea formula is 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of herb for every cup (240 ml) of water. To make tea, the herbs are typically chopped so that the properties and flavours are released.

Infusions Infusions are suited for flowers and leaves and is made by steeping the herbs in hot or cold water for anywhere from three to ten minutes, depending on the specific herb. The temperature of the water influences the constituents that are extracted.[1] Common herbs used in infusions include:

Peppermint

Decoctions Decoctions are reserved for fibrous plant materials, such as stems, bark, roots and rhizomes. As roots and barks are thick, decoctions typically take twenty to thirty minutes, or longer, to make as the fibrous materials take awhile to release its therapeutic constituents. Common herbs used in decoctions include:

Sassafras
Valerian

Advantages

  • Easy to prepare
  • Safer for children
  • Alcohol free
  • Good for herbs with volatile oils (Peppermint)

Disadvantages

  • Only effective for those constituents that are soluble in water
  • For many health conditions it is not possible to get a strong enough therapeutic dose using teas.
  • Taste of some herbs is not overly pleasant


Check out further information on botanical medicine and therapeutic forms of herbs.

References

  1. Boon Heather, Smith Michael (2009) 55 Most Common Medicinal Herbs, Second Edition Institute of Naturopathic Medical Education and Research, CCNM.
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