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04 May 2016


Written by Flora, Posted in Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine

Foundations of Medicine Making - Part 1

Herbal constituents can be released into and stored in various solutions such as water, oil, vinegar and alcohol. Some liquids (called menstruums in herbal medicine making) facilitate the release of different compounds and can be more or less effective depending on the plant and it's properties. Below are several different techniques for extracting herbs with water from Ceara Foley's class at the 2016 Herbal Conference.

Standard Water Infusions

Nettle tea cupAppropriate for leaves, flowers, green stems and fresh berries where the substances wanted are easily released into the water.

Make tea in a ceramic, glass, or enamel vessel.

Use 1 tsp. dried herb (or 3 tsp. fresh) per 1 cup of water, or 1 oz. herb per pint of water.

Place herb in vessel and pour boiling water over.

Cover. Steep 15 minutes then strain while hot.

It is best to make infusions as needed due to a very short shelf life. Drink 1 cup 3 times daily.

Strong Water Infusions

Same as standard water infusions but use 1 Tbsp. herb per cup of water. Drink ½ to 1 cup daily.

Cold Water Infusions

Appropirate for plants with heat sensitive parts such as a rich volatile oils or mucilage.

Soak herbs in cold water overnight & strain.


Appropriate for barks, seeds, roots, nuts and berries where the substances wanted are more
concentrated and harder to release in water.

Put 1 tsp. dried or 3 tsp. fresh herb per cup of water in non metal pot.

Bring water and herb to a boil, and then simmer 15 minutes. Strain while hot.

Water based teas also have external applications such as enemas, douches, gargles, and baths.

Prepare a new infusion or decoction for each dose.

About the Author



SEWWnewsletterSidebarAdFlora is the dancing woman who embodies the beautiful and diverse spirit of the entire plant queendom. She speaks for Southeast Wise Women, inspiring women to deepen a connection to themselves, the Earth, and each other.

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