DIY Herbal Preparations: Infusion and Decoction

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Infusion and decoction can be combined, more specifically when two plans are involved

Infusion and decoction can be combined, more specifically when two plans are involved

Infusion and decoction are two most common methods used to make herbal preparations. Infusion is usually carried out for leaves and flowers, whose parts are easily extracted. Decoction, on the other hand, is suitable for roots or woody parts that do not easily yield their ingredients in a simple infusion.

Basically, both infusion and decoction share the same standard quantities. When dried herb is used, it requires 25g. But if the herb is fresh, then 50g is needed. As for the standard quantity of water, infusion requires 500ml boiling water whereas decoction needs 750ml reduced by a third.

 How to make an Infusion:

  1. Place the herb in a teapot with a close-fitting lid.
  2. Pour in boiling water.
  3. Leave to infuse for up to 10 minutes.
  4. Strain through a sieve or strainer into a cup.

How to make a decoction:

  1. Place the herb in a saucepan
  2. Pour on cold water
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer, until the liquid is reduced by a third
  4. Strain through a sieve into a cup.

The remainder of infusions and decoctions should be stored in tightly–stoppered vessels ideally, preferably in the fridge, where they will last for about 3 days. Before re-using the remainder, sense by smelling. If they are already musty, discard and make a fresh infusion or decoction.

Infusion and decoction can be combined, more specifically when two plans are involved. Let’s say one is a bark or cortex and the other is flower. First make a decoction from the cortex and then use the strained decoction of the cortex for pouring onto the flower to make an infusion.

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