How to use and store your herbal teas, decoctions and tinctures
A traditional method of preparation is to make a herbal infusion. This is excellent for seeds, leaves, stems and flowers. Place one teaspoon per cup into an infuser, plunger or china teapot. Pour over one cup of boiling water per teaspoon of dried herb, cover, let steep for 5- 15 minutes. Infusions may be drunk hot, which is normally best for a medicinal herb tea, although you may enjoy drinking it cold. They may also be sweetened with liquorice root, honey or even brown sugar.
To make larger quantities, use 30gms of dried herb to one litre of water, infuse overnight, strain and store in the refrigerator for a maximum of two days. This overnight method also gives a stronger medicinal herbal tea which is useful for teas such as nettle leaf.
Whenever using woody and hard herbs, a decoction is the best method to use. To make a decoction, place one teaspoon of dried herb per cup of water into a pot or saucepan, bring to boil and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes, strain the tea while still hot. For larger quantities use 30gm of dried herb to one litre of water, simmer until the liquid is reduced to 600mls.
Herbs can be extracted into a mixture alcohol and water to make a herbal tincture. Mixtures of alcohol and water dissolve nearly all the relevant ingredients of the herb and at the same time act as a preservative. To take tinctures, the usual adult dose is 3 - 5 mls in water or juice, 2 - 3 times daily. However, this can vary with different herbs and situations as prescribed by your Registered Medical Herbalist.
How to store your dried herbs and tinctures
We provide your dried herbs in a brown, resealable pack. They will keep for six to twelve months, stored out of direct light and away from heat sources. Tinctures are supplied to you in a brown light proof bottle. These can be stored in your pantry, they do not have to be refrigerated and will last three to five years, if stored out of direct light and away from heat sources.