Herbal Tea

 Content and Benefits:

Tea is a drink made from the leaves of the tea plant, Camellis sinensis. Drinks made from other plants, roots, herbs, berries, bark, or flowers are not tea; they are herbal infusions, or herbal decoctions. The difference between the two is in how they are prepared. Herbal tea is used medicinally for healing and prevention. Some herbal tea is prepared for the taste and not necessarily the medicinal benefits. The benefits to herbal tea is far too many to mention here. When drinking herbal tea for medicinal reasons you should not drink them for any longer than three weeks. If you don’t see a change in your ailment during that time you are probably drinking the wrong tea for that condition or making it wrong. It is always wise to consult a qualified herbalist before dabbling. Although most doctors will not know off hand if an herb will interact with any medications, now-a-days they will look it up for you. You should also always list any herbs you are taking when asked what medications you’re on. Herbs are natures medicine and there are many benefits to them but they can also be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Be wise and use common sense when using herbs.

Varieties:

Herbal tea is made from many sources: plants, roots, herbs, spices, berries, barks, and flowers. There are also teas made from nests, bones, and dung. Any herbal teas mentioned here are with the afore mentioned in mind.

Make It Right:

There is a difference between dried herb and fresh herbs. There is more water in the fresh herbs which takes up more room. The ratio for dried and fresh is: 1 teaspoon of dried herb = 3 teaspoons fresh herbs.

Infusions:

Infusions are made with softer material like leaves and flowers.

Infusions may be drunk hot -which is normally best for medicinal herb tea- or cold, or have ice in them.

To make an infusion take a glass or ceramic teapot which has been warmed and put 1 teaspoon of the dried herb or herbal mixture into it for each cup of tea that you intend to brew.

Pour a cup of boiling water in for each teaspoonful of herb that is already in the pot and then put on the lid. Leave to steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain the brew and drink.

Decoctions:

Decoctions are made with harder material like roots, barks, and berries.

Put 1 teaspoon of dried herb into a glass, earthenware, ceramic, or stainless steel saucepan (never use aluminum) per 1 cup of water. Put the lid on. Bring the water to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Usually simmer for 10-15 minutes but this will depend on the mixture and is usually written with the directions. Strain the tea and drink.

Infusions and Decoctions:

When using a mix of hard and soft material. Make the decoction first for the harder material and when it is finished strain and then steep the softer materials for the infusion in the already made decoction.

Make sure you add enough water in the decoction to compensate the water needed for the infusion.

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