How to Make Herbal Teas, Herbal Infusions and Herbal Tinctures

Learn how to prepare basic herbal remedies such as teas, infusions and tinctures, and try these three easy recipes to sip your way to better health or simply a more soothed state-of-mind.

| February 9, 2012

The following is an excerpt from Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar (Storey Publishing, 2008). In this inspirational guide to a greener, healthier life though caring for and honoring the body, you’ll find time-tested herbal remedies that are safe, effective and easy to prepare. Gladstar, a renowned herbal teacher and a driving force behind the contemporary herbalist movement, presents teas, tonics, oils, salves, tinctures and other natural therapies for dozens of common maladies and for promoting overall health and wellness at every stage of life. This excerpt is from the Appendix II, “The Art of Making Herbal Remedies.” 

Herbal teas remain my favorite way of using herbs medicinally. The mere act of making tea and drinking it involves you in the healing process and, I suspect, awakens an innate ability for self-healing in the body. Though medicinal teas are generally not as potent or as active as tinctures and other concentrated herbal remedies, they are the most effective medicines for chronic, long-term imbalances.

The making of herbal tea is a fine art, but it is also blessedly simple. If you’ve never cooked a thing in your life, trust me, you can make a good cup of medicinal tea. All you really need is a quart jar with a tight-fitting lid, the selected herbs, and water that has reached the boiling point.

Herbal teas can be drunk hot, at room temperature or iced. They can be made into ice cubes with fresh fruit and flowers and used to flavor festive holiday punches. They’re delicious blended with fruit juice and frozen as pops for children.

After brewing, an herbal tea should be stored in the refrigerator. Left at room temperature for several hours, it will go “flat,” get tiny bubbles in it and begin to sour. Stored in the refrigerator, an herbal tea will be good for three to four days.

I seldom direct people to make medicinal teas by the cupful. It is impractical and time-consuming. Instead, make a quart of tea each morning or in the evening after work. The herb-to-water ratio varies depending on the quality of herbs used, whether they are fresh or dried (use twice as much fresh herb in a recipe), and how strong you wish the finished tea to be. I generally use 1 to 3 tablespoons of herb(s) for each cup of water, or 4 to 8 tablespoons of herb per quart of water, depending on the herb.

7/30/2017 11:08:41 PM

Thank you soo much for your article. I have created a herbal tea for my mother who has ostearthritis and another for my friend who has horrible back pain. Brewing a cup of tea everytime they need to take it isn't very functional while at work so i was trying to verify if they turned it into a cold infusion if it would loose its medicinal qualities. I have been told by several people that it does.

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6/30/2017 6:17:54 AM

6/30/2017 6:17:54 AM

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