Depending on the herb, there are several ways to to prepare herbal remedies, such as infusions, teas, tinctures, macerations, and decoctions. Homemade remedies can be much more effective and more affordable than commercial products, and are well worth the effort it takes to make them!

What are herbal decoctions?

Unlike infusions, which are steeped, herbal decoctions are boiled for a longer period of time to help soften tougher, fibrous plants, barks, and roots. This method of boiling will extract the full medicinal properties of the herb.

What are decoctions used for?

Decoctions can be used daily for a wide variety of diseases, disorders, conditions, or other health and wellness concerns. Decoctions are best suited for tougher plants, woody barks, and roots rather than more delicate herbs.

How do you prepare a decoction?

To make an herbal decoction, measure the amount of herbs needed based on a ratio of 1 teaspoon powdered herb or 2 teaspoons cut herb per 8 ounces of cold water in a ceramic pot with a snug lid. Bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low to achieve a rapid simmer and cover for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

If you are using a particularly tough, woody piece of bark, you may need to simmer your decoction for up to 2 hours. If you desire a stronger decoction, allow the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes (as stated above), and sit overnight before straining.

If using cut herbs, strain the mixture through a tea strainer. If using powdered herbs, let the powder settle at the bottom of the pot and pour the rest of the liquid into your cup or container. Extra decoction can be refrigerated for use later the same day.

A typical dosage for decoctions is about ½ – 1 cup, two or three times daily.