If you’ve ever wondered about alternative medicine - one of the simplest and easiest ways to begin experimenting is by making your own herbal teas and infusions.
Making your own tea promotes your health by involving you directly in the healing process and possibly triggering self-healing. And although medicinal teas are never really as potent as tinctures and other concentrated herbal remedies, they can be a very effective therapy for chronic, long-term imbalances in your body.
Making herbal tea is really very simple. All you need is a quart jar with a tight-fitting lid and your favorite fresh or dried herbs. Use a ratio of 4-8 tablespoons of herb per quart of boiling water, depending on the herb or mixture of herbs you’d like to try, whether they are fresh or dried (use twice as much fresh herb) and how strong you want the brew to be. Adding a little lemon juice or honey is also a great idea.
The most efficient way is to prepare a quart of tea in the morning or in the evening after work. After brewing, herbal teas should ideally be stored in the fridge to be used for the next two to three days. Otherwise it will go flat and begin to sour.
Herbal teas can be drunk hot, at room temperature or iced. They can be made into ice cubes, used to flavor festive holiday punches and blended with fruit juice.
For a medicinal tea to be effective, it must be taken in small amounts several times daily. For chronic problems, drink the tea three or four times daily. For acute ailments such as colds, fevers and headaches, it’s advisable to take several small sips every 30 minutes until symptoms subside.
Herbal infusions are made from the more delicate parts of plants, such as leaves, flowers and aromatic parts. These fragile plant parts must be steeped rather than simmered because they give up their medicinal properties more easily than do the tougher roots and barks.
To make an infusion, simply boil one quart of water per ounce of herb. Pour water over the herb and let it steep for 30 to 60 minutes.
Once again, the proportion of water to herb and the time of infusion depend on the herb you’re using. You can always experiment - obviously the more herbs you use and the longer you let it steep, the stronger the brew you’re likely to get.
Now that you know how and how very easy it can be, why not begin by brewing your own herbal tea or infusion today?