I remember growing up watching my mother having a special cabinet for dried herbs at the kitchen. Any time my sisters and I had any discomfort, my mom would prepare a tea, some of them tasted good, some of them tasted horrible, but all those teas that my mom prepared made us feel good (my mother still keeps her herbal cabinet at her kitchen.) We thought that those herbs were magical and yes, they were, but the secret was the way my mom cooked those herbs to make those teas. Her secret is that she made the teas with a lot of LOVE and in these 5 different ways.
How to Prepare an Herb Tea:
1. INFUSION- The most common way of preparing herbs, the usual amount is a teaspoon of leaves, blossoms or flowers to a cup of boiling water. The water is poured over the herb; then steeped for 3 to 5 minutes. Strain before using. Honey may be added to taste.
2. DECOCTION- To extract the deeper essences from harder or coarse herbs such as stems, barks, and roots. The herbs are usually simmered uncovered for 10 to 20 minutes until 1/3 of the water has decreased trough evaporation. Strain before using.
3.FOMENTATION- A fomentation is an external application of herbs, generally used to treat swelling, pains, colds, and flu. To prepare a fomentation soak a towel or cloth in the desired tea and apply the towel over the affected area as hot as can be tolerated without burning. Cover the towel with a dry flannel cloth. Repeat as needed.
4.POULTICE- A poultice is usually used to reduce swelling by applying a warm mass of powdered herbs directly to the skin. To prepare, add enough hot water to make a thick paste, and then apply directly to the skin. Cover with a hot moist towel.
5.STEEP- Recommended preparation for fresh herbs. Heat herb in water until it reaches a full boil. Turn down heat, let cool, strain and drink.
1. Do not use aluminum utensils to prepare your herb tea. Use only stainless steel, glass (pyrex) or earthenware.
2.Use approximately the equivalent of one teaspoon of herb to every cup of water (fresh herbs may need more than one teaspoon).
3. Do not use white sugar or artificial sweeteners. Use honey if you want to sweeten your beverage. Usually is 1 tea 3 times a day.