An infusion or tea is made from the leaves or flowers. Pour one pint of boiling water over a teaspoon of the dried herb or two teaspoons of fresh herb. Leave to infuse for around ten minutes keeping a lid on the receptacle to avoid the oils evaporating away. These quantities are approximate and can be varied according to taste or the herb being used. Honey can be added if the taste is not to your liking. For maximum benefit drink one cup three or four times a day. It is inadvisible to drink any one herb regularly for more than six weeks.
A DECOCTION is made from the hard woody parts of the plant. When using roots, rhizomes, seeds, bark or nuts break the material first into small parts with a pestle and mortar or a coffee grinder. Using the same proportions as for an infusion cover the herb with water, bring to the boil and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes.
Either of these methods is suitable if you are making a solution to be used as a herbal wash or to be added to the bath.
Some of the best teas are made from: Chamomile – calming and so good for insomnia, also a gentle digestive tonic. Very suitable for children, it will relieve colic and calm hyperactivity, Helps with PMT. Use in the bath or as a final hair rinse, especially for the fair haired.(Flowers)
Elderflower – a lovely tasting tea, the most efficacious for relieving cold symptoms including sinus problems and catarrh. My mother bathed my face with it when I had the measles. (Flowers)
Lemon Balm – for a sense of well-being. Lemon balm is one of the most delicate tasting herbal teas . It was said by 16th century herbalist John Gerard that it ‘quickens the senses’. Recent scientific studies have proved lemon balm aids learning and the storing and retrieving of information. It is also anti-viral. (Leaves)
Lemon Verbena - Similar action to lemon balm. A lovely smelling and tasting plant.
Lime Flower – the flowers from the lime tree. A powerful stress reliever soothing the nervous system. Can be very helpful for insomniacs. Sometimes used by herbalists for individuals with high blood pressure and circulatory problems. In this case advise should be sought from a herbalist.
Peppermint – stimulates the digestion. Can relieve headache and nausea. Use with elderflower for colds and catarrh. Do not use on children under four. (Leaf)
Marigold, calendula – Cleansing and detoxifying. Anti-fungal, antiseptic and antibiotic. Can be used as a wash, compress or foot bath as well as a tea. Not the best tasting tea, a little honey improves it.
Meadowsweet – Nature’s antacid, also good for arthritis and joint pain. Good for stomach ulcers. (Flower)
Nettle – using the fresh tips for a tea this is a traditional spring detoxifying tonic. Herbalists use this for a wide range of conditions including allergies and joint disorders. A good hair rinse.
Raspberry Leaf – specifically for toning the uterus. Helps with heavy menstral bleeding and will help with childbirth if drunk during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy..
Rosemary – “There’s Rosemary, that’s for remembrance”, said Hamlet to Ophelia. Traditionally rosemary has been used to increase the circulation to the head, relieve pain and assist concentration. Burning a sprig in your room will help with studying. Do not drink more than 3 cups a day, and do not use if you have high blood pressure.(Herb)
Sage – Very useful anti-infective herb. Use as a gargle to relieve sore throat and increase immunity. Sage is used by some herbalists to relieve menopausal symptoms due to its oestrogenic properties. It is a very drying herb. It is supposed to darken grey hair if used as a hair rinse, but will also dry the scalp. Can be used to reduce the flow of breast milk. Do not drink if pregnant. (Leaf)
Thyme – one of the strongest herbal antiseptics. Suitable for ear, nose, throat or chest infections. Use to combat coughs and colds in children. (Herb)
Valarian – a sedative calming herb, good for insomnia. The effect is not always the same with everyone. (Root)
Winter Savory – has some of the properties of Thyme.(Leaf)
Wood Betony – historically highly praised. In Roman times Betony was used for no less than 47 diseases including gout, jaundice, dropsy and bites from mad dogs. Nowadays it is used internally for the relief of headaches by increasing circulation, and working on a sluggish liver. It can also be used to relieve tension, nerve pain such as sciatica and joint pain. It has a decongestant action when taken hot, and helps to throw off head colds. It also lowers blood sugar.
We supply Bodum tea infusers made for individual cups for £2.00 Bodum tea presses for I litre of tea £12.00