How to Use Your Herbs
May be decocted (cooked) or infused (steeped), as instructed, always using glass, enamel, or stainless steel pans with lids, or non-toxic tea pots.
Decocting is necessary to extract the active ingredients from the hard parts of plants: roots, berries, seeds, twigs and some mineral rich herbs. I recommend making 8 cups at a time, using the instructed amount of herbs in cold water, then bringing it to a boil. Turn down heat to low, and simmer with lid on for 1-2 hrs. Turn off heat and steep at room temperature for a few hours, or even overnight. Strain into glass jars and refrigerate up to 4 days. Drink the suggested amount daily, hot or cold. Dilute to taste.
Infusions are used to extract the active ingredients from aromatic and delicate herbs that are harmed by cooking. Generally, cold water is brought to a boil, and then allowed to settle down for a minute before pouring over the suggested amount of an herb or formula. If making more than 1 cup at a time, steep in a container with a lid. Steeping time depends on the herbs used, ranging from 10 minutes to 12 hours.