November 30, 2010

Herbal DecoctionThere are many ways of extracting therapeutic properties of medicinal plants and herbs. Some of the involve steeping, boiling or simmering, and as a result we receive such herbal preparations as herbal teas, herbal infusions or herbal decoctions. Decoctions can be prepared from a variety of herbal materials, fresh or dried, and allow you to receive very potent herbal remedies for a number of diseases. Herbal decoctions can be consumed warm or cold and can be used as a part of various types of treatments, both external and internal.

In contrast to herbal teas and herbal infusions, herbal decoctions are the herbal preparations made by slow simmering such parts of medicinal plants and herbs as bark, berries, seeds, roots and others. Slow simmering is obviously one of the best ways to extract all therapeutic powers and healing effects from these tenacious parts of medicinal herbs. Certainly, it is possible to make herbal decoctions from stems and leaves if you want to have a stronger and more powerful herbal preparation. Sometimes, making decoctions involves mashing as well in order to extract essential oils and other useful elements more effectively.

Preparing a herbal decoction is as easy as preparing herbal tea or herbal infusion. Wash thoroughly your pieces of bark, stems or other herbal materials you are going to use, place them in a saucepan you are going to use and add  as much cold water as necessary to cover up the herbal materials completely. Cover your saucepan, use very low fire and simmer the decoction for 30-45 minutes. It is obvious that the longer you keep your herbal decoction on fire, the stronger it will be. Remember that decoctions are considered to be quite strong herbal preparations, that its why you should beware of possible side effects. Store your decoctions in a covered ceramic or glass jars, and do not keep them for more than 48 hours.

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.

One Response to “Herbal Decoctions”

  1. Tasya KhashoggiNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi Carla,

    What an exciting field to be in! I was wondering if you have heard about something thst could be applied topically for a rash my daughter developed. They are blister like scabs all over her arms and legs. Her Ped prescribed antibiotics but I hate to give those to her. He thinks a strep virus caused her excema rash to become infected.

    Thank you!