Hi all. I thought I would share what I recently learned in my Herbology class.
Making a Medicinal tea:
Use 1 ounce of dried herb to 1 pint (2 cups) of water. This will be a one days dosage taking 1/2 cup 3-4 times per day. If you wish to use fresh herbs then double the amount to 2 ounces.
Making an Infusion vs. Decoction:
An infusion is the typical way we makes teas, by boiling water and then pouring it over the herbs to steep. This is generally best with the delicate plant parts like flowers and leaves. The herbs should be steeped in a covered container (non-metallic) for approximately 10 minutes depending on how strong you want it. A decoction is typically used for roots and barks and simmered uncovered on the stove for about an hour. Some roots and barks need to simmer covered such as Burdock, Cinnamon and Valerian. This is to keep the volatile oils from escaping. If you want to combine an infusion with a decoction simply make the decotion first (strain) and then pour it over the other herbs to make the infusion.
Treating Acute vs. Chronic ailments:
For acute ailments, frequent small doses (2 to 3 Tablespoons) taken every 30 minutes are more effective. For chronic ailments it may be more convenient to use a tincture since the medicinal tea would need to be used for several weeks. Standard dosage is 1/2 cup to 1 cup taken 3 times per day.