Standard Infusion: A standard infusion is a type of medicinal tea in which parts of the plant used are of a simple nature, such as leaves, stems and flowers. The medicinal constituents in these parts are relatively easy to withdraw, and require heating the water used just to a bare boil before turning off the heat and steeping.
The exact technical specifications are as follows:
In an earthenware, china, or glass teapot or other suitable, non-metalic vessel, (which should have already been warmed to prevent the infusion from cooling), place a teaspoonful of the coarsely ground herb. This can be either loose in the pot, or in a strainer which is made of stainless wire mesh or use a cotton muslin teabag.
For each teaspoonful of herb, add 1 cup of boiling water. After adding the boiling water, cover the vessel with its lid and leave to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. The dosage of tea will depend upon the specific herb used, but in general, between 1/2 and 1 cup of tea, taken 3 times per day.. (mostly with an empty stomach), would be in the range of both safety and effectiveness.
Whenever possible, infusions should be prepared fresh, since more free ions of the medicinal substances bond with the water molecules, and later, may settle somewhat, out of solution. In any event, it is safe to make this type of herbal preparation in the amount needed for an entire day. (In the morning.) In this case, it is much preferrable to transfer the preparation into a pre-heated thermos, so as to retain its heat for as long as possible. It is usually preferrable to drink this type of preparation hot, or at least while warm.
Caution: Since this warm beverage is full of nutrients, it is an ideal growth medium for bacteria. Do not make more of these types of medicinal teas ahead of time than will be needed for a day. Also, if there is ANY sign of fermentation or other type of spoilage, DISCARD the infusion at once. Then make an entirely new batch after thouroughly washing the vessel.
Decoctions: Decoctions are much stronger medicinal teas than are infusions. This type of preparation is usually reserved for herbs of which the roots or barks are used, since these parts of the plants are denser, and physically more complex, requiring the application of more heat over time to withdraw the medicinal constituents from an herb.To make an decoction, use 1 teaspoon of the herb for each cup of tea. Use the same technique as above, (with a MESH teaball, or a muslin tea bag), except that the tea bag or loose herb is suspended in boiling water for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Some herbs require up to 30 minutes of boiling to allow the water to withdraw as much of the medicinal constituents as possible. After boiling, remove heat, and allow the beverage to continue to steep (soak) in the hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.
Note: The use of metal or porcelain teaballs with few tiny holes is NOT acceptable for making a medicinal teas. This design does not allow a free flow of the water to constantly remove the medicinal constituents from the herb. In cases where the ideal vessel and mesh tea ball are not available, use whatever clean, non-metalic container can be had, and strain the tea when done, through clean cloth.