An herbal infusion involves soaking herbs in water to extract their scent, flavor, and healing properties. To make an herbal infusion, you'll need one ounce of dried herbs or two ounces of fresh herbs, and 2 cups of water. You'll also need a teapot and a strainer. Here's how to make an herbal infusion:
- Choose the herbs. Common herbs used for an herbal infusion include lemon balm with mint for a refreshing drink, chamomile for a calming effect, and peppermint to relieve nausea or indigestion. Remember that both the flavor and healing properties will be infused into the water that you will be drinking. The herbs you choose should have soft leaves and flowers; those with hard leaves or flowers will not infuse as well, so the herbal infusion will not be very strong.
- Boil the water. The hot water is necessary to extract the properties of the herb. If you try to make an herbal infusion with cold or lukewarm water, it will not work. Boil the water in a tea kettle at a ratio of 2 cups of water for every ounce of dried herbs or 2 ounces of fresh.
- Add the herbs. Take the water off the heat, and immediately add your chosen herbs to the water. Stir to mix the herbs into the water, and then let the mixture sit and cool for about 10 minutes.
- Strain the mixture. After 10 minutes, the water will have extracted the herbal properties from the herbs. Strain this infused water and discard the herbs. Use cheesecloth if you want to remove all of the pieces of the herbs from the infusion, or a metal strainer if you want some flakes of the herb to remain.
- Use the herbal infusion. Strain into a cup if you plan to drink it now, and drink it like tea. You can drink it hot or iced. Add salt or honey to adjust the taste if needed. If you plan to use the herbal infusion later, strain it into a jar with a tight fitting lid, and refrigerate until used. The recommended dose is 2-4 teacups of the herbal infusion per day.
Herbal infusions are often used to treat ailments such as colds and insomnia. This is a natural method for providing relief and comfort. You can also create an herbal infusion using oil, for use in soap and other toiletries. Heat about half a cup of herbs with 16 ounces of oil (jojoba, olive, or coconut) slowly, and simmer for an hour. Strain through cheesecloth, and use the herb infused oils as you would use regular oils when making your products. Lavender, peppermint, patchouli, sage, and chamomile are good choices for making an herbal infusion with oil.