Infusions and Decoctions

Infusions and decoctions are two methods of extracting the key constituents from a fresh or dried herb using water. Infusion is the best preparation method for flowers and leaves; decoction is the best method for roots and seeds (with the exception of valerian root, which should be prepared as an infusion.)

Tools needed:

  • Saucepan or tea kettle
  • Quart size mason jar with lid
  • Measuring spoon or scale
  • Fine mesh strainer


  1. Boil at least 1 quart water in a saucepan or tea kettle.
  2. In quart sized mason jar, add herbs. If using dried flowers or leaves, add 4-6 Tbsp of herb. If using fresh leaves or flowers, add 6-8 Tbsp of herb.
  3. Pour boiling water over herbs in mason jar and cover.
  4. After waiting a minimum of 30 minutes, remove cover and strain through a fine mesh strainer.
  5. Infusion is now ready to drink. Most infusions can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


  1. Measure herb root or seed and add to a 2 quart saucepan. If using dried roots or seeds, measure 4-6 Tbsp and add to sauce pan. If using fresh roots or seeds, measure 6-8 Tbsp and add to sauce pan.
  2. Add a minimum of 1 qt of water to sauce pan.
  3. Stir and gently bring water to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Cool slightly and strain.
  5. The decoction is ready to drink. Most decoctions can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.