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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.

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