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How To Prepare A Herbal Decoction

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Decoctions are made when roots or the hard woody parts of the plant are used and merely pouring boiling water over the herb is not sufficient to extract the active ingredient. These only release their active constituents when cut or broken into small pieces and simmered.
What you'll need: 
A modern herbal
Use 1 oz broken dried herb, or 2 oz fresh herb to make 1 pint of the decoction.
Put the herb into an enamel or stainless-steel pan, cover with cold water and a tight-fitting lid. Slowly bring to the boil and allow to simmer for at least 20 minutes.
Strain through a nylon sieve while hot and add water to make up 1 pint if necessary. Drink while hot and sweetened with honey if necessary.
The standard dosage is half a teacup three times a day for adults and half this amount for children under 12. If kept in a cool place, a decoction will last a day or two.
Although usually taken orally, some decoctions can also be used in a bath, footbath, as a face wash, or hair rinse. Witch hazel for burns also comes under this heading. Also the dried bark of the common willow (salix alba) is collected from young branches during the growing season; it contains an asprin-like substance but with fewer side effects; it helps reduce high fevers, and to relieve the pain of headaches and arthritis.
Read RHA Encyclopedia of Herbs and their uses by Deni Brown.
Self-diagnosis is always potentially dangerous. Two apparently similar conditions may require different remedies, and the wrong herb may exacerbate a problem.


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