Making an herbal decoction

the liquor resulting from concentrating the essence of a substance by heating or boiling, especially a medicinal preparation made from a plant

What is an Herbal Decoction?

So, what precisely is an herbal decoction? A decoction is an herbal preparation created by boiling herbs in liquid, usually water. Herbalist James Green explains, “the object of preparing decoctions is to secure, in aqueous solution, the soluble active principles of herbs that are hard and woody and have a close, dense texture” (Green, 2000, pg. 112).

Interestingly, decoctions just like teas, infusions, and many other forms of preparing herbs, have a long history of use. In Medical Herbalism, herbalist David Hoffmann explains that the old pharmacopeias had thorough descriptions for decoctions of various herbs with an official standard for preparation. He shares the following example for a standard preparation.


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