How to make an Infusion?
The first thing you need to make an Infusion is your herb, or herbs, of choice. Make sure your herb/s are suitable for the method of Infusion, and will satisfy the requirement of the herbal medicine you need.
You will also need some water, and again a choice to make as to whether to use tap water or spring water.
Using water from your tap depends on the area you live in and what your water company puts in your water. Most tap water contains at least fluoride and a certain amount of aluminum, whether you are content to have fluoride in your medicines is up to you, but aluminum needs to be avoided if possible, it has been attributed to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Aluminum collects in the brain, at joints and can infiltrate body cells. You may be one of the few lucky ones who have spring water direct to the taps in your house, rare, but not unknown in Britain.
Some would recommend using distilled water to make Herbal Medicines, but distilled water means that all the minerals that spring water contain, have been removed. Distilled water is not recommended for making Herbal Medicines. The ideal water for the human body should be slightly alkaline, and this requires the presence of minerals like Calcium and Magnesium, and these are usually found in spring water.
I would recommend the use of spring water for making Herbal Medicines, which is easily obtained from supermarkets. Take a look at the labels on the back of bottles of spring water, some contain large amounts of sodium, it is best to avoid these and go for spring water with smaller amounts of sodium. It’s amazing what you can find by reading labels stuck on the back of food and drink on the supermarket shelf!
Herb or herbs of choice need to be chopped before use. If using dried herb this is usually done before the dried herb is stored away, or it can be done before drying. If using fresh herb then chopping the herb can be easily done just after you have gathered the herb.
Water (preferably spring water)
Kettle to boil water (or you can use a pan, but make sure it isn’t an aluminium pan as when these are used a small amount of aluminum is leached into boiling water.
A teapot or you can use a mug or cup with an infuser.
If using a small teapot usually results in around 1-2 cups of tea, so be aware you will need a little more water than if you are using a cup.
A tea strainer with a small mesh. Or you can make your own teabags using muslin. Cut a piece of muslin into a square around 4” x 4”, place the herbs in the middle of the muslin, bringing all the corners together and tie a piece of strong cotton around the top making a small teabag. Make sure the herbs have room to move around in the bag, so don’t tie them too tight.
- Investigate and determine which herbs you want to use for the medicine you want to use as an Infusion. If you are using dried herbs, then you will need one teaspoon of each herb (unless your recipe tells you differently), if your herbs are fresh then the amount required equates one teaspoon of dried to three teaspoons of fresh herbs
- Put the kettle on using your spring water (or put it in a pan) and bring to the boil.
- Place your herbs in your infuser or teabag, or straight into the teapot, cup or mug.
- When the water is boiling, pour over the herbs in the teapot. The size of teapot or mug will of course, generate the amount of water you need. A small, one person teapot can be bought quite cheaply. If the amount of water used in a teapot is more than in a cup, it doesn’t really matter, the amount of water is not as important as the amount of herbs, as long as you drink all the water you have used in your Infusion, then you will get the right amount of herbs. It's measuring the herbs that is more important than the amount of water.
- The important part now is to put the lid on the teapot or place a saucer over the top if using a mug, and leave it for 15 minutes while the hot water does its work and leaches the constituents out of the herb. It is worth timing the 15 minutes as it is very tempting to drink it too soon, which will lose some of the quality of the medicine you are making. It is easy to forget this is a medicine and not just a cup of tea! It's important also to have a lid of some kind to put on top of the mug, cup or pot, some herbs have volatile oils that are easily lost with the steam of you don’t cover up the Infusion during its standing time.
- After 15 minutes, pour the infusion through your tea strainer and into your cup. You will have an infusion that is relatively clear and ready to drink. Some herbs tend to have a stronger taste than others, but if needed you can sweeten the infusion with either some honey or brown sugar. Honey stands on its own as a great healer for many health problems; its sweet taste can make most Herbal Medicines go down a treat.
Cannabis sativa has been quite a controversial herb in the past few years. It is on sale now with the constituents that caused it to have a hallucinogenic effect upon the brain removed, it can have quite a positive effect upon pain experienced. Cannabis Sativa is a herb, one that when taken daily can have a very positive effect on someone suffering from osteoarthritis, and I can testify to this in a personal way. Pain resulting from muscle and joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation, which can change lifestyle dramatically for the worst, may be helped by giving Cannabis sativa a try.
Take two good pinches of Cannabis sativa (it tends to fall off a teaspoon) and put it into a small teapot, fill the pot with boiling water, and either keep it warm on top of a tealight or let it go cold, keep it in the fridge and warm it up in a microwave. Drink two cupfuls a day; give it a couple of weeks to start making a difference and see what happens. It certainly won't do any harm, and it may well give a great deal of pain relief.