What is the difference between an herbal decoction and an infusion?

What is the difference between an herbal decoction and an infusion?

Using Herbs
Herbal Preparations: Infusion or Decoction? While they may not realize, most people infuse an herb (an infusion) without thinking about it and call it herb tea. They put a tea ball or a tea bag in a cup of boiling hot water and steep (steep - to soak in water to extract a component of a plant) for 5 minutes or so and drink it. Infusions are used to extract vitamins and volatile ingredients from quickly perishable, fresh or dry herbal pieces (leaves, flowers, small non-woody green stems, orange zest, for example). Popular infusions are from plants that are so, SO good for you in general like peppermint or chamomile. You put the fresh or dried herb in a cup, pour on the boiling water and BOOM, Infusion! The keyword…
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How To Make and Use Dandelion Flower Infused Oil

How To Make and Use Dandelion Flower Infused Oil

Using Herbs
Dandelion flower infused oil is a "spring thing". Just be sure to leave some flowers for the bees! Dandelion flowers just grow anywhere and everywhere! For some inexplicable reason, people want them eradicated from their yard, I have never understood why. The broad sweeping green of lawn is simply uninteresting and bland without the presence of the dandelion's bright pop of yellow in the spring. The first food of the year for bees, dandelions emerge before the beginning of spring and bloom intensely all summer and into autumn making them, also, the last of the seasonal food for your local bees. That is enough to allow the hardy dandelion its place even if you do nothing but appreciate its tenacity and benevolence. When harvesting dandelion flowers in early spring, I…
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Cooking with Fire Cider

Cooking with Fire Cider

Healthy Eating, Using Herbs
To make this perfectly clear, I am NOT a food blogger. I enjoy and make good use of all the many food blogs and recipes sites out there, make NO mistake, but I never intended to blog about the food I make... until today. Interested in finding out how to cook lamb shanks, I hit the internet. Tough meat, lamb shanks, I mean, this animal walked on that leg all day every single day of its life on our farm; every single day of its life. So that meant long cooking time. Many recipes I looked at called for a balsamic vinegar (which I didn't have) or a number of other ingredients not on the list of what I was trying to clear out of my fridge. But vinegar kept…
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Cleavers – The Spring Cleaner

Cleavers – The Spring Cleaner

Using Herbs
What could be more invigorating, waking up from the winter doldrums and bursting into spring than a tonic to do that very thing! (wow, I rhymed) There's an herb for that! It goes by the name cleavers (or clivers or bedstraw). You can find a huge list of things that cleavers can be good for, but today let's focus on the word "herbal tonic". The earth that we live on is usually the best indicator for what to use, when, where herbal tonics are concerned, and the herbs that grow in every yard and in every open place they can find in the wild, this time of year, include cleavers, chickweed, henbit, dandelion, and dead nettle. Cleavers enjoys a wonderful history as a cleansing remedy. It works by clearing toxins…
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Experiencing Herbs with your Child

Experiencing Herbs with your Child

Herbs and Children, Using Herbs
[caption id="attachment_396" align="alignright" width="300"] Bash, processing thyme and lavender with Mom.[/caption] Here is a picture from last summer. Bash was helping me process thyme and lavender. Lavender is his FAVORITE herb. He loves the little purple flowers and the smell, I mean who doesn't? Well my weirdo herbalist of a mother isn't the hugest lavender (fragrance) fan...buuut...more for US! ;) Hello beautiful people! Relishing in this absolutely beautiful sunny day! Wandered around my garden barefoot this morning slowly soaking up that positive Sagittarius energy. I did not want the quiet morning to end. It lasted a good solid 3 minutes until I realized my bare feet were two inches away from a mound of dog poop left by my beloved blue heeler Winston. OH glorious morning!! I MUST say though,…
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How to Use Violets

How to Use Violets

Using Herbs
[caption id="attachment_368" align="alignright" width="300"] violet blooms soaking up the spring sun[/caption] They are the color of spring. They are the taste of spring. They grow anywhere, everywhere. I have found them in the woods, in the shade and in full sun in our strawberry beds at the farm. VIOLETS! The entirety of the violet plant is useful in some way... the flowers, the leaves, and the roots. How to Use Violets To start with, try a leaf. Go ahead, pluck one off and chew on it. Taste it. Note the slipperiness of the leaves in your mouth. The way an herb tastes is a very good indicator of its medicinal value. To try a violet tea, put a large teaspoon of fresh chopped up violet leaves (and flowers and roots…
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Emerging From Winter With Herbs

Emerging From Winter With Herbs

Using Herbs
We are writing from different places, with different climates and different experiences.  But the awakening of Spring stirs something in each of us.  And we make our preparations, whether from a Lenten fast, Passover, a week-long cleanse or just the venture out to harvest the wild greens we have been craving. LadyBarbara wrote Skunk Cabbage: New England Bear Medicine about the plant that heats its way up through the snow and feeds the bears after the acorns are gone. Granny Sam Gahagan writes from her snow covered lair about Emerging from Emerging from Winter With Herbs, focusing on the emotional side.  Stunning photographs. Feel free to copy this list to your website, and please visit the sites of the contributors.  I love reading the different approaches our passionate herbalists have…
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Herbal Tonics

Using Herbs
Herbal tonics are an easy way to begin using herbs. You can use fresh herbs straight from your garden or of the woods around you or dried. It is an easy way to try something new and see how it affects you. AND, you can drink tea all of your life. Our world is toxic and filled with disease. What can it hurt to safeguard our health and keep our body’s defenses strong? How does one go about combating disease, increasing immunity and elevating the quality of their own life but by nourishing one’s body tissues and providing energy for all the zillions of metabolic unseen processes that go on at a cellular level? The word (and use) of tonics is powerhouse if understood (and used) properly. Speaking about the…
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Why Drink Nourishing Long Herbal Infusions?

Why Drink Nourishing Long Herbal Infusions?

Using Herbs
During the winter, people ask me what they can do to make up for the generous consumption of sweets, beer and other comfort foods and drinks that people use to keep up their spirits in the dark of the year. Though you cannot make up for the impact of these foods on your metabolism, you can drink nourishing long herbal infusions to help replace the nutrients lost, reduce cravings for less healthy beverages and foods, and help heal all kinds of health issues all the year round. Nourishing long herbal infusions provide large quantities of calcium and other minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids and proteins in their most natural form – see nutrition averages below. They also contain anti-cancer phytochemicals and antioxidants, as well as unique combinations of specific nutrients…
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5 Reasons to Use Herbs Everyday

5 Reasons to Use Herbs Everyday

Using Herbs
Build Your Immune System. A healthy immune system goes a long ways toward keeping your body healthy. Herbal remedies help create and sustain a healthy immune system which helps your body fight off many common infections like the common cold, as well as cancer and other degenerative diseases. Some common herbs that help you build a stronger immune system are: * astragalus * ligustrum * reishi * nettle herb. Increased Energy. Unfortunately, today, we are bombarded with products and advertisers that lead us to believe that caffeine is what we all need to have more energy. But the fact of the matter is caffeine, in large amounts, consumed on a regular basis, does the exact opposite. It actually drains our natural energies, quickly, leaving us feeling poorly even disrupting our…
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