Herbal teas are among the most popular and simplest of home remedies. Brewing your own medicinal teas is one of the most ancient ways of using natural herbal remedies.

Medicinal tea infusions are prepared by steeping flowers, roots, seeds or the leaves of herbs in hot water. These herbal teas are drunk without milk, although a little Stevia may be added to sweeten them. The most effective infusions are made by longer steeping plants such as chamomile flowers and peppermint leaves.

Decoction is another method of brewing your own medicinal tea. It is a type of infusion that is made by simmering bark, roots and seeds in boiling water. This method of extraction is necessary to soften the woody parts of the plant to release valuable nutrients. The roots of such plants as ginger and ginseng, the bark of cinnamon and seeds such as fennel are all suitable for decoctions.

Herbal teas help to nourish to mind and body. An excellent spring tonic can be made from nettles, an invigorating tea from rosemary, while chamomile and elderflower are soothing and sedative. Stevia leaf added to any tea will sweeten it but more important it increase the effect of the herb it is used with.

Ideal herbs for medicinal teas are:

Nettle makes a wonderful spring tonic and is detoxifying and restorative. It reduces waste retention and relieves cystitis and aids in lowering blood sugar.

Ginseng is a valuable tonic and improves vitality. It strengthens the immune system and balances hormones. Ginseng relieves, fatigue, lethargy and depression.

Peppermint is an excellent digestive tonic, relieving heartburn and diarrhea. It eases nausea and headaches and combats feverish colds and chills.

Clove relieves anxiety and nervous tension. It wards off respiratory infections and has an expectorant action for coughs. Clove has antihistamine properties useful for hay fever and rhinitis.

Cinnamon’s warming action helps aching or tired muscles. Stimulates a sluggish digestion and is effective against fevers and colds.

Feverfew promotes menstruation and tones the uterus after childbirth. It eases arthritis and rheumatism and is excellent for migraines.

Brewing your own medicinal teas is not difficult.

  1. All that is need is a teapot, some herbs and a little Stevia.
  2. Choose a porcelain, enamel or glass teapot with a well fitting lid. Warm it with hot water then empty it.
  3. To the teapot add 70 grams of finely chopped fresh herbs or 25g dried herbs.
  4. Pour over 500ml of hot, not boiling, water and cover with the lid and leave to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Strain some of the tea into a teacup and store the remainder in an airtight jug.
  6. Add a little honey if desired, then relax and sip slowly.

Try this nightcap blend of sedative herbs that will promote relaxation and sleep.

Add 10g each of dried chamomile, lemon balm and linden flowers to a warmed teapot. Infuse in 300ml of hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. The beneficial effects of these soothing herbs are cumulative, so make this tea as part of your bedtime routine every night.

To make a cold busting decoction to keep respiratory infections at bay: Break 2 to 3 long cinnamon sticks into pieces. Peel and slice 4cm ginger root. Simmer the spices in 50ml of water for 15 to 20 minutes then strain and add a tablespoon of honey or a squeeze of lemon juice if desired. Drink 2 to 3 cups a day during a cold to strengthen and warm the body. The honey has the added benefit of being antiviral. If you have a cough a nice hot tea of thyme with honey is better than any cough syrup.

By: Janette Peel

5 Comments so far »

  1. by Tulani, on August 29 2013 @ 9:40 am


    Thank you so much for these helpful insights.

    Does the amount of the herb or powder differ based on weight or between adults and children?

    What amount is used in cinchona bark?

  2. by steve@herbaladvantage.com, on August 29 2013 @ 6:54 pm


    Hi Tulani, Thank you for visiting our blog. We are suppliers of herbal products and are prohibited from providing information on the use of them. I will say that herbs, like drugs, differ in the amounts to be given to adults or children. This is sometimes based upon weight of the person but there are many other factors that need to be addressed when dealing with children. I visited your web site and like it very much. Keep adding to it and let me know if we may help you in any other way. Steve

  3. by Sylvia, on June 14 2015 @ 12:23 am


    Hi, Thank you for your expeditious delivery of the Papaya Leaf Cut and the Leaf Powder. The instructions on both packages said: ” … 1/2 cup to 5 cups of water. Bring to boil, simmer two minutes. Take off stove … Cover and steep for four hours. Strain. Drink 1/4 cup 2X per day.” The method you gave in this article, i.e. ” 25g dried herbs.
    Pour over 500ml of hot, not boiling, water and cover with the lid and leave to steep for 5 to 10 minutes” seems much easier. In addition, the quicker method is approximately half as concentrated. Please advise as to the best method for a cancer patient. Thanks so much!

  4. by steve@herbaladvantage.com, on June 18 2015 @ 2:36 pm


    Hi Sylvia, Thank you for your comment. With Papaya Leaf Tea the instructions are a little different and should be followed. It is true we are often told not to boil herbs because it destroys some of the components but with Papaya Leaf you need to boil it to activate the enzymes.

  5. by Sylvia, on July 7 2015 @ 11:30 pm


    Thank you Steve. I will boil the leaves to activate the enzymes.

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