While herbal infusions can be consumed as a tea for therapeutic benefits, there are many other ways to use herbal infusions. Here are five ways you can use herbal infusions in your life.
By Jacki, Contributing Writer
While a cup of warm tea can definitely provide healing (physically, mentally, or spiritually), there are more ways to use an herbal infusion, therapeutically.
To start, tea and infusions are sometimes using interchangeably. A tea is, in fact, an infusion. But when using herbal infusion therapeutically, and not necessarily to drink, we prepare them differently.
Herbal infusions for therapeutic uses are made slightly stronger and don’t necessarily have to taste good. Many times you can use herbs that are contraindicated for internal use, like arnica or comfrey. They also may have a longer steep time, which longer steep times can sometimes make herbs go bitter.
Here are five ways to use an herbal infusion therapeutically. To make an infusion for the methods below, 2-4 tablespoons dried herb per 8 ounces water (double if fresh). Steep 15-30 minutes.
Soak or Bath
Adding an herbal infusion to your bath is a great way to get the benefits. When I sprained my ankle last month, I used this method to soak my ankle a few times a day (with Comfrey, Rosemary, St John’s Wort, and Calendula). Prepare it the same way you would an herbal bath.
Brewing up an herbal infusion is great when you need to clean a wound, eye, or even ear. Irritated eyes, or pink eye, will respond well to using a Chamomile infusion. After the infusion has cooled (but still warm), Wash your eyes by running the infusion from the center out.
A yarrow infusion is a simple way to clean a wound and prevent infection. Use it just like you would water when cleaning.
This involves creating an herbal infusion and then soaking a towel/cloth in it, then placing the towel/cloth on the area needed. This could be used for a boil, a wound, a sprained ankle…even a stye on the eye.
While not a method we have used in our home, Steve Horne in his book “The ABC Herbal” talks about their benefits and when to use them. Since I am not familiar with using enemas, I direct you over to him.
While we talked about how infusion and teas are the same, and different, I can’t go without mentioning them as the use that most people think they are. A tea is a wonderful way to get the benefits of herbs while nourishing yourself with a warm beverage (important if you have a cold condition, or in the winter when you should be drinking warm beverages to avoid a cold). I start my day with a caffeinated tea but also enjoy a blend I created call Well-Mama You may enjoy a simple lemon balm tea….children also can enjoy teas and are wonderful when their bodies need additional support during an illness.
Bonus – I soaked my postpartum mama cloth in an herbal infusion to use after G and E were born to help soothe and heal the perineal area after delivery.
I have found the using a French press is a super easy way to make herbal infusions is a good quantity. Make sure its glass to avoid and chemicals from plastic leaching into your infusion (since you use boiling water). And of course, compost your herbs after straining!
How Do You Use Herbal Infusions in Your Home?