Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How to Make a Medicinal Tea {Plus Printable} ~ Home Pharmacy Series

"Drinking a daily cup of tea, will surely starve the apothec'ry."
~ Chinese Proverb

There is an art to making herbal tea more effective. Like all good things, knowing the proper way creates better results! Today we are sharing the basics of medicinal-tea-making. And if you have any additional tips, I would love to hear them!

“I am so fond of tea that I could write a whole dissertation on its virtues. It comforts and enlivens without the risks attendant on spirituous liquors. Gentle herb! Let the florid grape yield to thee. Thy soft influence is a more safe inspirer of social joy.”
~ James Boswell

Medicinal Tea Basics

Approximate ratio: 1 - 3 tbsp. dried herb per cup of boiling water.

The longer it steeps or simmers, the stronger the tea. 

Once brewed, store the excess tea in the refrigerator for no longer than 3 to 4 days.

For convenience, infuse loose herbal tea directly inside a mug, mason jar or tea pot using a tea strainer. Or, simply strain through a fine strainer when finished brewing to remove the herbs.

"For a medicinal tea to be effective, it must be administered in small amounts several times daily. For chronic problems, serve the tea three or four times daily. For acute ailments such as colds, fevers, and headaches, take several small sips every thirty minutes until the symptoms subside."
~ Rosemary Gladstar, Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health


Prepare an infusion when working with delicate parts of the plant such as leaves and flowers.

Pour the boiled water over the herbs and let them steep for 30 to 60 minutes.

Tip: Infuse straight into a large mason jar or tea pot and sip throughout the day. 


Prepare a decoction when working with more durable parts of the plant such as roots, bark and seeds.

Place herbs in a sauce pan and cover with cold water. Gently bring to a boil and simmer slowly (and covered) for 20 to 45 minutes. Strain and enjoy.

Sun and Moon Teas

Solar Tea: Place your herbs in a mason jar with cold water and let it sit in the sun for several hours during the hottest part of the day. Strain when completed.

Lunar Tea: Place your herbs in a mason jar with cold water and let it sit out overnight under the light of the moon. For a stronger tea, start off with boiling water. Strain when completed.

Make sure to cover your jar with a lid as you don't want your infusion being invaded by pests. 

DIY Tea {Tisane} Blends

Here are some thrifty ideas for making your own tisane (herbal tea blend) using dried orange and lemon peels. They make a wonderful addition to your cup this winter as they are full of cold and flu fighting preventatives! And if you are looking for a daily tea blend that will strengthen the homemaker, visit this recipe here. We will also be sharing some rose-hip tea ideas within the next month or so.

Lastly, we are sharing these printable "how to make a medicinal tea" instructions HERE should you like to add them to your homemaker's herbal. We are also including a set of "tea blend" labels. It is nice to have your favorite blends prepared in advance, stored in airtight jars and labeled on your shelf for convenience. Think "sleepy-time" blend, "cold/flu" blend, and so forth! This post was a part of our "Home Apothecary Series".

"So of all the particulars of health and exercise, and fit nutriment, and tonics.
Some people will tell you there is a great deal of poetry
and fine sentiment in a chest of tea."
 ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Disclaimer: I am not a certified herbalist but a homemaker interested in the arts of natural healing. The information I have learned has been gleaned through study of some of the following favorite books; Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's GuideHerbal Recipes for Vibrant HealthGrow Your Own Drugs by James Wong, and The Complete Illustrated Book of Herbs by Reader's Digest and websites of herbalists.

I am not a doctor. While I do seek scientific confirmation of the safety and effectiveness of the herbs and remedies I use, remember that using remedies is a personal decision. Nothing I say on this blog is approved by the FDA or intended to diagnose, treat or prevent disease. All things on this blog are my opinion or the opinion of others. Also, if you have a medical condition, are taking pharmaceutical drugs, or are pregnant, please consult your physician prior to taking herbs.


  1. This printable came just in time! Thank you so very much. Also... your tea spoon is very pretty. :)

  2. What a beautiful post. How could anyone read this and not feel as if they should hasten to the stove to start the kettle sick or not? Love the quote by James Boswell, especially. All of the information here is great, but that one quote could save so many folks a lot of embarrassment at social events.
    Thank you for the labels - mine are printed and ready to put in my herbal.
    Have a lovely Wednesday!

  3. I love this and I am eagerly looking for a new herbal book. I am not a big fan of black teas, but I really enjoy a nice cup of herbal tea. We use teas a lot when we are sick, there is just something about the gentle addition of the warm cup of tea that instantly makes you feel better.
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love this and will be adding it to my diy medicinal folder. I would much rather try my hand and (health) with the herbal approach first, it's so much better for you.
    Thank you so much for sharing, Jes!
    Happy day to you!
    Hugs, Amy

  5. We enjoy herbal teas and the health benefits from them. We shall be testing these methods out for certain. Thank you for sharing!

  6. I have been drinking more herbal teas. I love some of the teas by Celestial Seasonings. But this post was very informative and I will definitely be looking into making my own teas. Thank you!

  7. Lovely visuals and good information! I love the idea of saving the lemon and orange peels to add to the tea. Thank you for sharing and have a blessed rest of the week! x Karen

  8. What a beautiful and soothing post Jes. Thankyou. Mimi xxx

  9. What a wonderful post with many helpful tips! I love herbal teas! Thank you for linking this at Tuesdays with a Twist! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures