Herbal Decoction


Decoction Information

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A Decoction is a method of extracting the desired substances from the fleshy and fibrous parts of a plant.

The plant material (after cleaning) is ground to a paste or powder, covered in water in an appropriate vessel and brought to boil after which it is simmered for a period appropriate to the herb in question (this normally ranges from ten minutes to several hours).

The decoction is then cooled and strained before it is ready for use (traditionally it was set aside for a while to have the solids either float to the top or form a sediment and then skimmed or poured off).

Decoctions are not self preserving so if you do not plan to use all of the decoction immediately a preservative should be added. Refrigerating a decoction is no guarantee or preservation as some constituents oxidise very fast and the temperature of the decoction hardly ever affects oxidation, it may just slow it down.

Best results are achieved when the decoction is made fresh every time.

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