It seems I’ve been answering a lot of questions lately on how to make and use water-based preparations of herbs. Apparently, these people haven’t read my book! So, to get the word spread a little further, here’s an excerpt:
“The most widely used herbal preparation is a tea or tisane. (Actually, Tea is an herb. Its Latin binomial is Camellia sinensis [and I blogged about it here]). Medicinally, it’s called an infusion or decoction. Magically, it’s usually called a brew, potion or philter. To make a tea of a leaf or flower (an infusion) put one teaspoon dried herb in one cup just-boiled water. The water should be still steaming but not bubbling. Cover the cup to prevent the steam from escaping and allow it to steep for about ten minutes. Strain before use or use a tea bag or ball. To make a tea of a root or bark (a decoction), put one teaspoon dried herb in one and a half cups cold water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat and allow it to simmer until your liquid is reduced to one cup. Again, strain before use.
I’m sure you know you can drink the tea (but be sure the herb is safe to ingest, first). A tea is used to make a fomentation. Prepare a strong infusion or decoction (double the amount of herb you use) and then soak a cloth in it. Bind the cloth around the area of the body you want to affect and cover with another cloth. This is very useful not only medicinally but in magical health workings targeted to a specific part of the body. You can also use a tea in skin preparations; as a wash, whether for yourself, your house or your magical items; or swish it into your bath water.”
Hope that helps someone!