There are two ways to brew an herbal tea: Infusion and Decoction. Use the infusion method when preparing a tea from leaves, flowers or seeds. Decoction is the method of choice for roots. For a pleasant cup of tea, most people prefer an infusion of the flowers. Decoctions are very strong.

To make an infusion:

Place 1-2 teaspoons of dried herb or 2-4 teaspoons of fresh herb in a teapot. Cover with 1 cup of boiling water and steep for 15-20 minutes. Strain out the herbs and enjoy.

To make a decoction:

Combine 2 teaspoons of dried root and 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour. Strain out the herb and enjoy.

Below are two tea recipes excerpted from Growing and Using Echinacea by Kathleen Brown. If you can't locate all the ingredients locally, you'll find them readily available on the internet.

Virus Fighter Tea

The herbs in this formula all have active antiviral properties and are effective against herpes, shingles, flu, warts, and other viral infections. Ginger is very warming and increases circulation. This tea can be taken internally or applied externally.

1 part echinacea root
1 part ginger root
1 part osha root
1 part boneset leaf
1 part chaparral leaf
1 part St. John's Wort leaf and flower
1 part usnea lichen
Honey and Lemon (optional)

Decoct the roots using the technique described above. Remove from heat and add the remaining herbs. Stir well, cover, and steep another 10 to 20 minutes. Strain, and add honey and lemon if desired.

On-Line Stress Buster Tea

This formula combats the effects of computer radiation exposure, eyestrain, nervous tension, and mental fatigue. Take it to work with you - your brain will thank you.

1 part echinacea root
1 part licorice root
1 part dandelion root and leaf
1 part bladder wrack leaf
1 part eyebright leaf
1 part ginko leaf
1 part goto kola leaf
1 part kelp
1 part oatstraw
Honey and lemon (optional)

Decoct the echinacea, licorice, and dandelion roots using the technique described above. Remove from heat and add the remaining herbs. Stir well, cover the pot, and allow to steep another 10 to 20 minutes. Strain; add honey and lemon if desired.

Hot Ginger Echinacea Lemon Tea

A cozy drink with a little spice-ginger, a little kick-lemon, and a little soothing-honey! This drink is good cold too! This drink is excellent as an expectorant tea and/or a sore throat soother. Even if you aren't under the weather, this warming beverage will make you feel restored and comfy!

SERVES 2 (change servings and units)


2 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon dried echinacea fresh edible flower (or roots)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 lemon, juice of, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon honey (or more to taste)


1. In a teapot, pour the boiling water over the echinacea and chopped ginger.
2. Cover and steep for 10-15 minutes.
3. Add lemon juice and honey and stir to mix. Strain and pour into 2 mugs.
4. Serve warm and enjoy!

Winter Shield Protective Tincture

3 parts Echinacea root (fresh preferred)
2 parts blue elderberries, fresh or dried
2 parts rose hips
1 part fresh or frozen blackberries
1 part fresh or frozen raspberries
1 part grated fresh gingerroot
1 part sliced fresh organic oranges brandy

Combine herbs and fruit in a glass jar.  Pour brandy over and let sit for 2 weeks, shaking twice daily.  Strain and put into dark bottles.  Take as needed.

See also Echinecea and Make Your Own Echinacea

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