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By Witchipedia, Herbs

Infusions: What Are They, Herbal & Fruit, DIY Tips

Updated on:

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Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)

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Reviewed by: Tina Caro

An infusion is water or oil in which plants have been steeped so that the menstruum becomes infused with plant goodness.

Most often, the liquid is hot or boiling when it is poured over the herbs. The herbs are then allowed to steep until the desired strength of flavor is achieved.

Water infusions are often called tea or tisane.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Infusions involve steeping herbs, flowers, or fruits in hot water to extract their flavors and medicinal properties.

Herbal infusions use medicinal herbs like chamomile and peppermint, while fruit infusions utilize fresh or dried fruits for natural sweetness and flavor.

To make an infusion, steep the ingredients in freshly boiled water for 5-10 minutes, adjusting steeping time for desired strength.

Experiment with different combinations to create unique flavor profiles and enjoy the nourishing benefits of herbal and fruit infusions.

The infusion in history

Throughout history, civilizations like the Romans, Egyptians, and Asians mastered herbal remedies, particularly infusions, for their simplicity and efficacy.

Monks in the Middle Ages refined these practices, passing them down through generations.

Today, infusions remain popular for their diverse benefits, from aiding digestion to promoting well-being.

Whether enjoyed hot or cold, they offer a refreshing alternative to water and can be easily incorporated into any lifestyle, year-round.

Benefits of infusion

Infusions, especially when they are well prepared, have various properties and can be useful in various aspects. In particular, infusions can be:

  • Sedatives, and for example they help to overcome stress, anxiety and tension. And sleep better.
  • Antispasmodics, when there are non-normal muscle contractions.
  • Anti-inflammatories, as in classic cases of flu or cough.
  • Antioxidants, in the case of infusions that can help lower cholesterol

Most used plants to make infusions

Among the most commonly used plants are:

  • Tea. Most drunk drink in the world, stimulating and antioxidant, an elixir of well-being to be consumed every day. Various types of very high quality teas are available in our shop.
  • Chamomile, lime, marigold, orange blossom. These are useful for reconciling natural rest thanks to their known calming properties;
  • Fennel, mint, liquorice are considered useful for stimulating digestion.
  • The tulsi herb is a very powerful plant, it is anti-stress and useful for treating many diseases.
  • Lemon balm, verbena, dandelion, plants with appreciated purifying and draining properties.
  • Hibiscus (karkadè) and Rooibos have recognized antioxidant properties.

How to prepare an infusion?

It is prepared through infusion, that is, pouring a liquid (in this specific case water) on the most delicate plant fragments of plants (flowers and leaves) but also fruits, which must then be filtered.

The plants used in the infusion, which can be more than one and a maximum of five, must be chopped up and finally removed from the water. Immediately after the infusion it can be drunk, but if desired it can also be stored in a container with a lid for a maximum of one day. No more because otherwise the active ingredients evaporate.

Which plants are used in infusions? It depends but often mint, lemon balm, elderberry, thyme, verbena.

Preparation times may vary depending on the purposes. If we want to obtain an aromatic infusion, just immerse the plants in water for 5 minutes. However, if we want a therapeutic infusion we will have to wait at least twenty minutes.

As regards the dose of ingredients to be used, it is usually between 15 (dry ingredients) and 35 grams (fresh ingredients) per cup.

Chopped herbs and fruits can be purchased in herbalist’s shops or preferably organic food shops. The ideal is to purchase top quality loose herbs and use them to prepare the infusion according to the method described. Alternatively, cold infusions can be prepared using fresh fruits and leaves.

TipsDescription
Herb SelectionChoose high-quality herbs, flowers, roots, or leaves for your herbal infusions. Select ingredients that align with your intended purpose, whether it’s for relaxation, energy, digestion, or immunity. Use fresh or dried herbs, depending on availability and personal preference, and experiment with different combinations to create unique flavors and therapeutic effects.
PreparationPrepare the herbs by washing them thoroughly to remove any dirt or impurities. If using fresh herbs, chop or bruise them to release their essential oils and enhance their flavor and aroma. If using dried herbs, crush or grind them to increase their surface area and extract their medicinal properties more effectively.
Steeping MethodHeat water to just below boiling point and pour it over the prepared herbs in a heatproof container or teapot. Cover the container with a lid or cloth to trap the steam and allow the herbs to steep for 5-10 minutes, depending on the desired strength and flavor of the infusion. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve, cheesecloth, or tea strainer to remove the solid plant material, and discard or compost the spent herbs.
Flavor EnhancementEnhance the flavor and therapeutic benefits of your herbal infusions by adding additional ingredients such as sweeteners, spices, or citrus zest. Honey, maple syrup, or stevia can be used to sweeten infusions, while cinnamon, ginger, or cloves can add warmth and depth to the flavor profile. Experiment with different combinations to create your own signature blends and cater to individual tastes and preferences.
Table: DIY Tips for Making Herbal Infusions

Fruit Infusions

In herbalist’s shops it is possible to buy dried fruits of various types to prepare your favorite hot infusions. But the latter can also be made with fresh fruit.

An excellent combination is represented by orange, ginger and lemon (cut into slices), which should be left to infuse in cold water for several hours, in the refrigerator.

Raspberries and blueberries are also excellent for fresh or hot infusions (in the latter case it is better to use dried ones).

And for those who love particular flavours, try raspberries and mint leaves, pouring cold water over them and leaving to rest for a few hours in the fridge.

How to prepare one?

Otherwise you can buy dried fruit infusions in herbalist’s shops, prepare them according to the standard procedure with boiling water, and let them cool before consuming them.

However, be careful to drink them within a day of preparation if you also want to benefit from their properties, which vary depending on the fruits used.

TipsDescription
Fruit SelectionChoose ripe, seasonal fruits that are fresh, flavorful, and free from blemishes or bruises for your fruit infusions. Berries, citrus fruits, stone fruits, and tropical fruits are all excellent choices for infusing water or tea with natural sweetness and refreshing flavor. Wash the fruits thoroughly under cold running water to remove any dirt, pesticides, or wax residues before using them in your infusion.
PreparationPrepare the fruits by slicing, chopping, or crushing them to release their juices and flavors. Remove any pits, seeds, or stems from the fruits, as they can impart bitterness or off-flavors to the infusion. You can leave the fruit skins on for added color and texture, or peel them off if desired.
Steeping MethodAdd the prepared fruits to a pitcher or jar and cover them with cold water or hot water, depending on whether you prefer a cold or hot infusion. Allow the fruits to steep in the water for at least 1-2 hours at room temperature or in the refrigerator, or heat the mixture gently on the stove for a warm fruit infusion. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove the fruit solids, and transfer the infused liquid to serving glasses or bottles.
Creative VariationsGet creative with your fruit infusions by adding herbs, spices, or botanicals to enhance the flavor and aroma of the beverage. Mint, basil, rosemary, or thyme can complement citrus fruits and berries, while cinnamon, cloves, or cardamom can pair well with stone fruits and tropical fruits. Experiment with different combinations and proportions to create refreshing and delicious fruit-infused beverages that appeal to your taste buds and nourish your body.
Table: DIY Tips for Making Fruit Infusions

Tips for great infusions

  • To prepare a good infusion you must first focus on the drug: it must be of high quality and reduced into small pieces to facilitate the intimate penetration of the solvent.
  • The water previously brought to the boil is poured onto the vegetable source. Proceed with a quick mix and leave to rest for a time varying from 5 to 20 minutes depending on the type (the infusion time of each product is shown in the product description).
  • When preparing an infusion it is very important to use a very clean container, made of inert material (generally glass or terracotta, not aluminium) and equipped with a lid (to avoid the loss of the more volatile substances).
  • Once the infusion time has elapsed, the infusion is filtered and served. It can be consumed hot, but also cold, this depends on everyone’s personal tastes.
  • Once prepared, the infusion must be consumed in the following hours.
  • Store the infusion in the refrigerator for a maximum of 24 hours.

Conclusion

Play around with infusions using herbs and fruits with properties able to make you feel better in both your body and your spirit.

About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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