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Decoctions are similar to infusions, as they are used to extract the medicinal properties of a herb. The main difference is that a decoction is used for the woodier parts of a plant such as the roots, bark, berries, stem and seeds.

The quantity will vary according to the type of herb used, it's application, and the strength desired. The usual measurement is one heaped teaspoon of dried herb to one cup of boiling water. If steam escapes in the preperation of a decoction, more water may need to be added. Better results will be achieved by using fresh herbs and doubling the quantity.

  1. Chop herbs (except if using berries), and transfer to a non-aluminium saucepan.
  2. Pour on water and bring to the boil, keeping saucepan covered.
  3. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Strain, and allow to cool before use. Decoctions should be used on the same day as preparation.

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