Herbal Teas & Recipes

One of the most effective ways to use herbs is by making them into teas. Much of the herbal constituents leach out into the hot water making them easy to assimilate, and allowing them to work quickly. There are two methods of making teas, they are both very simple.


An Infusion is usually made just like a tea.

Boiling water is poured over a certain amount of the herb, usually the leaves or flowers, in a cup or other suitable container.  This slurry is then covered with a saucer or other cover, and allowed to steep for 10-20 minutes (We use quart and pint canning jars, with lids and sealers.). Steeping allows the volatile and aromatic ingredients of the herb to pass into the water.  The vitamins and essence of the herb are removed by the infusion.

As a general rule, one teaspoon of herb is used per cup of hot water, or one tablespoon per quart of liquid.  Never allow the infusion to boil.  The herb part of the plant is usually used for this type of tea.  If the woodier parts of the plant are used, you will need to let it steep longer.  Once it has cooled to a lukewarm temperature, strain the tea and add some honey to improve the taste if you want.

Most infusions are taken to relieve the discomfort of colds, flu, coughs, and related maladies.

A suggested schedule of consumption would be one to three cups, spaced throughout your day.


A decoction is made by simmering the plant part in water (preferably in a non-metal pan).  Leaves, flowers or powdered forms are ready within 3-5 minutes; roots, twigs, seeds, and buds must be simmered at least 30 minutes to extract their medicinal components.  Always start with about 30% more liquid to accommodate the inevitable evaporation (For example, to create one pint, you would start out with 1 1/2 pints and simmer 30 minutes).

Keep the pan covered.

Use a ratio of one teaspoon of powdered herb (or one tablespoon of cut her) to one cup of water.

Strain carefully before using.

This method is mainly used for extracting the active ingredients from the tougher parts of the plant, such as roots, bark, and seeds.  Remember to simmer only, do not boil hard.

The following are examples of creative experimentations you can try, making teas that are pleasant to taste and healthy.

“Root Beer” Tea

3 parts sassafras bark
2 parts dandelion root
1 part licorice root
1 part pau d’ arco
1 part vitex (chaste tree berry)
1 part wild yam
1 part ginger root
1/2 cart cinnamon
1/4 part orange peel
1/4 part dong quai
a pinch of stevia (optional)


  1. Use 4-6 Tbsp. of herb mixture per quart of water.
  2. Add the herbs to cold water and simmer lightly for 20 minutes.
  3. Strain and drink 3-4 cups daily.

This tea has a flavor kind of like old-fashioned root beer. It is a wonderful tonic for the endocrine system and liver, regulating hormones while purifying and cleansing the body.

What can you do for Colds and Flu?

Here’s an interesting varietal tea from Dr. Deathridge, a naturopath in southern Missouri:


  1. Bring 1 1/2 quarts of water to boil.
  2. Once it is boiling add 1/2 cup Echinacea Purpurea root.
  3. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and add 2 Tbsp. Chinese Ephedra, 2 Tbsp. Boneset, 2 Tbsp. Eyebright, 1/2 tsp. Ginger root pwd., and 1/2 cup Peppermint leaf.
  5. Mix and cover.
  6. Let this set for an additional 25 minutes.
  7. Strain and drink.

An adult dose is 1/4 cup per hour.

A recipe for colds, fevers, flu, colic, intestinal cramps, and stomach pain:

Bayberry (4 ounces)
Ginger (2 ounces)
White pine (1 ounce)
Cloves ( a pinch)
Cayenne (a pinch)


  1. Mix these herbs in the powdered form and steep approximately 1 teaspoon in a cup of hot water.
  2. Allow the herbs to settle and drink the tea.

This recipe can also be put into capsules. Take 1-3 daily.

A great tea for Sore Throats:


  1. Measure 1 1/2 quarts of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Once the water is boiling, add 1 heaping Tbsp. Balm of Gilead buds.
  3. Simmer 25 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat off and add 2 Tbsp. Wild Indigo.
  5. Stir, cover and let sit another 25 minutes.
  6. Strain and drink.

Female Tonic Tea

(This recipe comes from Herbal Healing for Women, by Rosemary Gladstar.)

2 parts raspberry leaf
1 part strawberry leaf
2 parts nettle
2 parts peppermint or spearmint leaves
2 parts lemon grass
1 part squawvine
stevia to taste


  1. Use 4-6 Tablespoons of herb mixture per quart of water.
  2. Add herb mixture to cold water and bring to simmering point.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to infuse for 20 minutes.
  4. Strain and drink 3-4 cups daily.

A recipe for Cramp Bark Tea

(from Herbal Healing for Women, by Rosemary Gladstar)

2 parts Cramp Bark (or Black Haw)
1 part Pennyroyal, 1/2 part Ginger


  1. Add four to six Tablespoons of the herb mixture per quart of cold water.
  2. Place on low heat and slowly bring to a slow simmer. Keep the pan covered tightly.
  3. Simmer only two to five minutes, then remove from the heat.
  4. Drink small amounts (1/4th cup) every fifteen minutes until cramps subside.

A recipe for Nursing Mother’s:

Blessed Thistle Tea

1 part Blessed Thistle
4 parts Fennel seed
2 parts Nettle leaf
2 parts raspberry leaf


  1. Use 4-6 Tablespoons of herb mixture per quart of water.
  2. Add herbs to cold water and bring to slow boil over low heat.
  3. Remove and let infuse for 20 minutes.
  4. Strain.
  5. Drink 3-4 cups daily.

What kind of herbal tea can you use for a bladder infection?

Another variant from Dr. Deathridge:


  1. Bring 1 1/2 quarts of water to a boil.
  2. Add 1/2 cup echinacea purpurea root and 2 Tbsp. Marshmallow root.
  3. Cover and simmer 25 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat and add 3 Tbsp. Uva Ursi leaf.
  5. Stir, cover, and let set an additional 25 minutes.
  6. Strain and drink this throughout the day. Be sure to drink plenty of other fluids, as well.

We recommend Wilderness Family Naturals products because of their integrity and quality. However, other online retailers and natural food stores may also carry similar goods. Whenever, possible we have tried to give you information on how to recognize superior products. Wilderness Family Naturals products can be found at: www.wildernessfamilynaturals.com or by calling (800) 945-3801.