Herbal 101 – How to Make a Warm Herbal Tea Infusion

Ready to move from tea as flavored warm water to something healing? Using seeds and spices from your kitchen to make warm infusions is a simple step, and you’ll be surprised how much it brings you closer to plant medicine.

Herbal 101

I started thinking about this when recently a friend’s parents asked to pass along a message to me that they were pleasantly surprised when they came across Ayurveda in an unlikely corner of rural France where they had been vacationing. And it’s true, Ayurveda is becoming much more widely known. Everyone from your coworkers to your great aunt has seen the new selection of vata, pitta and kapha teas in the shops, and that’s generally their first introduction. That got me wondering what I wish more people knew about how to use Ayurveda.

A great step to bringing Ayurveda closer is to learn to use warm tea infusions.

A warm infusion is basically a strong tea. It’s plant leaves, flowers, bark, etc, steeped in hot water for a period of time long enough that osmosis & diffusion do their magic to move the chemical compounds including essential oils out of the plant and into the water.

Typically, seeds, roots, and bark you would use a decoction recipe to make it a bit stronger. Learn more about how to take herbs here.

Here’s a basic recipe for making a warm infusion:

  • 1 tablespoon of dried herb
  • 250ml boiling water

Place the plant material in a clean glass jar that you have a lid for. Pour boiling water over the plant material. Steep. The water will cool down to room temperature and beyond. The harder the part of the plant you’re using, the longer you’ll have to steep.

Steep for the indicated length of time:

  • Flowers -up to 2 hours, often require cold infusion
  • Leaves -up to 4 hours, some require cold infusion
  • Seeds – 30 minutes
  • Roots – up to 8 hours
  • Bark – up to 8 hours

Strain the plant material and drink the liquid infusion (preferably warm) over the course of the day.

Here’s are 3 common warm infusions that are commonly used as home remedies, and what they’re helpful for:

Seeds of Cumin, Coriander, and Fennel. – (equal parts of each totaling 1 Tbsp) This is an excellent triodoshic remedy for all kinds of digestive complaints, from a bit of bloating to IBS. Many of you who’ve visited the clinic have tasted this as an everyday healthy tea, and even remarked, “I would never think to make tea from cumin, but this is really nice!”

Cardamom Seed – This is a personal favorite, and a favorite to recommend. It is my go-to remedy when people are having gas. Great tip: after boiling the seeds to make the warm

Cumin Seed – Cumin seed tea infusion alone is extremely useful to prevent painful menstruation. Start to take a few days before you normally start cramps.

So using these simple seeds from your kitchen to make warm infusions stronger than tea is already a great step.

And if you really want to bring Ayurveda into your life in a big way, the Vitality Recharge Program is the ticket.

You’ll get weekly direct guidance, step-by-step lessons and a great community of other Ayurveda enthusiasts – all to help you learn how to use Ayurveda more thoroughly for feeling better in your life.


Here’s a basic recipe for making a warm infusion:

  • 15 g plant material
  • 200ml water

Bring to a boil. Reduce to half by continuing to cook until only 200ml remains. Strain the plant material and drink the liquid infusion over the course of the day.

You bring it to a boil, then cook off some of the water. (This is called ‘reducing’.) The more water you cook off the stronger the concentration, and the stronger the effect it has.

(In the clinic, we often recommend boiling it down to ¼ the amount of original water, but for home use, I find you can get very good effects with less boiling).

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