All teas come from the same family, which is from the Camellia sinensis plant (think of Green Tea, Black Tea, etc). Any other hot beverage which is not from this plant, is called Herbal Infusion. Examples of herbal infusion will be ginger and cinnamon tea. Thus, technically they are not tea, but known as herbal infusion or tisane.
Difference Between Herbal Infusion And Green Tea
Green tea, comes from Camellia sinensis plant, thus it is a type of tea. They are fine tea leaves that have gone through steaming procedures so as to improve the oxidant level.
Green tea is an excellent source of vitamins and is rich in antioxidants and catechins. They also contain caffeine. Since herbal infusions do not come from the Camellia sinensis plant, they are caffeine free. This makes it suitable for people who cannot tolerate caffeine and still want to enjoy the benefits of what tea has to offer.
Herbal Infusion For Health Benefits
Herbal infusion is normally consumed for flavour or for its health benefits. There are two major types of herbal infusion including hot infusion for drawing vitamins, enzymes, and essential oils, and cold infusion which is ideal for herbs with delicate essential oils.
There are different reasons people want to make an herbal infusion with or without including black tea or any kind of tea for that matter. It is used to nourish the body since it’s filled with vitamins, minerals, calcium, proteins, and essential fatty acids. It also contains anti-cancer phytochemicals, antioxidants, and other nutrients essential for health.
Regular consumption can enrich the body with essential nutrients so that it can confidently replace your regular multivitamins and minerals. People who consume herbal infusion also experience less cardiovascular problems and they may lead healthier lives.
Top Herbs Used In Herbal Infusion
Lemongrass – an herbal infusion of lemongrass can help fill your body with powerful antioxidants, which help to fight bacteria and yeast infections. Lemongrass aids abdominal and muscle pain, promote better skin, and fights cough, fever, and common cold.
Ginger – Scientific analysis reveals that ginger contains certain compounds that promotes healing and better health. Taking ginger infusion will help fight nausea, cold, flu, pain reduction, inflammation, cardiovascular health, promotes digestion, and prevents colon cancer.
Mint – Contains a whole family of plants including peppermint, rich in vitamins, carotenes, iron, potassium, copper, magnesium, calcium, etc. Mint calms stomach muscles, while spearmint offers antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
Hibiscus – Rosella tea herbal infusion is not something that should be missed at all. The tea helps to prevent high blood pressure, and make the immune system and digestive system work properly.
Thyme – When used in an infusion, the herb releases oil called thymol. This oil has antiseptic properties that fight mouth sores and relieves bronchitis and asthma.
Lavender – Many people make use of Lavender in an infusion because of its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Regular consumption will also help you get rid of skin problems like acne, etc.
Chamomile – Chamomile is generally known to calm you down during a period of anxiety. Chamomile contains amino acid, glycine, that relieves menstrual cramps and muscle spasm. The plant can also kill bacteria and fungi and can work to combat insomnia.
How to Make Herbal Infusion
Most people use leaves, flowers, roots, shoots and barks for making an herbal infusion.
There are three things you need to make an infusion including:
- Herb of your choice
- Boiling water
- Clean pot or mug with lid
Hot Herbal Infusion
- Once you have all of these ready, place some herbs in the pot/mug and pour the boiling water in it.
- Cover the pot/mug to steep the herbs and to prevent the essential oil from escaping. Steep it for at least 5 minutes
- Drink it hot and inhale the essential oils
- If you are drinking from the mug, use a strainer to remove the herbs.
Word of caution; if you are trying a certain herb for the first time use more than one tablespoon of herb. This is to prevent waste in case you drink it and do not like it.
The best time to drink the infusion is immediately after straining. If you must refrigerate don’t let it go beyond 48 hours after which you should discard it.
Cold Brew Herbal Infusion
- Get a clean mason jar
- Herbs of your choice
- Add room temperature water
- Leave in the refrigeration between 8 – 10 hours
- The cold brew herbal infusion can keep for maximum 3 days in the fridge
Cold brew herbal infusion tastes great on a hot sunny day, while hydrates your body with all the essential nutrients and minerals.
You can also make a Decoction
A decoction is an herbal infusion but stronger. A decoction is made using roots, dried berries, and barks, which makes it stronger than the regular fusions you do with leaves and flowers. But the preparation is somehow similar.
- Combine water and herbs in a saucepan
- Cover with lid and put on the heat
- Allow the mix to simmer for at least 20 minutes to 45 minutes
- Remove the mix from heat and strain before pouring into a jar
Herbal infusion is a great way to relax and have fun on a cold day. Regular consumption will provide the body with essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and proteins that are needed for proper cell and hormonal functioning. Infusions are also very easy to prepare, just make sure that you select your preferred herb and follow the right preparation process to be able to extract all the nutrients that you need to replenish your body and live a healthy lifestyle.