What is a Decoction?

What is a Decoction?

Sometimes medicinal plant parts need a bit more coercing to extract their medicine into a liquid. 

When preparing an herb for decoction, the tough, dense parts of the plant are simmered for an extended period of time (20-30 min) to extract medicinal constituents.

  Plant parts such as roots, bark, twigs, seeds and some berries are suitable for decoction. 

Directions for a Decoction:

1. Place 25 Gm (1oz) into pot with cover.

2. Pour 1 pint of cold water onto herb

3. If possible let the mixture soak at least 30 minutes

4. Cover container well and bring the ingredients slowly to a boil

5. Decrease the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes

6. After decoction, press the herb to remove the solution from the pulp.

7. Strain if necessary.

Some medicinal plants that are well prepared by decoction: Burdock seeds, Turmeric, Echinacea Root, Dandelion Root, Osha Root,

Reishi, Yellow Dock and Ginger.

Posted below is recipe for a decoction that is uplifting, healing and warming for the body. Ginger is a medicinal powerhouse.  Ginger increases circulation, helps fight off a cold or flu, and supports digestion.  Turmeric contains many bioactive compounds including curcumin.  Turmeric can help fight heart disease, strengthen immunity, and reduces inflammation.  To increase the absorption of curcumin into the bloodstream, add a pinch of black pepper to this decoction below.  

Healing Turmeric and Ginger Decoction


2 cups of cold water

1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced thinly

1-2 inch piece of fresh turmeric, sliced thinly

Juice of a ½ lemon

Honey or maple syrup


In a sauce pan, pour in two cups of cold water and add ginger and turmeric.

Bring just to a boil, cover,

and reduce heat to a low, or a slow simmer.

After 15-20 minutes, remove from heat and add lemon juice to taste.

Add honey or maple syrup to sweeten.