Herbal teas characteristics

What is an herbal tea?

Definition of herbal tea

herbal tea

Mixed herbal tea having ginger as the base plant and lemon and pippermint as added plants

An herbal tea is a medicinal plant preparation in which the medicinal principles of a plant are extracted by water.

In general, they are made taking some plant parts as the base element and water as a solvent, usually hot, but it can also be performed in cold water.

It is called “herbal tea” because medicinal herbs, or the most tender parts of them, such as flowers of leaves, are used to make these preparations, but we can also use another more woody parts of medicinal plants.

Importance of herbal teas


Ricewater is a decoction made with cooked crushed rice in water.

Of all the herbal preparations, herbal teas are the most used and those with a safe and natural way to acquire the active principles of plants. They can be prepared with a single plant or several at once.

What is a mixed herbal tea?

In mixed herbal teas, other plants base are added to the base plant to reinforce its action. Also because the added plants can make the preparation more tasty and easier to take.

Can we use sugar or honey in an herbal tea?

carrot juice

Carrot juice is obtained from carrots. It can be drank or used externally for skin care.

They can be sweetened to make them more pleasant, in which case it is more convenient to add honey than sugar.


Within the concept of herbal tea have the following preparations:

  • Infusions: They are the most common method of extracting the active ingredients of a plant. They consist on pouring water, usually hot, on the tenderest parts leaves, or flowers and let stand 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Decoctions or concoctions: The decoction or cooking is the method of extracting the active principles consisting on putting medicinal plants to boil in water on low heat for 3 to 30 minutes. Generally, the hardest parts of them are employed roots, stems, peel or seeds (more about decoctions)
  • Macerations: Maceration is the method of extracting the active ingredients of a plant consisting on letting it stand in cold water for a considerable period of time ranging from 6 hours to several weeks.
  • Juices: Although not strictly herbal teas, they are included in this group because not other solvents different than water are involved in this process.. Juices are obtained from plants liquid extracted by manual or mechanical pressure. They can be obtained from the fruits or from other tender plant parts. To acquire their medicinal properties, they can be drunk or applied externally directly after filtration.

punto rojo More information on medicinal plants.

This article was endorsed by Montserrat Enrich - Journalist specializing in edible wild plants and plant uses.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

4 August, 2022

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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
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