Making Your Own Tea Combinations (formulas)
Tea’s are rapidly absorbed by the body and it’s effects are strong and immediately perceived. When combining the herbs keep in mind one or two of the herbs will do the main action (Tonification, Liver cleaning, etc.) of the formula, another one or two herbs will support his main action while another one or two herbs will generally help balance the formula. This encourages healthy organic functioning which tonifies and heals the body. Herbal formulas may be taken two to three times a day. For acute conditions fewer herbs are used, or even just one for example, Scutellaria alone may be given for infections and inflammation conditions.
Different herbs must cook different lengths of time to extract there essences. Soft lighter herbs: blossoms, flowers, and leaves such as Mentha, chrysanthemum, Hsin-I, Suk Gok(Dendrobium) or stronger tasting herbs like licorice or cinnamon need shorter cooking times, ten to twenty minutes; whereas coarser herbs (roots, barks, branches) ginseng, Ganoderma, Bupleurm, which generally make up the Chinese herbs pharmacopoeia need extended cooking time; thirty to forty minutes.
First put together the formula you wish to cook: generally 5-9 ingredients with six to nine grams (small to medium handful of herbs) of each herb so that the weight is around ½ to one ounce. This mixture is added to approximately four to five cups of water in a “Ginseng Cooker” or Chinese herb pot or any other covered pot(no aluminum) then simmered for 30 minutes. When adding the lighter herbs such as leaves or flower: use a small handful and combine them with the coarser herbs the last 5 minutes of cooking time so as to keep their essential oils. Usually these coarser herbs can be recooked with 1 cup less water for there deeper essences a second time. The Tea can be refrigerated up to 4 days and reheated as needed. It is best to drink herb teas in the morning and evening ½ hour before or 1 ½ hour after meals.
If wanting to cook only one or two herbs at a time: use the rule of 2/3 cup of water for each ingredient of 6-9 grams. Highly concentrated teas are prepared by following the above instructions but using longer cooking time/one to two hours or until only one cup of Tea remains.
People who are generally healthy can tolerate strong tea more often than those who are sensitive or ill. Young and middle-age adults can handle a higher dosage and greater frequency of herbal tea than children or the elderly; those with serious complaints may require more aggressive and lengthy treatment. Concentration can be altered either by giving smaller amount or by diluting with water by add equal quantity of water reducing the concentration by half or three quarters by adding twice as much.
How Much is 9 grams of herbs? It is not necessary to use precise amounts of the herbs because the herbs will vary in their potency and individuals will vary in need, so the amounts suggested are useful approximations. The best way to measure out ounce is with a simple pan balance scale. These can be purchased from scientific supply stores, and from some drugstores. Then divide the ounce by thirds to roughly get nine ounce (average weight of each herb used in formula). Or If you purchase 1/4 pound of herb at a time, it is easy to divide up the package into 4 rough equal piles of one ounce each, based on the amount all ready weighted out. If you are trying to weight out 9 grams just further divide one of these piles up to 3 piles to roughly give you 9 grams of each pile.
This awareness of how herbs works is basic natural law that was developed over thousands of years of observation of nature and applies to the workings of the body.