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Difference between infusion and decoction: how is an infusion prepared and what differentiates it from a decoction or a macerate? Here are all the answers.
To take advantage of the beneficial properties of herbs, roots, leaves and flowers, decoctions, infusions and macerates can be the ideal solution. If the difference between infusion and herbal tea is a mere technicality, the differences between infusion and decoction are more substantial. On this page we will analyze them all.
To make the most of the active ingredients of the plant tissues used, it is always recommended to roughly chop the plant parts before immersing them in water. By reading every single paragraph you will be able to understand the difference betweeninfusion and decoction, infusion and herbal tea and what these terms indicate: macerate, infusion, herbal tea and decoction.
Macerated, what is it
Macerate is a plant-based liquid that is obtained by leaving the essence immersed in cold water for 2 - 4 days and mixing two or three times a day. Plant cells left to macerate for a long time will undergo cell lysis because they will tend to swell with water by osmosis, releasing a large part of the active ingredients contained in the cell into the liquid. In this case there is no complicity of heat but the active ingredients are released into the water by a simple osmotic process.
Waiting for the maceration times, it is possible to filter the vegetable preparation and dilute it according to the use for which it is intended. Macerates are often used for soothing or beauty packs, or as fertilizers and pesticides for the garden to be sprayed on plants.
Infusion, what is it
All of us have prepared a tea or a chamomile at least once: here, the liquid obtained is an infusion! L'infusion it is prepared by putting the amount of water required by the recipe in a saucepan on the stove. Once the boiling point is reached, it will be necessary to turn off the heat and immerse the vegetable parts in water to leave to infuse. Depending on the destination of the infusion (herbal tea to drink or more concentrated infusions to be used for various purposes, including ingestion), a more or less long laying period is expected. For the preparation of infusions to be used as a natural remedy for body care or as a fertilizer in the garden, the essence should be left in water until completely cooled. Also in this case, before use theinfusionmust be filtered.
Difference between herbal tea and infusion
As stated, here there is no real difference, more than anything else it is a technicality because to prepare a herbal tea both the tender and the woody parts of the plants are used indiscriminately, which are then thrown into already boiling water. Typically, the herbal tea has infusion timesnot exceeding 5 minutes.
Also for the preparation of an infusion, different parts of the plant are used such as flowers, chopped roots and leaves, on which boiling water is poured, then filtering the liquid after the infusion times which can reach several hours. In practice, the herbal tea is the one we prepare at home by infusing an herb of our choice for a few minutes. Examples are the satiating herbal teas.
Decoction, what is it
Differences between infusion and decoction: explaining what it is and how to prepare adecoction, the differences between these two plant-based liquids will be more than clear.
Just like theinfusion or macerate it is a liquid full of active ingredients of plant origin. The difference is in the preparation.
With the decoction the vegetable parts are placed in cold water which is then brought to a boil and left to boil for at least 3 minutes. After the first few minutes of boiling, the heat is turned off and the decoction is allowed to cool and filter.
As for infusions, herbal teas and macerates, also in decoction the optimal dosage of the raw material to be used must be chosen according to the purpose of the liquid. Herbal preparations for curative purposes involve the use of larger quantities of plant matter than liquids used for preventive purposes.