A Herbal Infusion is a method in which dried herbs (one to two teaspoons) or fresh herbs (two to four teaspoons) is infused or placed in a cup of hot water or oil for approximately ten minutes and strained. The infusion is then stored in a covered ceramic pot. In case the herb is steeped in oil, the herb is removed after ten minutes, and the oil is used in many formulas that are often temporarily used as infused oils.
In other words, this process of steeping the herbs in water or oil to extract its soluble principles is referred to as herbal infusion.
However, care should be taken not to wait too long before straining the solution, as it may render a bitter taste. An Infusion is also the flavor that is obtained through extraction from fruit, leaves or herbs by steeping them in hot liquid such as water for making tea. Today there are sauces with variety of flavors that are also used for culinary purposes.
The long term infused oils are generally allowed to sit for atleast a year, before opening to increase their concentration, and are then used by drop rather than ounces, just as essential oils. Long term oils have a long shelf life, and are well known for their concentration and vibrant colors.
Tips “ While choosing a dried herb for preparing herbal infusion, check for freshness of the herb, as herbs that are too old and dried out will have no life and loses their stability after a year or two. This can be done by observing their color and smell, as it helps one to get a sense of the vitality of the herb.
In case the herbs are likely to be used regularly in a couple of months time, they can be stored in a covered glass jar in the cupboard. However, large quantities of herbs that are not likely to be used up within a short span can be stored in a plastic freezer bag in the freezer compartment.
In case, the herbal infusion involves a combination of various herbs, the dry herbs can be stored by mixing them together in a large bowl. Later, as and when required, a handful of mixed herbs can be grabbed and used for preparing the infusion.