Decoctions do not keep long. They are made of those leaves, roots, flowers, seeds, fruits, or barks, conducing to the cure of the disease for which you may make them, they are made in the same manner as Syrups. Decoctions made with wine last longer than such as are made with water ; and if you take a decoction to cleanse the passage of the urine, or open obstruc­tions, your best way is to make it with white wine instead of water, because it is penetrating.

Decoctions are of most use in such diseases as lie in the stomach, bowels, kidneys, passages of the urine, and bladder, because decoctions pass more quickly to those places than any other form of Medicines. The decoction may be sweetened with sugar or honey. If in a decoction you boil roots, herbs, flowers, and seed together, let the roots boil a good while first, because they retain their virtue longest ; then the next in order by the same rule, viz. barks, herbs, seeds, flowers, spices, if you put any in, because their virtues come soonest out. Such things as by boiling cause sliminess to a decoction, as figs, quince-seed, linseed, &c. your best way is, after you have bruised them, to tie them up in a linen-rag, and boil them. Keep all decoctions in a glass close stopped, and the cooler place in which you keep them, the longer they will last before they torn sour.

The usual dose to be given at one time, is usually 2, 3, 4 or 5 ounces, according to the age and strength of the patient, the season of the year, the strength of the medicine, and the quality of the disease.

The video below illustrates how to make a herb decoction:

Important Disclaimer:   The information contained on this web site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. Any information presented is not a substitute for professional medical advice and should not take the place of any prescribed medication. Please do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consultation with your physician.

This page and the rest of the encyclopedia of medicinal herbs was reproduced from old herbals written in the 1700 and 1800s. They are of historical interest to show the traditional uses of various herbs based on folk medicine and ancient wisdom. However the traditional uses for these herbs have not been confirmed by medical science and in some cases may actually be dangerous. Do not use the these herbs for any use, medicinal or otherwise, without first consulting a qualified doctor.

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