Herbs for Pets

How to Make an Herbal Decoction

Learn to Make Herbal Remedies at Home for Your Pets

In this process, roots, barks or chips are soaked, then boiled to extract their resinous properties. The decoction differs from the infusion in that heat is applied and continued over a period of time (boiling or simmering), because roots and barks generally need longer heating to extract their active principles.


  • Stainless steel, or glass sauce pan
  • Stainless steel or nylon strainer
  • Covered glass jar for storage


Boiling an Herbal Decoction
1. Pour 1 1/2 pints (24 ounces) of cold water over 1 ounce of your chosen fresh or dried herb. Dried herbs should be pulverized or ground first. If you use fresh herbs they should be chopped and bruised just
prior to making the decoction.

Soak the mixture of herb and water for 12 hours.
Straining an Herbal Decoction
2. After the cold soaking process, put the pot on the stove and bring the mixture to a slight boil. The harder the plant material is, the longer the simmering process will be. You will be cooking the mixture down to 1 pint - loosing 1/2 pint in the extraction process.

Generally, it will take around 1 hour. After the extractive period, drain off the liquid while it is hot and press the herb hard to make sure that all of the therapeutic properties are removed; then let stand until cool.

When cool pour off the clear liquid on the top through a finely woven, stainless steel or nylon mesh strainer to separate it from the pieces plant material.
Storage Jar
3. If you wish you can take the straining process through one more step and pour the liquid through a paper filter. I don’t recommend it though as I feel it can take out materials that are highly beneficial to intestinal health.

Sometimes dark deposits can form in plant decoctions once they are exposed to air. None of this matter is harmful to drink. It just looks disagreeable to some people. But most feel differently once they know that it not a bad thing.

If you have less than 1 pint remaining add enough additional water to make it equal to 1 pint (this will keep it from being too strong).

The decoction can be sweetened to make it more palatable to pets, this can be done just prior to pouring it into a glass jar with a lid for storage.

Decoctions are meant for immediate use. If kept refrigerated, they will keep for approximately a 24 to 72 hour period. Tip: To preserve it for a longer period, freeze the liquid in ice cube trays. When frozen store the cubes in ziplock freezer bags and thaw small amounts as needed. Freezing will not degrade the healing qualities of the decoction.

Herbs That Yield Well to Decoction

Blackberry root bark, Black Cohosh root, Burdock seeds, Comfrey root, Dandelion root, Echinacea root, Ginger fresh slices, or dried, Mullein root, Reishi Mushroom dried, Siberian Ginseng, Willow bark, Yellow Dock root.

For a complete guide in learning how to give an herbal remedy, repeat the dose and how long to administer the medicines view the Herbs to the Rescue Treatment Charts for Dogs, Cats, Horses, Birds, Pet Rats and Urban Chickens.

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