- Roots need to be brewed the longest amount of time due to their density. They contain the highest amount of minerals.
- In order of required brewing time, after roots, bark needs the most followed by twigs, leaves and flowers.
- Leaves contain the most vitamins. Since vitamins are lost during the heating process, infusion, which requires less cooking, retains more nutrients in herbal preparations.
- Flowers contain volatile oils that are dispersed when decocted. Therefore, they should either be gently infused or placed in a medicinal combination and only decocted during the last few minutes of the process, if you are trying to conserve the volatile oils.
I was also taught that taking an alcohol-based tincture drives the herb(s) to the liver for breakdown with less herb available to move through the digestive tract. And that drinking a decoction drives the herb(s) to the kidneys and through the digestive tract.