Pharmacognosy - medicinal plants (herbs)
Pharmacognosy - medicinal plants (herbs)

Theme VI: Extraction methods

Decoction

Extraction methods. Decoction. Definition and characteristics of the decoction method

The decoction is used for active ingredients that doesn´t modify with temperature.

 

In this process the drug is boiled in water for 15 to 60 minutes (depending on the plant or the active ingredient to extract), it´s cooled, strained and added enough cold water through the drug to obtain the desired volume.

 

Depending on the consistency of the parts to extract, decoction times will be more or less long; generally roots, leaves, flowers and leafy stems are boiled in water for about 15 minutes, while the branches and other hard parts can require up to an hour, during this time the evaporated water must be replacing.

 

Once the decoction is done it´s necessary to filter the liquid through a cloth, squeezing very well the obtained liquid.

Doses are similar to the infusion ones, ie a plant part per ten of water, except for the plants with high mucilage content in this case will be 1/20 to prevent the solution takes much viscosity.

The decoctions are prepared for using in the moment and shouldn’t be stored for more than 24 hours. 

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