Plants heal-

Their constituents that convey the plant properties and vital energy have been an integral part of human healing for millennia.

Now, at this critical time in history, they’ve become not just an essential aspect of healing but have  become a tool for conscious people everywhere to rise up and reclaim their health autonomy as an act of peaceful revolution.   Regardless of if someone supports a mainstream medical intervention, or not, we are being told that it is the only option.

Over the past 75 years, there has been a concerted propaganda campaign, funded by those who profit from pharmaceuticals, that natural medicine has not worth, or place in healthcare.

And right now, when we’re facing a national health crisis, we’re being told by all forms of media and government that the only thing people should be doing, is waiting for a pharmaceutical intervention.   This disempowering message is contrary to supportive science, clinical practice, and historical evidence that herbs and natural approaches to health are very effective at improving immune function, disease resistance, and

There is a role for modern profit-oriented medicine as a treatment for many things but they aren’t intended to heal, or bring balance back to a system that has gotten compromised.

Herbs like Astragalus, Echinacea, and Salvia, and vitamins such as A, D, C, and the Bs, have been shown to improve immune function, metabolic health, and overall vitality yet there is no mention of their usage during this crisis.

So, at this critical moment in history, it has now turned into a revolutionary act that has gotten censored repeatedly, to be empowered to support yourself with natural healing.  So, we at Vital Ways Institute want to encourage you, support you, guide you, and join you as you take back your health autonomy, regardless of your stance on pharmaceutical interventions.

And it can all start with the simplest of acts, in a show of non-violent resistance, by creating the most used medicine of all time-a water extraction or as we call them, and infusion or a decoction.

And it all starts with water…

When we embrace the idea that we can do little more than just describe what water does in certain circumstances, how it behaves in some ways, under certain circumstances, then we acknowledge the reality that this simple 3-atom molecule that has the power to form the basis of all life, is, in actuality a mystery beyond our understanding.

And then we can sit with the awe, and wonder when we try to describe why, so unlike most things, does it expand as it cools, why does it have the surface tension that makes it act more like a stretched membrane than individual molecules when a fast impulse is applied such as when jump into it in the form of belly flop, and how does it travel upwards against gravity through hundreds of feet of tree, defying the pull of the earth’s gravity and lastly why does it assemble into different patterns in living organisms, such as the ‘4th phase’ which is just now being discovered as a way in which light energy from the sun is captured and fuels our cells? Yep, you heard that last bit right. Water assembles itself in living organisms, as a way to capture sunlight for energy for the organism so you are in some ways a photovoltaic organism.

Water’s power to transform 

is evident in all of nature-From the impacts that frozen water as glaciers had as they carved wide swaths of earth into enormous valleys, to how rain and snow dissolve mountains, and how the undulating seas reclaim shorelines.

It is at once supremely gentle in its resting state yet enormously powerful when applied in certa

Polarity of Water

in contexts.

Its properties, particularly the way the electrons slide around and create the magnet like polarity, make it our universal solvent.

This property, its polarity, is what allows we herbalists, to use it to extract our plant medicine. It is by far the most used solvent ever-Solvent being that liquid that extracts the medicinal parts of herbs so that we can use them in our bodies.

When gentle, simple, and common intersect at the place of healing, people often reach the conclusion that what we are dealing with is mild, and even ineffectual.

But nothing can be farther from the truth when we engage in the revolution that is a simple cup of tea. Tea, the product of herbs and water, has healed more people than any other plant preparation.

From simple tea, amazing medicine comes.

There are many types of water extractions, some are combinations with other solvents, such as glycerin or alcohol, others are cold, hot, or a combination. Below are the most common and the great ones to start with

Herbal Medicine Making Methods with Water:

Hot Infusions:

Hot infusions are what most people think of as teas. Pouring hot water onto dried or fresh plants is an ancient act, and the most used throughout history. And as valuable as this technique is, you will find out, these don’t work for all plant parts.

Best For:

Softer plant parts, like flowers and leaves who give up their medicine by simply having near boiling water poured onto them.

The usual amount is from 3g-30g of herbs to 1 liter of water or 1/7oz. to 1qt. water for most herbs. There are lower dose and higher dose plants, and we’ll cover these throughout the course. Medicinal infusions and decoctions are made stronger than what one gets at a tea shop, so you don’t generally need to drink as much, as quickly. 3 cups per day total, spaced out every 5 hours is usually sufficient.


Boil water, take off heat for a few seconds so it can cool just a bit, and then pour over herbs that you’ve put into a coverable container. Mason jars are great, as they don’t break easily, they allow you to see the magical transformation happening, and they have great lids to keep in the aromatics.

Steep time for herbal medicine is 20 minutes to an hour


A cute and funky tea pot will always make me smile too, but they usually don’t hold in the volatile components of aromatic herbs well enough unless they’re able to be tightly covered.

Cold Infusions:

You will on occasion want to do a cold infusion. This is when you add cold water to herbs.

Best for:

Marshmallow-A lovely cold infusion

Marshmallow-A lovely cold infusion

Demulcents with their delicate polysaccharide. Things like Althea, Marshmallow, and Ulmus, Slippery Elm are commonly done this way. We now understand that you don’t need to cold infuse demulcent herbs, even though it may be recommended in the herbal literature. But you can prepare them this way if you like. They get nice and thick and gooey if you do, which kind of feels nice but a bit weird.

Some aromatic herbs can be used this way too, and will give their flavor and a bit of medicine to long soaks in cool water. Rose is a classic, Elder flower is amazing, Orange Peel is a delight, Peppermint will knock your socks off, and well, you get the idea. The result of a cold aromatic infusion is something to drink or soak, or wash or compress yourself with, but not strong medicine.


For a slippery preparation, add 1-2 oz, 56g, of herbs to 2qt, or 2l, of unheated water, stir well, and let sit at least 6 hours. Strain through a good sieve, or strainer, keeping in mind that the viscosity may require you to use a bit of pressure and a spoon to create space so the liquid can drain through. Or you can use cheesecloth and use the twist and squeeze method, or a potato ricer, to encourage the liquid out to be separated. For aromatics, these extra techniques won’t be necessary. Just keep covered and then strain and enjoy.


Decoctions are when you keep the heat source on the water as your herb extracts rather than just pouring the water on it.

Best For:

Hard Roots, Bark, Woody Bits, Mushrooms and Hard Berries

Recalling our discussion about what helps things into solution, time, heat and exposure, this method capitalizes on the transformative power of heat. Some of these, especially mushrooms require a slow simmer of up to 2 hours but generally 30 minutes will suffice.


2-30g herb to 1l water. Put in pot, cover, bring to very low simmer and maintain for about 20 mins. Then turn off heat and let sit for up to another 40 mins.


Now, to foment our peaceful revolution, here are a few wonderful formulas to start with:

Vital Ways Wisdom Triad:

Equal Parts: 28g or 1ounce total: Holy Basil, Gotu Kola and Bacopa


Add all herbs and 2l water to a pot, cover and heat to low simmer and immediately remove from heat and let sit 25 minutes.

Strain, cool and drink 3-5 cups per day

Heart and Mind Harmony Formula

Equal Parts:

Hawthorn Leaves and Flowers, Holy Basil, Tilea, and Rose


Add all herbs and 2l water to a pot, cover and heat to low simmer and immediately remove from heat and let sit 25 minutes.

Strain, cool and drink 3-5 cups per day

Immune Broth:

Reishi mushroom in an Oregon Forest

10g Astragalus, 10g Reishi Mushroom, 2g Licorice, 2g Ginger



Add all ingredients to 2l water, and bring to very slow simmer for 45 minutes.

Strain, cool and drink 1-2 cups per day


Sitting with a cup of steaming medicinal tea as it extracts,

in a covered mason jar, watching the herbs swirl loosely through the water, rising and falling as the thermal energy, and dihydrogen monoxide’s polarity, unlocks the molecular bonds that hold the medicine in the plants, and allow the fluid and the solids to intermingle, is an act of dissolution, and recreation of something new, and just so happens to be the single most used method of plant medicine preparation in all of history.

If you learn how to extract plants, walk the path of the herbalist, and understand their medicines, you may very well begin to see this very ordinary event, as the incredible process that it is. At once simple, its effects can literally change the world.

The act of tea making, is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself and for others.