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Difference in Tea vs. Infusion
By Jill York - March 07, 2013
There's nothing like having a cup of herbal tea for mere pleasure or for the purpose of good health.  Herbal teas are a favorite way for many people to enjoy the quality of nutritious herbs. Herbal infusions are also a great way to consume herbs. So what's the difference between an herbal tea and an herbal infusion?
An herbal tea is most often used with single herbs or a mixture of herbs for the purpose of simply enjoying a cup of tea or during times of illness. An herbal infusion is very much like a tea, only it is steeped longer and uses a larger amount of herb.  The purpose of an herbal infusion is feeding your body a high dose of vitamins and minerals.  According to Nature Skills, a cup of nettle tea has 5-10 mg. of calcium, while a cup of nettle infusion can contain up to 500 mg. of calcium! Clearly, infusions provide many more times the amount of nutrition than tea!

When do you use a tea and when do you use an infusion?  

Some people drink both teas and infusions on a regular basis for good health, some drink mostly tea and only make infusions occasionally, and some herbalists drink only infusions and don't mess with the less-nutritious teas. This is what I personally do:  I consume herbal teas as a daily drink and at times when my body needs a particular herb(s) for an illness.  I treat infusions more like taking a vitamin and drink them as a way to supply my body with high doses of vitamins and minerals.  Drinking at least one cup of infusion a day is a great idea for good health! Make sense? Great! :) Now I'll explain how to make an herbal tea and an herbal infusion!

Herbal tea:

Combine 1-2 tsp. of dried herb per cup of boiling water.  Once you've added the herbs to the water, remove from heat.  Cover and steep for 5-10 minutes .  Strain the herbs and drink. During times of illness, it is recommended that adults drink one cup of tea three times a day.  Children typically drink half that amount. Some great herbal mixtures are found right here at the Bulk Herb Store! For pleasure drinking , I would personally recommend herbal mixes such as: Creamy Pumpkin Pie TeaTropical Flavored Black Tea, or Pomegranate Flavored Green Tea. For drinking medicinal teas 3 times a day or so during times of illness, I would recommend teas such as: Double E Immune Booster or Cough Tea,  

Herbal Infusion:

My favorite way to make an infusion is to add about a cup of dried herbs to a quart jar.  Pour boiling water over the herbs to the top of the jar.  Cover tightly with a lid.  Let the herbs steep 4-10 hours and then strain.  A great way to do this is to make the infusion before you go to bed, and in the morning you have a healthy drink to start your day! You can drink 1-4 cups of infusion a day.  Keep any leftover infusion refrigerated, and discard after 36 hours. Some of the best herbs for an herbal infusion are:
What do you make most - a tea or infusion?


  1. Niki @ For Journey's Sake
    Thank you so much for explaining and teaching us the difference between a tea and an infusion. As always, your information is helpful, yet clear and concise. A beginner at "all things natural" like myself can learn so much from your easy-to-understand directions. I think the way you use the teas and infusions make the most sense to me. Thanks again, Jill.
  2. Kristy
    I love this post, Jill! Thanks so much for explaining the difference. It's amazing the quality of nutrients in an infusion!
  3. Kasey
    Here's my problem: I don't like the taste of tea, which leads me to believe I wouldn't enjoy an infusion. I want so badly to add both into my daily diet but am struggling to get past that I don't enjoy it. Is there something I can add to it without detracting from the health value? Or is it something that you just make the choice to drink and eventually acquire a taste for? I've purchased the herbs...I just need to use them!!
    1. KarenW
      Hi Kasey,

      I realize this is an older post, but someone else might find it helpful. I don't like the taste of green tea (most unflavored teas, really), but my Chinese doctor said that I should be drinking it for a variety of health benefits. If it is left up to me to make something I really like and sip on it all day, it isn't going to happen. The taste isn't nasty, just not enjoyable so I don't get enough cups every day (or any). I found that the infusions can be slightly bitter, but again not a nasty taste like strong medicinal tinctures ... so, I do a strong infusion for at least 4 hours (when I'm at work) and later a couple of times day after it has cooled down I can drink it down like a shot. I get the benefits of the green tea and I only have to endure it for a short moment, after which I can follow with something more to my liking.
  4. Sara Elizabeth
    What a wonderful clear and concise way of explaining the difference between a tea and an infusion!! I'm frequently asked for clarification especially as there are so many different opinions on the subject. I'm going file this away to send to any others who are curious.
  5. Jill's Home Remedies
    Thank you ladies! And Kasey, you can acquire a taste for plain tea over time, but just add some honey to the tea or infusion once it's finished. :-)
  6. […] than tea!  When do you use a tea and when do you use an infusion?   Join me at the Bulk Herb Store to read the […]
  7. Robert goldman
    Robert goldman
    Do you need to squeeze the herbs after you strain for a stronger potency
    1. Meagan
      Yes... that's recommended!
  8. Steph
    Can you reheat the infusion without loosing any of the properties of the herbs?
    1. Jill York
      You could on very low heat.
      1. Steph
        thanks for your reply!
        I have couple more questions, if you have a chance to answer that would be great. I want to start drinking infusion. I saw on another site that you should not boil the water so now I am confused as what is the best way? Also I read that you should use single herbs for infusion but do not understand why. I would like to mix nettle, oatstraw and rose hip. I think rose hip would make it taste better. Is there a reason why I shouldn't do that?
        thank you!
        1. Jill York
          I have heard of similar methods and believe it's all a difference of opinion. I use herbal mixes from the Bulk Herb Store for infusions, but also have done single herb infusions. I also always bring the water to a boil before pouring over the herbs. I may someday decide that I should do things different, but I believe it's a matter of preference. :-)
          1. Steph
            Thank you! :)
            1. Jill York
              Anytime, Steph!
  9. Robert goldman
    Can I drink 12 ounce doses of herbal infusion or is that to strong
    1. Jill York
      Typically 2-4 cups a day is recommended for herbal infusions, and 12 oz. is less than 2 cups, so I think it would be fine!
  10. Walter Quigley
    Can I use fresh rather than dry herbs and vegetation for my teas and infusions?
    1. Jill York
      Many people use fresh, but some recommend dried because drying helps release the mineral and other nutrient content. It's a matter of preference. Thanks for the question!