The Ultimate Tea Conundrum: Steeping or Boiling Fresh or Dried Herbs? - 🌿 Steep or Boil? 🌡️

Dear reader,

Thank you for reaching out with your question about steeping or boiling fresh or dried herbs when making herbal tea. As a botanist and naturopathic doctor, I'm thrilled to share my knowledge and guide you on your journey to discovering the benefits of herbalism and natural remedies.

When it comes to making herbal tea, the method you choose can greatly impact the flavor and potency of the brew. Let's explore the differences between steeping and boiling, and how they affect the medicinal properties of herbs.


Steeping is the most common method for preparing herbal tea, and it involves pouring hot water over the herbs and allowing them to infuse for a certain period of time. This gentle method is ideal for delicate herbs and flowers, as it helps preserve their volatile oils and delicate flavors.

To steep herbs, start by bringing water to a boil and then allowing it to cool slightly. Next, place your desired amount of fresh or dried herbs in a teapot, tea infuser, or directly in a cup. Pour the hot water over the herbs, cover, and let them steep for the recommended time. This can vary depending on the herb, so it's important to follow specific instructions for each type.

Steeping is a great option for herbs like chamomile, lavender, peppermint, and lemon balm. These herbs are known for their soothing properties and delightful aromas. By steeping them, you can extract their beneficial compounds without compromising their delicate flavors.


Boiling herbs involves simmering them in water for a longer period of time. This method is best suited for tougher plant materials, such as roots, barks, and seeds. Boiling helps extract the medicinal compounds from these hardy herbs, making them more readily available for absorption.

To boil herbs, start by bringing water to a boil. Add your fresh or dried herbs to the boiling water and reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the herbs to simmer for a recommended period of time, typically around 15 to 30 minutes. This extended simmering helps break down the tough plant materials and extract their beneficial properties.

Herbs like ginger, cinnamon, dandelion root, and burdock root are perfect candidates for boiling. These herbs possess potent medicinal qualities that are enhanced through the boiling process. Boiling also helps release their earthy flavors, making for a robust and invigorating cup of herbal tea.

Choosing the right method:

When deciding whether to steep or boil your herbs, consider the specific herb you're using and its desired effects. If you're looking to enjoy the delicate flavors and aromas of herbs, steeping is the way to go. On the other hand, if you're seeking a more potent and robust brew, boiling is the better choice.

Remember, the duration of steeping or boiling can vary depending on the herb. Some herbs require shorter steeping times, while others benefit from longer boiling periods. Always refer to specific instructions for each herb to ensure you're getting the most out of your herbal tea.

In conclusion, both steeping and boiling have their merits when it comes to making herbal tea. Steeping is perfect for delicate herbs, preserving their flavors and volatile oils, while boiling is ideal for tougher plant materials, extracting their potent medicinal properties. By understanding the characteristics of different herbs and choosing the appropriate method, you can create delicious and effective herbal teas to support your well-being.

I hope this information helps you on your herbal journey. If you have any more questions or need further guidance, don't hesitate to reach out. Happy brewing!

Warm regards,

Dr. Thyme Goodfellow

Wilhelm Mills
Botany, Naturopathy, Environmental Conservation, Photography, Cooking

Wilhelm Mills is a distinguished botanist and a certified practitioner of naturopathic medicine. His life's work has been defined by his profound studies into the medicinal qualities of plants and promoting their incorporation into contemporary medicine. Mills holds a firm belief in the healing and restorative power of nature.