If you’ve made tea before, then you’ve made an infusion! Infusions are made by pouring boiling water over the plant (flowers, fruits, and leaves) and letting the plant soak in the hot water (steep) for 15 minutes. The hot water dissolves different chemicals in the plant—these components are extracted out of the plant and into the hot water. Infusions are fast and easy to prepare but some chemical components still remain in the plant. An herb that is steeped in hot water releases water soluble compounds in the leaf and also releases some oils. Depending on the medicine the infusion may be eaten, soaked in or, simply breathed. Usually the longer the herb is steeped the more chemicals are dissolved.

from the Latin in + fusio which means “in” + “mix together”.