Raw Herb Cooking Instructions

Updated: Mar 7, 2019

Traditional decoction method and Instant Pot method


Here I will outline two cooking methods for cooking raw Chinese herbs. The first is the traditional double-boil decoction method, which is the most time tested. This method allows for the most control of the cooking process. The second is a modern pressure cooking method that allows one to cook herbs quickly, and easily, with very low risk of burning herbs or ruining pots.


Dosage

Your herbal prescription will have the indicated dosage marked on the bag, such as: 1 bag/2 days. This indicates that one bag will cooked and the resulting decoction will be consumed over two days. It is recommended that you take the decoction twice/day. The decoction can be taken with or without food.


The amount of liquid your decoction yields will depend on how much water you add and the length of cooking time. Due to the varying volume of herbal materials, there is no way determine a set amount of water for all formulas. If you want to drink a smaller volume of herbal decoction, you can begin with less water or allow to cook down longer.


Video Demonstration of Double Boil Method


Brought to you by Root & Branch herbal pharmacy, visit the link below and click the "play" button.

https://www.rootandbranchpdx.com/howtocookbulkherbs



Double Boil Method

You will need:

a stainless steel or ceramic cooking pot

your herbal prescription

water

strainer

mason jar or similar container


Soak

Place raw herbs into cooking pot. Cover herbs with water, approximately one inch of water above the level of herbs. Allow herbs to soak for a minimum of 30 minutes, or overnight if time allows. For acute cold and flu formulas, soak 30 minutes, cook and drink as soon as possible.


Cook, Strain, Cook Again.

Bring water to a boil and then turn back down to a light rolling boil. Cant the lid of the pot to maintain a light rolling boil. Allow herbs to cook for 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat, pour liquid through strainer into storage container. The liquid is what you will drink. This is the first boil. Now return the boiled herbs to the stove, cover again with water. Bring to a boil and repeat the process, this time cooking for 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat, and strain the liquid from the second boiling into the same storage container so first and second boilings are combined.


Drink Decoction twice/day

If the dosage marked on your bag is 1 bag/ 2 days, one dose consists of 1/4 of the finished decoction.

Generally the dose is intended to be 4-8 oz taken twice a day.


If you are prescribed 1 bag per day, aim for a total volume of 8-16 oz for a total of 2 doses.

If your prescribed dose is 1 bag of herbs for 2 days, aim for a total volume of 16-32 oz which would give you 4 doses.


Store Decoction in the Refrigerator


You may cook multiple bags of herbs at the same time, and keep the decoction in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.



Instant Pot Method

You will need:

Instant Pot electric pressure cooker

your herbal prescription

water

strainer

mason jar or similar container


Soak

Place raw herbs into the Instant Pot. Cover herbs with water, approximately one inch of water above the level of herbs. Allow herbs to soak for a minimum of 30 minutes, or overnight if time allows.


Cook, Strain

Using the "Soup" setting, turn the Instant Pot on and set it to 25 minutes. Once the cooking is done, you may use either the quick pressure release or the natural pressure release (ie waiting). Strain decoction into storage container.


Drink Decoction twice/day

If the dosage marked on your bag is 1 bag/ 2 days, one dose consists of 1/4 of the finished decoction.

Generally the dose is intended to be 4-8 oz taken twice a day.


If you are prescribed 1 bag per day, aim for a total volume of 8-16 oz for a total of 2 doses.

If your prescribed dose is 1 bag of herbs for 2 days, aim for a total volume of 16-32 oz which would give you 4 doses.


Store Decoction in the Refrigerator


You may cook multiple bags of herbs at the same time, and keep the decoction in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.



Chinese Medicine of Idaho

6540 W Emerald St, Suite 100

Boise ID, 83704

Contact

Sean Dugan L.Ac.

208  953  7690

Hours

Call to make an appointment: Monday - Friday 6 am to 7pm, Saturday 8 am to 12 pm

Appointments are available: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday from 9 am to 6 pm.