How to Prepare Herbal Decoctions


Double-Cook/Double-Boil Method

1 pack of herbs = 2 days of tea, unless otherwise directed

Your pack of herbs MAY have little bags inside that are always labeled with instructions. The instructions will say whether the herbs in the little bag needs to have extra cooking time (“pre-cook), or be added at the last few minutes of the cooking. White tea bags go into the water unopened for easy straining. If you don’t have little bags inside, then don’t worry about it.

  1. Add 4 cups of water to 1 pack of herbs (or enough to have at least 1” of water above herbs). You can use a ceramic herb pot or a regular stainless steel saucepan.

  2. Soak for 30 minutes.

  3. Do you have herbs that need to be pre-cooked? If not, skip to the next step. If so, bring them to a boil for 2 minutes, and then simmer for the amount of time specified. While this is cooking, you can soak the rest of the herbs in another pot. Appropriately divide the water amount between the herbs that are soaking, and the herbs that are pre-cooking. After they are pre-cooked and soaked, combine the raw herbs and water of both pots together.

  4. Bring to a boil, boil for 2 minutes.

  5. Lower heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes with the lid slightly ajar. This is the first cook. Do you have little bags of herbs in your pack that need to be added near the end? If not, skip to step 6. If so, the herbs that say “last 10 minutes” for example, would be added it at the 35 minute mark if you are boiling for 45 minutes total. Or at the 50 minute mark if you are boiling for 60 minutes total.

  6. Strain out liquid and set aside.

  7. Return the wet herbs to pot. Add 2 cups of water (or a little bit more if you have a lot of herbs and 2 cups doesn’t cover it).

  8. Bring to a boil, boil for 2 minutes.

  9. Lower heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes with lid slightly ajar. This is the second cook.

  10. Strain out liquid, and combine with reserved liquid from first cook.

  11. Discard or compost the raw herbs. Recycle or reuse the plastic bags.

  12. Divide combined liquid into four parts. Take one part in the morning, one part in the evening, or as directed. It is best to drink the herbal formula warm; however, it is ok to drink it at room temperature. Do not use a microwave. Store leftover decoction in the refrigerator.



Double-Boil Method

Single-Boil Method

Short-Cook Method

Crockpot Method