How To Prepare Chinese Herbal Decoction - Simple Method -

This video is created for educational purposes only.


Your herbs might require a different preparation, or your practitioner might have different ways for you to prepare herbal decoction.


Please always follow the instructions specifically provided for you and your herbs.

In this video, we will yield 4 cups (1L) of decoction from one bag of herbs.


What you need;

  • A Large cooking pot and lid (ie. clay, ceramic, or stainless steels. Do not use metal or cast iron cooking wear)

  • A large measuring cup or bowl (NO Plastic)

  • A strainer and spatula

  • Storing jars (ie. ideally, made of grass such as mason jars)

  • 8cups (2L) +/- of water depending on the volume of herbs

  • Labels (optional)



  1.  Pre-soak: 1hr
    No need to rinse the herbs before soaking.
    Put herbs in the large pot and pour water over the herbs.
    If herbs float on the surface, press them down to submerge in the water.
    Cover the pot and let the herbs soak in water for 1hr.
    This is an important step, so don’t skip this

  2. Cooking: 1hr ~
    Place the pot over the stove.
    Bring the water and herbs to boil, then reduce to the medium to low heat to simmer
    Cook with or without lid depending on the instruction.
    Occasionally stir the pot so that herbs don't burn.
    Most herbs are cooked for roughly 45min to 1hr, until the water is reduced to a desired volume (roughly by half).
    If it is boiled down too much, you may add some more water

  3. Straining; a few minutes
    With the strainer, strain the herbs and decoction
    Discard the herbs and keep the decoction

  4. Storing: a few minutes + cooling time
    Store decoction in air tight containers such as mason jars.
    You may add labels (ie. cooked date etc.)
    Once it's cool, store in the fridge and consume within one week

  5. Re-Heating: 2~4min (Not included in the video)
    Reheat the stored decoction by double boiling or in a pot on the stovetop.
    Avoid microwave if possible.


  • DO NOT ADD any sweetener such as sugar or honey etc. to your decoction unless it is instructed to do so.

Time saving tips;

  • You may cook two or more bags together if you have a large pot, as long as it is consumed within a week. Make sure to add enough water to yield enough decoction that the total bags of herbs would supply.


May your decoction bring wellness and healing to you!


Ask Akari

I yielded too much. What do I do?

It is not big of a problem. You have two options. 1. devide it into dosages as is and take the diluted decoction; you might have to drink more luquid 2. You may cook longer to condense it.

I yielded litte less. What do I do?

It is not big of a problem. You have two options; 1. you may add some hot water 2. Drink that concentrated decoction (make sure to devide it to each dose); This option might taste extra strong and can be hard on your stomach

What do I do with the herbs that I cooked?

Cooked herbs are discarded as organic waste or can be composted.

I burnt herbs! What do I do?

Unfortunately, burnt herbs and decoction cannot be taken. Please discard and cook another batch. You should also let Akari know so that she can write you another prescription for the bag(s) of herbs