How to Pressure Cook Raw Chinese Herbs

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Pressure Cooking Chinese Herbs

Properly cooking, or decocting, Chinese herbs is essential for accessing the full effectiveness of the herbs. Many raw Chinese herb formulas work just like a simple cup of hot tea, however, some require a more intensive cooking process.

In the past, cooking herbs could be tedious, time-consuming, and extremely fragrant—sometimes not in a good way! However, now there are several easy ways to prepare herbs that use equipment you have in your kitchen. Read below to see how to pressure cook herbs and browse other ways to prepare your herbs. 

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 – 12 Hours
  • Yields: 8 – 12 oz

Benefits of Raw Chinese Herbs

Chinese herbal medicine has been used for thousands of years to safely expedite the healing process, strengthen, support and tonify the body. They are effective in not only treating the symptom but also in working to address the underlying root cause of various medical conditions, whether acute or chronic. Individual herbs are combined in order to enhance their actions and effects upon the body. When combined, a unique synergistic formula is created that amplifies the benefits of the formula. When prescribed and used correctly, Chinese herbal formulas rarely cause unwarranted side effects.

What You’ll Need

  • Hot/Cold Thermos 
  • Tea Kettle (Stove model or electric)
  • Raw Chinese herbs
  • Water (Filtered or bottled is best) 


The first step is preparing the thermos. 

  1. Heat the water in the tea kettle.
  2. Open the thermos and pour in about 12 ounces of hot water.
  3. Seal the thermos.
  4. Allow to sit for 5–10 minutes. This will preheat the inside of the thermos.

Instructions for Pressure Cooking Chinese Herbs

Herbs need to cook for 8-12 hours so it’s a great idea to set this tea up the night before you want to enjoy it. Although the tea may remain warm for up to 36 hours, you should try to finish up any tea within 24 hours of starting the process.

  1. Heat enough water to completely fill the thermos and bring to a boil.
  2. Open the thermos and pour out the water used for preheating.
  3. Pour the Chinese herbs into the thermos.
  4. Completely fill the thermos with hot water.
  5. Seal the thermos.
  6. Allow to cook for 8–12 hours. 
  7. Open the thermos and enjoy your tea! 

Alternative Ways To Prepare and Enjoy Chinese Herbs

There are several other ways to cook Chinese herbs. Although many patients love this thermos method, we know each person has a preferred preparation method. Click the links below to see which cooking technique works best for you. 

Better Health, Naturally

Cooking raw Chinese herbs is a time-tested method for unlocking the power of the Earth’s natural medicine.  Choose your favorite cooking method and enjoy the soothing practice of taking care of yourself through Chinese herbal remedies. 

Dr. Adam Miramon, DACM, DiplOM, LAc

Dr. Miramon is a Certified Acupuncturist and Herbalist who is the Chief Clinic Director & President at Transformational Acupuncture Clinic in Washington D.C. They have devoted their life to expanding their knowledge in a variety of facets from reproductive health, labor and delivery, to Chinese herbal knowledge. Through a desire to better serve patients and practitioners, they founded Transformational Herbal Pharmacy in 2023.

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