How to Prepare Chinese Herbs

Overview

Chinese herbs have been used for thousands of years to treat physical and emotional ailments through methods such as aromatherapy or tea. And sometimes they're incorporated into Chinese medicine. A wide array of Chinese herbs exists with a wide range of applications, from weight loss to gastrointestinal problems. You can purchase natural Chinese herbs to create your own concoction right at home. It is important to understand what herbs may be right for you, so research extensively or consult with a practitioner of Chinese herbal medicine--and do not take any of these herbs as a medical treatment without consulting your physician first. Keep some key things in mind when preparing herbs at home.

Step 1

Use a glass or ceramic cooking pot to cook the herbs if possible. Do not use metal or cast iron, as it can cause a chemical reaction with the herbs. Always make sure the pot has a lid to cover the herbs while cooking.

Step 2

Fill the pot with water so that it covers the herbs in it by about an inch and a half. Let the herb soak for 20 minutes. After soaking, bring the herbs to a boil.

Step 3

Simmer the Chinese herbs in the pot once it has boiled for one minute. This all depends on the type of herbs you are utilizing though; as some may need to boil longer than others if they have a tough exterior. The key is to simmer until the herbs are softened.

Step 4

Strain the herbs through a colander into another pot or pitcher.

Step 5

Drink the Chinese herbs as a tea, which is the most common way to prepare the herbs. The taste may range from mild and pleasant to pungent and terrible. Add sugar, honey or lemon to make the taste better, or even combine with a more pleasant tasting tea such as black or green. You can even add the tea mixture to soup with vegetables.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Chinese herbs
  • Stove
  • Cooking utensils
  • Colander
  • Honey, sugar, lemon, teas, if desired

References

  • Preparing Chinese Herbs
  • Chinese Herb FAQ for Medicine
Keywords: Chinese herbs, preparing herbs, medicinal herbs

About this Author

Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.