Chinese Herbal Teas: Instructions for making

By Cat, May 25, 2017

These instructions are from the Aurora Benevolent Healing Center, Bernie Bayard, ND., L. Ac.,  my naturopath/acupuncturist  when I lived in Portland OR. I have not been to that office since I moved to my Montana birth-home in 2008, so not sure it is still in business; the last address I had was 1238 NW Glisan St, C, Portland, OR.

Now I live in Montana,  so likely will not get another Chinese herbal tea from Dr. Bayard; however, the method is the same no matter where you get the tea. For example, I had lost those original instructions, so asked my acupuncturist in Montana if he knew how to make the tea; his printed instructions were the same as Dr. Bayard’s.

The dosage may be different for your conditions, so follow what your practitioner recommends.

See also: 1. Healing Herbs, Oils and Remedies Menu

The first time I made a Chinese Herbal Tea, was when I came down with pneumonia while on a flight home to Portland from Baltimore. I was removed from the plane at the Denver Airport and transported to a hospital there, where I was diagnosed. They gave me a prescription and I spent the night at a co-worker’s home (all hotels were booked because of a convention in town). Thank goodness I knew someone in Denver! The next day I flew to Portland and saw Dr. Bayard, who was my naturopath at the time. He prescribed me a Chinese lung tea which I had to cook at home. It was amazing! in how it helped with the pain of coughing and calmed my lungs down. I will never forget that experience. I wish I had recorded the name and ingredients in that tea!

Chinese Herbal Teas: Instructions for making

These instructions apply to any dried Chinese herbal tea, not just the lung tea I made. The herbs are simmered three times. NOTE: I’ve added some notes from my own experience, enclosed by square blocks as: […].

Important notes:

  • About equipment: Use either a glass, enamel, or stainless steel pot. Avoid iron, aluminum and copper cookware. Also avoid stainless steel if you have a sensitivity to nickel. A wooden spoon, tea strainer and funnel are helpful.
  • Storage: Store tea in glass bottle/jar that will hold 6 – 8 cups of liquid total. [A half-gallon bottle or Mason jar works best.]
  • Caution about first simmer:  Many people forget about the cooking herbs during the first simmer, and allow the tea to burn. Use a timer if you are busy with other things!


Some teas come as two separate bags of herbs, a larger one for bulky ingredients and a smaller one for finer ingredients. Dr. Bayard used a ziplock bag for the larger one, and a smaller plastic bag for the finer ingredients (if needed).

First Simmer: Combine contents of the ziplock bag of roots and barks with five cups of warm filtered water. Let stand at least 10 minutes before bringing to a boil; reduce heat to a slow simmer, cover and cook for 35 minutes. [Set a timer so the herbs will not burn.]

Add the contents of the smaller bag, if one is included, and one cup of water. Return the tea to a simmer and cook, covered, for 10 minutes, whether or not you have added more ingredients. Strain the tea into a bottle/jar, the return strained herbs to pot.

Second Simmer: Add two cups of water to pot, or more if necessary to cover the herbal materials; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Set a timer! Strain the tea into the same bottle/jar as used for first simmer, and return the strained herbs to pot.

Third Simmer: Add 1½ cups filtered water to the ingredients and simmer again for 5 minutes. Strain tea into the same bottle/jar. You should have five to six cups of tea, 1½ to 2 quarts. Store in refrigerator; [if needed divide the tea between two quart bottles/jars if your fridge will not accommodate a half-gallon bottle/jar.]


Each dose is preferably taken one-half hour before, or two hours after, a meal. Rather than drinking the tea cold, briefly heat your daily dosage or allow it to reach room temperature. Do not heat in a microwave. You may add a small amount of water. Call your practitioner if you have questions about the preparation or effects of the tea.

Depending on the tea and your symptoms, the daily dosage may be different. ]Dr. Bayard has 3 options and checks which one you should use, as follows:]

Dosage Options:

  1. Drink one cup of tea a day, either one-half cup (4 fluid ounces), in the morning and another half-cup later in the day; or one full cup in the morning.
  2. Drink one cup of tea immediately, and then one-half cup (4 fluid ounces) later today. Tomorrow, drink one full cup of tea in the morning and one-half cup later in the day. After that, drink one cup of tea a day. [Dr. Bayard did not suggest this option for me.]
  3. Drink one cup of tea immediately, and then one cup later today. Tomorrow and thereafter, drink 2 cups of tea a day until the tea if finished.

He strongly suggests calling your practitioner after drinking all the tea, to check-in.

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