Understanding Decoction Service: The "must-knows" about us cooking your patients' herbs

Patient compliance is often a challenge when prescribing herbal medicine. Cooking herbs into medicinal tea can be time-consuming for people and confusing for patients to navigate on their own. Even patients with the time and intention find themselves forgetting to prepare herbs or using methods that don’t yield the most potent solution. Using filtered and mineralized water, Root & Branch will cook your patient’s herbs for them to make sure they get the most potent brew to help resolve their ailments.


  1.  Because of food safety concerns with shipping, decoction Service is only available for patients who are able to come to the pharmacy in person to pick up their cooked herbs.

  2. R&B cooks  1 day’s herbs (usually also one bag) into one (1), 16oz jar of finished decoction. Dosing therefore is usually 1/2 jar (8oz) per dose, 2 times per day. Exact volume will vary slightly depending on the herbs in a formula and the number of days being cooked. IF YOU NEED EXACT VOLUMES FOR YOUR PATIENTS, you may want your patients to cook their herbs at home.

  3. In order to guarantee that decoctions are fresh and safe to consume, R&B CANNOT decoct more than 7 days worth of herbs at a time (i.e. no more than seven jars of decoction at a time).

  4. From the time payment is received for herbs, it usually takes 2-2.5 hours for the herbs to be cooked, cooled, and packaged. Please advise your patients accordingly. As with all herbs, they will receive a text notification when their herbs are ready for pick-up.

  5. Decoction service costs $3.00 which pays for a portion of the jars and carriers, as well as the labor to wash, sanitize, and restock the equipment

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We use electric pressure cookers to decoct herbs in our shop. We have experimented extensively with cook times, temperatures, and water levels to create a process that produces potent extractions. We are able to maintain the volatile components of short boil herbs by condensing them back into the decoction or by using a more traditional “add at the end” method. Please specify “add at the end” when building your formula if that is your preference. All of our decoctions leave the shop in sanitized, reusable, tempered-glass jars that keep those decoctions food safe in the refrigerator for as many as 10 days.  Please adhere to the “Best-Buy” date in your patient’s herb packet.

Other cooking services:

We can cook herbs into smaller quantities for people who don’t necessarily want to take 16oz of cooked herbs per day. For example, for several pediatric patients we cook 7 days of herbs into 1 jar. This involves more time than standard decoction service (as many as 4 hours total) and that information should be communicated to the patient. If you would like us to do some sort of special cook down you can write that information into the “Special Instructions” section at the bottom of the formula creation screen and we will see the information. Those special instructions should read something like “please cook all 7 bags down into 1 jar of herbs.” If it is something that we haven’t done for you before or that you’re not sure we can can actually do, give us a call at 971-288-5939, and we can chat about how to make your request into reality.