Preparing the Chinese Herbal Washes

This spiel is written specifically for those who have come to be treated for skin conditions, for whom I have prescribed washes.

For each pack of herbs:

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1. Soak in clean tap water for 10 mins. this is to get rid of any remnant dust and sand.
2. Pick up the herbs and put into cooking pot (non-aluminium pleas; either stainless steel or earthenware is fine) with the level of water slightly more than twice the height of the herbs. It is okay even if water is 3x more than herbs – the difference is that it is more diluted, but has more volume (especially useful if it is for soaking).
3. Bring to boil, then cook on low fire for 20-40 mins – longer is better for water extraction here, but 20 mins is fine if you are short of time. At this point there is enough ingredients extracted INTO the water. If there isn’t enough water, then use more water the next time round.
4. Pour out the ‘water’ – this is called the decoction.

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5. Let the decoction cool down and use as wash. There are various ways for application. You can use a cloth to drape over the skin. for feet or hands, You can use the decoction as a soak in a shallow container.
6. Herbs can be reused one more time. After the first decoction has been poured out, you can store the herbs in the fridge for extracting another time.

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7. Just restart with step 2. Note: never use cold water to pour over the herbs – use warm water only, and bring to boil again to continue the extraction process. Below is a picture of the difference in color between the first and second decoction.

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