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Reboiling herbs - is it ever not advised?


#1

I live in Beijing and am currently seeing a TCM doctor for Hashimoto's Thyroiditus due to Spleen yang and stomach yin deficiency. My impression is that he has me on a fairly large amount of herbs, and they are definitely working. Most of my symptoms completely cleared up the second day I was on them.

I'm concerned about the cost of the herbs, which run me about $80 a week. My doctor told me to only use each batch of herbs to make the two doses of tea I drink a day - I make a decoction in the morning, drink half, and reheat half at night. I've read online that one batch of herbs can be used 2-3 times, but my doctor told me I should only use it once. He was in a rush and I didn't really have time to get a full explanation, and I'm not going to see him for a couple of weeks.

I wanted to know if there's any reason I shouldn't reuse one batch of herbs for 2 days. Health is, of course, cheap at any price, but I'm fairly tight on money these days and reboiling the herbs for a second or third day would contribute to my financial solivancy a lot - especially if I wind up having to take them for a long time.

Here is the daily dose of herbs he has me on:

黄芪 Sheng Huang Qi 20g
太子参 Tai Zi Shen 20g
黄芩 Huang Qin 15g
稀签草 Xi Qian Cao 15g
桂枝 Gui Zhi 10g
赤芍 Chi Xiao 15g
怀牛膝 Huai Niu Xi 15g
白藓皮 Bai Xian Pi 20g
炒白术 Chao Bai Zhu 20g
菊花 Ju Hua 15g
白芍 Bai Shao 15g
酷青皮 Ku Qiang Pi 8g
白蒺藜 Bai Ji Li 10g
炙甘草 zhi gan cao 8g
桑叶 Sang Ye 15g
当归 Dang Gui 15g
陈皮 Chen Pi 8g
蛇床子 She Chuang Zi 10g
郁金 Yu Jin 12g


#2

Well clearly the potency goes down after each boiling, but if it were the difference between taking any herbs at all vs. not having the money to eat, I certainly wouldn't hesitate to reuse them a second time. A third, however, might be pushing it a bit.


#3

When I was in TCM school we discussed reusing herbs as a cost saving measure. My teacher recommended a specific method. Rather than making a decoction on day one, saving the herbs and then making a second dose on day 2, he would make a dose, immediately make a second dose and then mix them together. You now have a two day supply. The advantage is thet the potency is more balanced over the two days, since as Chad pointed out the herbs are somewhat depleted by the second use.


#4

My doctor told me to boil the herbs 3 times consecutively (20 minutes each time) and mix all the liquid. I read in a chinese text that it is realy neccessary, since some of the essence fo the herbs come out later. I don&#39t know about that, but at least there will be more tea by boiling 3 times and maybe refrigerating some of it.


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