How to Take Liquid Herbal Extracts
the dosage guidelines on the
label, you can take the extracts
straight from the dropper or
dosage spoon. With herbal
extracts and tinctures it is not
necessary to take them under the
tongue as is sometimes advised
with other herbal or homeopathic
To reduce the intensity of
the taste of the extract you can
dilute the dosage in a small
amount of water, juice or herb
tea. (A juice glass or shot
glass can be handy for this.)
You can also follow the dose with berry juice, herb tea, crystallized ginger or mint such as Altoids or St. Claire’s Organic Mints to help clear the taste from your mouth.
To reduce the quantity and
taste of alcohol in the
extracts, measure the dose into
a coffee mug and add about a
half cup of boiling water from
the tea kettle. Wait until the
liquid in the mug has cooled
enough to drink. This technique
will evaporate most of the
alcohol for sensitive folks.
Never cook or microwave herbal
extracts, because the heat may
destroy many of their effective
Some herbs and herbal blends can be effective when taken on an occasional or as-needed basis. Examples are flower essences for anxiety, herbs for getting to sleep, allergy symptoms, menstrual cramps, coughs or occasional digestive upsets.
Herbal blends for help in fighting infections and calming inflammation should be taken frequently and consistently for best results. Examples are echinacea and other cold or flu remedies, taken at 3 to 5-hour intervals. Regular and consistent dosing can also help break patterns of coughs and muscle spasms and fight off infections.
Some herbal blends can be used
to help relieve occasional distresses or acute illness
by taking several full doses at short intervals and then
gradually reducing the frequency and amount of the dose until a level of comfort is achieved. Examples include anxiety attacks, flu or cold onset,
severe menstrual cramps or flooding or onset of a migraine headache. Although
this method can be amazingly effective, if you find that you are using this method repeatedly for the same symptoms, it is time to seek deeper understanding and treatment of the underlying condition.
Herbal blends and tonics to relieve discomforts and shift patterns of chronic illness are best taken 2 or 3 times a day. Examples are herbal blends for premenstrual syndrome, menopausal discomforts, benign prostatic hypertrophy, arthritis, and asthma.
Using fractional doses (2 to 5 drops) of herbs can be
an effective alternative for folks whose medications or fragile mental or physical health precludes them from taking full doses of herbal remedies. Flower essence preparations and extracts made by hand from fresh herbs are most effective as spirit doses.
Be sure to discuss
recommended dose amount and
frequency with your herbalist.
Jim McDonald gives a nice perspective on dosing in his article
Thoughts on dosage . .