Learn how to take herbs safely in this article. Are you taking your herbs properly and in the proper dosage? Are you taking the right herb for your health challenge? Did you research the company to see if the products were properly tested?
Research your health challenge or illness!
The first step to better health is researching your health problem. Know everything about it from standard medical treatments to alternative treatments. If you have no diagnosis, it is difficult to put a plan together. Visit a holistic doctor to help you design a better plan to improve your health.
2. If you have only been to see a standard medicine doctor, visit a holistic doctor to get their viewpoint. Knowledge is power.
3. Know Your Herbs! Research each herb online or from a book in the library.
Talk to a professional herbalist or holistic doctor to get support for your path to better health.
4. Develop a plan of action with your holistic doctor or holistic nutritionist including diet, exercise, vitamins, and herbs. Again, a holistic doctor is so valuable, so you don’t lose time and money! Write it all down.
5. Buy your herbs from a quality company. Learn more about that later in this article.
6. Decide What form of the herb do you want to buy.
Herbs and supplements come in different forms: Tea, bulk product, liquid, extract, capsules, or pills. This is very confusing to inexperienced shoppers.
Determine which form of the supplement would suit your lifestyle best and your personality.
Do you have sensitive taste buds, then perhaps taking the herb in capsules is a better way to go.
If you have trouble taking capsules, then a liquid form might be the way to go. The herb will not benefit you if the bottle is never opened.
How do you research the company? More on that later in this article.
More in-depth Tips to Take Herbs and Supplements More Effectively.
Herbs come in different forms: bulk, tablets, caps, extracts, liquid, and teas. If you have problems swallowing tablets or caps, make sure you order extracts or liquids. Liquid products can be added to grape juice, prune juice, or smoothies in some cases. Some herbs such as goldenseal, neem, and Andrographis are intensely bitter! Many herbal liquid formulas do not taste good.
Extracts are stronger so you need to take less. Liquids such as liquid Kyolic garlic are effective for mouth infections and get the herb into the system more rapidly than capsules. If you have oral problems such as an infection in your mouth, liquids are the most potent way to address the infection. Some people absorb liquids better than powder.
Note teas are not generally as strong or as safe as other forms. Tea quality is a problem too. Many teas are cut with less expensive herbs or fillers. Some of the tea bags are made of questionable material. Most teas are not tested by 3rd party labs or tested at all for heavy metals, bacteria, bugs, or dirt. Just because tea is cheap does not mean it is safe. This is very important when buying tea from India or China. Any tea can be contaminated during many steps in the process from picking to storing the tea herb. So, consider this question carefully before you buy. An herbal formula that sits on the shelf will not do anything for your health.
Spice herbs unless organic may contain contamination. A majority of the spices come from China and India so beware. Many spices are tested only in the country of origin and their testing is highly questionable. I buy my garlic for example that is grown and produced in the United States despite it costing more. Spices are not tested as extensively as herbal supplements and may not be tested once imported into the US. They are under different manufacturing rules and regulations. Their benefits are often not as strong as in a supplement.
Research companies online. Call the telephone number on the bottle or the company website and ask the questions below. If they refuse to answer them, don’t buy their products. In conversation listen carefully to see if they give you direct answers or misleading vague answers.
- Where is your company based?
- Where do you buy your bulk herb product from?
- Was the product tested to make sure it is the right species of herb?
- Not all oregano contains a medicinal value, some are ornamental only. Is it tested to see if it contains beneficial medicinal properties such as the berberine alkaloid content in the Goldenseal product you have purchased?
- Is the product tested by you for mold, mildew, bacteria, and E. coli? Is it tested for lead and other heavy metals?
- How often is your bulk herb material tested? Is it tested by an unbiased third party?
- Where and how it is processed and packaged?
Your herbs arrive so now what? How and when is the best time to take them? If you did things correctly, you researched the herb first before you bought it.
If you are pregnant or nursing never take supplements or vitamins without consulting your holistic doctor. Some herbs can inhibit getting pregnant or cause problems during pregnancy.
Tips on taking herbs and supplements more effectively and safely.
- The dosage on the bottle of herbs is just a legal suggestion. The FDA will not allow herb companies to give specific dosage instructions or to state what you should take the herb for. Then it would be considered a drug and would be taken off the shelf. So, the herb companies cannot say much without losing their business. You must research that.
- The dosage for that herb depends on the herb, the dosage in each capsule, the severity of the health problem, and individual needs. That is why consulting a holistic doctor is needed to help you know how much and how often to take the herbal supplement.
- If you have a mild cold, you will take less product than if you have strep throat. If it is a child, you must know if that herb can be given to a child. The dose depends on the weight of that child as well as other factors.
- Children are often too little or cannot swallow pills or capsules. You might use homeopathic medicine or liquid Kyolic garlic with them.
- Always taste what you give them first, if it tastes bitter such as Goldenseal root extract, they may throw it back up or spit it out.
- Grape juice is great for hiding the taste of unpleasant herbs. Works with the elderly as well or anyone who cannot handle capsules or tablets.
- It is best if you have never taken herbs or a specific herb to take the minimum dosage first to see how you react to it. Every person reacts differently. If you are extremely sensitive to products and foods, start with one tablet or capsule or even half of one. Take them with food unless directed not to on the bottle label. Keep a food diary of your reactions for the first month.
Important…..Never take herbs and prescription drugs together at the same time.
That can lead to dangerous results. Herbs and drugs often don’t get along well in the stomach.
Herbs can potentiate the effects of the drug or lessen the effects. You could suffer an overdose by taking heart medications and Hawthorne berries at the same time.
If you are bound and determined to take herbs and drugs together, make sure they are taken at least 4 hours apart or more. Again I advise you NOT to unless under the supervision of a doctor.
Monitor your blood sugar and blood pressure every day if you have those health problems.
Again, it is very dangerous to take herbs and drugs together without a doctor’s supervision.
Cathryn Freer, the Herbladyisin signing off.