"How the heck do I take these herbs?" and other good questions.
What form of herbs is best for me? The best form of herbs for any patient is the one you can realistically make time for! So keep that in mind. Tablets and tinctures are more portable but less potent than powdered herbs. Powdered herbs are slightly more potent and more customizable. Raw herbs are the most potent, use no binders, and are the most time consuming. Take a good look at how much time you have to commit and what results you want, and be sure to ask questions if you need!
Tablets and tinctures: As prescribed (usually by number of tablets or droppers). If you are allergic to any binders (corn, gluten, etc) be sure to let us know so we can find a tablet that works with your body! If you are on any medication or other supplements, be sure to tell us and we can keep those in mind. Typically we will let you know depending on the formula's action whether to take before, with or after meals.
Powdered Herbs: Add your prescribed amount of scoops to comfortably warm 1 oz - 6 oz of hot water and stir to dissolve. If you are on any medication or other supplements, be sure to tell us and we can keep those in mind. Typically we will let you know depending on the formula's action whether to take before, with or after meals.
Raw/Bulk Herb Cooking Instructions: First things first - some herb math! Each "bag" of herbs you are prescribed is good for 3 "cooks" and each cook will last you a day. Wrap any seeds or "hairy" herbs in cheesecloth. Keep any aromatic herbs separate and add at the end of your cook-time. Cook time may vary depending on formula - just ask your acupuncturist for any other details!
Soak 1 bag of herbs in 3 cups of room temperature water for 25 mins - 1 hour. Strain herbs and discard water after this soak. This will help rehydrate the herbs and clean away any impurities.
Take the herbs you've just soaked and add in a ceramic pot if available. Stainless steel is fine otherwise! Add 3 cups of water and bring to boil, turn down to a simmer and simmer for 20-30 minutes (ask your herbalist). Add any aromatic herbs at last 5 minutes of the last cook and make sure to keep the pot's lid on. Strain herbs out and keep the water/decoction. This is your first cook! Put it aside to cool.
You will repeat the same process twice (for a total of 3 cooks per bag). Combine all three cooks together so they have the same potency. You now have enough for 3 days! You may divide this into 3 large mason jars (1 per day) or 9 small mason jars (1 per serving).
When you are ready to drink, simply reheat to a comfortably warm temperature.
Raw/bulk herbs are the most time consuming form of herbal medicine, but also the most potent! It might not be best for you if you are... let's say a CPA and it's tax season. But if you can carve out a couple hours to prepare while you are doing something else around the house, it's a very rewarding way to connect with the medicine and a radical act of self care.
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