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What is the best way to take herbs?

Many people want to get healthier by incorporating herbs into their diets or daily routine but they are unsure of where to start or how to do this.

The absolute best way to take an herb into the body is the way we take all of our food into our body. Eat it. This works great for some of our culinary herbs like basil and oregano, but there are many herbs out here that don’t fit into this category either because it is not feasible that we can eat that much herb to affect our health, or that the herb tastes bitter or terrible and doesn’t seem like chewing on it would be at all enjoyable.

The next best way to get the medicinal amount of a bad tasting herb into our stomachs is a capsule.

You can make them at home or buy them already made. I prefer people to make their own by grinding up their herb into a powder and loading the gelatin capsule. When you buy prepackaged capsules from big companies there are a few things to think about. How long has that powdered herb been sitting around? When an herb is ground into its smallest parts it exposes all surface area to air. Herbs can lose a lot of their potency this way. Then they put it into a capsule, then into a bottle. Then it sits on a shelf till it gets shipped to a store where it sits on a shelf there.

We can also drink our herbs. Many people find herbal teas enjoyable. When making an herbal tea for its medicinal benefits , start with home grown or locally sourced herbs. Once again, when you purchase the tea bags from big companies, you really don’t know how long those herbs sat around waiting to get put into tea bags. Crush your herbs right before use to provide smaller pieces and expose more surface area of the plant to the hot water to break up the cells so it can release its medicine into the water. Boil the water first and then pour it over the herbs. Cover your teacup with a lid or saucer, so the volatile oils don't escape into the air. Steep for 10-20 minutes to really get the medicinal benefits from the herb. Teas are great for the herbs that taste good, but who wants to drink a whole cup of tea that is made with bitter herbs, not me.

My preferred method of taking herbs is through a tincture. Tinctures are made by taking plant material (fresh or dried) and suspending it in an alcohol/water mixture for a minimum of one month. This then gets filtered and bottled. Being that it is concentrated, you can get your dosage just by taking usually somewhere between 10-60 drops depending on the herb and what it is treating. The best way to take these drops is directly under the tongue. This way it gets absorbed into the body sublingually and not so much through the digestive system. Depending on the proof that the alcohol is, this may be harsh on the delicate skin under the tongue. If you cannot take the tincture this way, I put my dosage into a shot glass with a strong flavored juice or your favorite beverage. This also helps mask the flavor of tinctures which is usually not everyone’s favorite.

There are many ways to incorporate herbs into your health regimen, and today is a great day to start.


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