For How Long Should I Take an Herbal Remedy?
Human beings have relied upon plants for healing for many thousands of years. The five elements and three doshas of Ayurveda and Yin and Yang of Chinese medicine are part of the language of nature, the language of life.
The way an herb is taken can lessen or increase its effectiveness.
Here are the general rules:
- Fresh herbs of the best quality available should be used whenever possible.
- Acute diseases are treated more quickly using strong herbs, and often using few herbs in a given formula.
- Chronic diseases should be treated more slowly and gently, with more balanced formulations given over a prolonged period of time.
- In treating acute diseases, small frequent doses are taken hourly or every two hours. As the symptoms subside, a lower dose is continued for a few days after all symptoms have been alleviated
- For chronic diseases, the herbs should be taken regularly three times daily, for one month to each year since the symptoms began.
- Acute diseases should show improvement within one to three days at most. If they do not, the herbs used should be reevaluated and possibly changed.
- Chronic conditions should show SOME benefit within two weeks or so. If they do not, the approach may need to be reevaluated.
- Excessive cooling and bitter herbs should not be taken over a prolonged period, since they can damage the digestive system.
- There are also seasonal restrictions. Strong heating herbs are rarely used in summer. Cold-natured herbs with strong eliminative properties are used rarely in winter. Fasting and detoxification is best practiced during the spring and fall.
- When properly stored (protected from excessive heat, moisture and light) dried leaves generally lose considerable potency in six months to a year. Non aromatic roots and barks last from one to two years. Powders, generally, are good for one to three months.
TODAY’S TIP: Herbal remedies will be much more effective when supported by diet and lifestyle according to your dosha.
See Food list for Vata, Pitta, and Kapha;
Ayurvdic diet and eating habits;
Daily routine for your dosha.