Guide to the proper use of herbs
When we start consuming herbs, either for therapeutic purposes or because we are satisfied with their taste, it is good to know some basic information, so that proper consumption can be made without side effects but also to see the desired results.
Here are the key factors to keep in mind:
1. Storage: the best way to store and preserve herbs is to use glass containers. They do not have to be closed airtight to allow the herbs to “breathe”, so the use of a paper cover is acceptable. They should never be exposed to sunlight or humid areas.
2. The weight factor: logically, people with a larger volume need a higher dosage than people with a smaller volume or people who are very thin. As with many medications, women need smaller amounts than men. Children and the elderly should take even smaller doses.
3. Climate: depending on the climate of each region or country, the healing properties of herbs have another effect on the body. In hot climates, the healing properties of the herbs and the effects of a treatment are more effective than in colder climates. Next is the dosage should be lower in warmer climates.
4. Different organisms – different reactions: Not all people have the same tolerance to herbs. In fact, some people may have allergies that can cause serious complications. It is best to do a test first, with a small dose of herb, to see any side effects. The dose that would correspond to a child is a good trial dose for an adult. In case of tolerance, it is good not to proceed directly to a normal adult dose, but to maintain a steadily increasing attitude, observing any side effects and reactions of the organism for 2 to 3 days.
5. Dosage of herbs for children: The basic principle for determining the doses for a child is as follows: since the average weight of an adult is 75 kg (the average is determined on the basis of an adult male in this case) and the average weight of a child is about 25 kg, a child has 1/3 of the weight of an adult. The dose of herbs that a child can take is therefore one third of the standard dosage. Read more on herbs for babies and children.
6. Use of herbs during pregnancy: The female body reacts very differently during pregnancy. So it is wiser when consuming herbs, to be in smaller quantities and always watch out for any reactions of the body. Of course medicinal herbs should be avoided during pregnancy and mild and mainly nutritious herbs should be preferred. Herbs that are diuretic, laxative and mainly emmenagogue, are explicitly forbidden to use during pregnancy. In general, herbs that have many properties active in the abdominal area should be avoided.
7. Nervous people: in people with sensitive nervous system the amount should be less than in people with strong and healthy nervous system, when it comes to stimulant herbs.
8. For people with high blood pressure: People suffering from high blood pressure should avoid herbs that stimulate heart function. Examples of herbs that should be avoided are licorice and ephedra. Garlic of course can be used but in normal doses.
9. Herbal combinations: Herbal combinations should be done with care and study. Many herbs when combined neutralize each other due to opposite properties, or when one is stronger than the other, it overcomes the beneficial properties of the other. So there must be the right synergy between herbs.
10. Laxating herbs: when taking herbs to fight constipation, we should start with something mild and eat early in the morning so as not to disturb sleep. The average energy time of a mild herb is 1 to 3 days, when a stronger laxative herb can work within 4 to 8 hours. When starting a mild treatment, do not increase the dose before the end of the third day, as there will probably be side effects.
11. Sedative and antispasmodic herbs: in order to achieve the desired results, the administration should be done just before bedtime and on an empty stomach.
12. Astringent herbs and trace elements: Astringent herbs should not be taken in conjunction with iron supplements. The tannins contained in astringent herbs “pull” calcium, iron and other important trace elements.
13. Blood-purifying herbs: always eaten on an empty stomach to be effective.
14. Strong herbs: great care must be taken in the use of herbs that have a very strong action, such as wild cypress, horsetail, yarrow etc.
15. Bitter herbs: Bitter herbs affect digestion, stomach and related organs. So they are preferred for dealing with indigestion and heartburn. Their tonic action protects and relieves symptoms.
16. Ideal infusion temperatures: a hot infusion, is used to induce sweating. Reasons we want this result can be persistent fever, detoxification or weight loss. A cool infusion is used mainly to stimulate the body, while a warm one, to relax and fight insomnia and stress