What are concentrated Chinese herbs?
Concentrated Chinese herbs are the extracts made from the water decoction of bulk herbs, concentrated at a low pressure and low temperature, and then instantly dried. Compared to bulk herbs, which must be boiled in water for long periods of time, concentrated herbs may be quickly and easily prepared and administered.
What's the best way to administer concentrated Chinese herbs?
The most common method of administering concentrated Chinese herbs is through a decoction, which is mixing herbal granules with very hot water. Concentrated herbs may also be consumed in capsule or tablet forms, applied topically in an herbal paste ("gao yao"), or used in a foot or bath soak.
While many people prefer the convenience of taking herbs in capsule or tablet form, the decoction method is the most effective method of administration. This is because the body absorbs herbs more quickly and more fully in decocted form than in capsule or tablet form. If comparing the absorption of capsules versus tablets, herbs in capsule form are absorbed more readily than herbs in tablet form.
How is the daily dosage and treatment time determined?
Treasure of the East herbal extracts are five times more concentrated than traditional bulk herbs. Usually an adult will take 3 grams per serving, 3 times per day. If the formula contains more than 15 single herbs, the dosage should be increased to 5 grams per serving, 3 times per day.
Weight and age also affect dosage, as follows:
|1-2 yrs. of age||1/5-1/4 dose||30-40 lbs||20-27%|
|2-4 yrs. of age||1/4-1/3||40-50 lbs||27-33%|
|4-6 yrs. of age||1/3-2/5||50-60 lbs||33-40%|
|6-9 yrs. of age||2/5-1/2||60-70 lbs||40-47%|
|9-14 yrs. of age||1/2-2/3||70-80 lbs||47-53%|
|14-18 yrs. of age||2/3-full||80-100 lbs||53-67%|
|18+ yrs. of age||full dosage||100-120 lbs||67-80%|
|18+ yrs. of age||full dosage||120-150 lbs||80-100%|
|18+ yrs. of age||full dosage||150-200 lbs||100-130%|
|18+ yrs. of age||full dosage||200-250 lbs||130-167%|
|18+ yrs. of age||full dosage||250+ lbs||167-200%|
The period of treatment will vary from case to case. Certain herbs may have side effects if taken continuously over long periods of time. To avoid this, treatment with strong herbs should stop as soon as symptoms are alleviated.
The following herbs should not be consumed in large doses or over long intervals: Fu Zi, Chuan Wu, Cao Wao, Wu Zhu Yu, Qian Niu Zi, Xing Ren, Ban Xia, Nian Xing, Bai Fu Zi, Tian Xian Mao, Shan Ci Gu.
When should herbs be taken?
Generally, herbs should be taken on an empty stomach, either half an hour before or one hour after a meal. Some herbs should be taken at specific times. For example, tonic herbs should be taken before a meal, cleansing herbs should be taken on an empty stomach, herbs related to sleep should be taken at bed time. Any herbs that cause heartburn or stomach upset should be taken after a meal.
How can I make decocted Chinese herbs more palatable?
Suggestions for how you can make herbs more palatable:
- Mix herbs with a small amount of hot water, so that the resulting decoction can be consumed quickly.
- Consume herbal extracts dry, immediately followed by plenty of warm water (as is popular in Taiwan).
- Add a natural sweetener such as honey or stevia extract.
- Mix herbs with apple sauce or other foods.