5 of Your Herbal Questions Answered with Herb Pharm
Written by Lina Watanabe, Herbalist at Herb Pharm. Herb Pharm makes high-quality liquid herbal products for the whole family. Founded in 1979, their products are made of plants and ethical choices, so they’re kind to both the body and the Earth.
What are herbs?
Herbs are generally plants that contain constituents that affect the mind or body. These constituents tend to concentrate in certain plant parts such as in the root of Ashwagandha and the flower of Lavender.
Most people have heard about culinary herbs like Thyme, Cilantro or Rosemary for adding flavor and aromas to meals, but the world of herbs is actually much bigger and even includes some non-plant materials like lichens and fungi. Herbs can be found just about everywhere, including your backyard (where you might consider herbs like Dandelion or Plantain to be “weeds”) or growing in a crack in the sidewalk, like Chickweed.
Beyond the culinary herbs you see at the farmers market or grow on your patio, there are hundreds of other herbs to learn about, from Albizia to Yarrow.
Why do people take herbs?
People take herbs to support their general health and well-being. In fact, humans and animals have been consuming herbs for thousands of years. And we have proof: The Papyrus Ebers is an ancient Egyptian scroll that contains some of the oldest preserved writings of herbal knowledge. It dates back to 1550 B.C.!
How do you take herbs?
Herbs can be taken in different forms, which you can learn more about in our Forms article. When taking any type of herb, you should always follow the instructions of the specific product. It’s important to research herbs through a reputable source and remember to let your health-care practitioner know when adding any herbs to your daily protocol. If you don’t have one, you can find an herbalist or naturopathic doctor in your area through the American Herbalists Guild or the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
How long does it take for herbs to work?
It depends on the herb. Some herbs that are taken acutely (like Kava and bitters) act faster and have a noticeable effect within 30 minutes of taking them. Others, such as tonic herbs, are taken long term (including Reishi and Schisandra). These work on a deeper level and more gently. With such herbs, it can take longer — about two to three months — to notice any effects. Most people notice a difference within two to three weeks.
When’s the best time to take herbs?
Generally, the best time to take herbs is between meals. This allows for better absorption because the herbs do not have to compete with food in your gut.
“Between meals” means either two hours after eating or 30 minutes before eating, but always follow the instructions of each product.
Many herbs need to be taken consistently to stay in your system, which is why most products have a suggested use to take it multiple times a day.
About the Author
Lina Watanabe is an herbalist at Herb Pharm. Herb Pharm makes high-quality liquid herbal products for the whole family. Founded in 1979, their products are made of plants and ethical choices, so they’re kind to both the body and the Earth.