Nov 27, 2012


    Most of the herbs recommended for respiratory conditions are safe to take in teas, tinctures, syrups, capsules, tablets or lozenges several times daily for several days or weeks at a time. Note the safety issues raised about bloodroot, coltsfoot, comfrey, lobelia and calamus root and the potential side effects of Ma huang and licorice root, all of which are discussed in the following section.

    The tincture doses that appear on the labels of dropper bottles sold in health food stores, usually measured in drops, are insufficient for most acute conditions in adult humans. Also, many commercially prepared tinctures are weaker and less concentrated than those you can make at home, either because the proportion of alcohol to herbs is higher, creating a more dilute solution; because the tinctures are made quickly, allowing insufficient time for complete extraction; or because the quality of the raw materials is inferior. Because concentration and quality vary among tinctures, just as the people who take them vary in size, weight and physical condition, it is impossible to specify a single dosage for best results.
      If you don't notice improvement after taking a tincture as directed, you probably need more. As noted earlier, herbalists such as Rosemary Gladstar recommend teaspoon-sized doses of tinctures, not 7 to 15 drops at a time as many labels suggest. Of course, a one-ounce bottle won't last long if you take it a teaspoon at a time, which is why it makes sense to make your own.

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