There are many ways to take herbs: in teas, capsules, tablets, syrups, lozenges and tinctures, not to mention all their external applications, like compresses, poultices, washes and steam inhalations. For best results, use herbs that were grown organically or wildcrafted, then dried at low temperature to maintain their flavor, color, essential oils and other properties. See the appendix for a list of herbal tea companies that specialize in high quality medicinal herbs. If you are new to herbal medicine, remember that the recipes given here and in herbal reference books are flexible and forgiving. If you can't obtain an ingredient, find an appropriate substitute. Quantities are flexible, too. As you gain experience, you will be able to develop your own recipes. As you do so, be sure to refer to two or three different herbal references for information about each plant so that you have a clear understanding of its benefits, potential side effects and special requirements.