Ask an HerbalistFeb 2, 2022

How long does it take an herbal extract to work?

We love talking about herbs and herbalism, and we especially love answering your questions about those topics. That's why we brought in our team of herbal experts to respond to some of the most common questions and concerns we hear.


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How long does it take an herbal extract to work?

Liquid herbal extracts are well-absorbed and begin working very quickly. But the key word here is begin. Noticeable effects or results can vary greatly. Some herbs that affect the nervous system can produce noticeable effects in a short period of time.


Kava, for example, can often be felt in 10 to 20 minutes, sometimes even sooner. Bitters begin affecting the digestive system via bitter taste receptors in about the same time. This is why bitters are usually taken 10 to 15 minutes before eating. Other acute use herbs can have an effect between about 1 and 3 days.


Tonifying body systems is typically a longer process. Tonic herbs are slower, but deeper acting and their action can be thought of as long-term building. Tonic herbs are typically taken long term, anywhere from 1 month to 3 months or more.