Ask an HerbalistFeb 2, 2022

How do you take herbs?

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.

Our herbalists have decades of combined experience working with herbs — and the people who take them. They answer your most pressing questions, in our regular column “Ask an Herbalist.”

How do you take herbs?

If you are using an extract or any type of herbal product, it’s important to read and follow the directions. This may entail using a spray, mixing a liquid extract or powder in water or juice or swallowing a capsule. Nearly all herbal products are taken on an empty stomach, any time from 2 hours after eating until 30 minutes before eating. Taking herbs 2 or more times per day (as instructed) helps to keep them in your system longer.

Tonic herbs are used to build and tonify various organs and systems. These are usually slower acting and are taken on a regular, daily basis for an extended time. Depending on the herb, the person and the desired effect, many tonic herbs may be taken for 2 months or more. Acute herbs are generally faster acting and used when a need is immediate. These are taken for shorter periods and may be followed up with a longer course of tonic herbs to tonify the system involved.