WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ADDING HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS TO YOUR REGIMEN
From An Eastern Medicine Perspective
Ok, you’ve learned all about herbs, and now you’re ready to add them to your regimen. Here’s what you need to know first.
Have you read an article about a certain herb that offers many benefits, quickly ordered it, only to take it for a few days, forget about it, and now it’s collecting dust in the back of your cabinet?
Or maybe you decided you’re going to recommit to your health journey, added a bunch of supplements to your routine, and then you completely fell off the bandwagon?
We want to help you add herbal supplements to your regime the right way. Let’s talk about what you need to know first, how to incorporate herbs into your routine, and when you can expect to see results.
Are you taking any other medicines?
First things first – let’s assess what other medications you’re currently taking. While taking prescription medication along with supplements is common, herbal supplements and other medicines don’t always mix. It’s important to talk to your doctor before introducing anything new into your routine, especially if you’re taking over-the-counter or prescription medicines. Your doctor can help you decide if the herbal supplements you’re interested in are a good fit for you.
Tea vs. Tincture
When it comes to choosing your herbs, you may be wondering which form to choose. With most herbs, you’ll probably notice they come in tinctures, and some come in teas – so let’s break down the difference.
Tinctures are concentrated herbal extracts made by soaking the bark, berries, leaves, or roots of plants in alcohol or vinegar. The alcohol or vinegar pulls out the active ingredients in the plants, creating a concentrated liquid. Tinctures are commonly used in traditional herbal medicine as a more potent form of taking herbal supplements.
Tinctures make it super convenient to take your supplement. You can throw them in your purse or pretty much anywhere in your house and quickly take a few drops when needed. You can also add your tinctures into a liquid. This is great because herbs don’t always have the greatest taste.
If you like sipping tea, teas are a great way to get your herbs in. However, when you’re getting your herbs through tea, you have to take much more than you would with a tincture. This makes things difficult if you’re taking a bitter herb or if the flavor isn’t your favorite. Teas also need to be made each day, or at least every few days, to be effective. A tincture, on the other hand, can last years.
Buy From a Trusted Source
You’ve nailed down which herbs you want to try, and now it’s time to buy. Before grabbing the first thing that pops up on google or the cheapest option on amazon, it’s important to do a little research.
While the name on the bottle may be the same, some herbal supplements may contain additives or lesser quality ingredients. Choosing a high-quality herbal supplement is the healthier and safer option. Unlike drug companies, supplement manufacturers aren’t required to prove their products are safe before they can be sold. One study showed that nearly 800 dietary supplements sold in the U.S. were contaminated with unapproved or banned ingredients – no thanks. When shopping around, look for third-party tested herbal supplements. Always choose a company that values transparency!
Not only are they safer, but high-quality supplements are also more bioavailable. Bioavailability refers to the herb’s ability to be absorbed and used by the body. Depending on the formulation, the bioavailability of an herbal supplement may be higher or lower. Choosing an herbal supplement in its purest form with few fillers is a good indication of high bioavailability.
If you’re just diving into the world of herbalism, you may find many different herbs you want to try. However, when incorporating anything new into your routine, it’s important to start slow. A lot of times we get excited and get a little too ahead of ourselves. Instead of grabbing tons of supplements and creating a goal to take 5 new supplements this month, pick the top herbal supplement you want to try and begin to incorporate it into your routine. After a few days, then a
few weeks, notice how it makes you feel, how your body reacts, and from there, you can incorporate other herbs into the mix.
Consistency is Key
Just like with any medicine, supplement, or new habit, consistency is key to getting the results you’re after. Have you ever set out to eat healthier, work out, or take a supplement, only to completely forget or fall out of routine by day 5? It happens to the best of us. When starting your new herbal supplement regime, set yourself up for success so you can improve your health and feel your best.
Set a daily reminder on your phone or keep your herbs out where you can see them, so you don’t forget to take them! Pretty soon you’ll be taking your supplements out of habit, and your body will thank you for it!
How Long Until I See Results?
So you took a few drops of your new herbal supplement and didn’t immediately feel different?!
Yea, that’s normal.
Seeing results with herbal supplements doesn’t always happen instantly. While some herbs can offer quick relief, results will depend on the herbal supplement you’re taking and the symptoms you’re facing.
Generally, you can expect to see results in about 3-14 days.
It’s important to remember that herbal supplements target the root of your symptoms and address your health from within rather than masking your symptoms. It takes time to heal the body, so remember – be consistent!
Are you ready to add herbal supplements to your regime? Herbal supplements are a great way to support your body’s healing process by getting to the root of your health concerns and improving your wellbeing.