1. Not sweating your ass off 24/7 and actually getting to wear jeans, boots, and sweaters.
2. Rainy nights and misty mornings.
3. Baking nonstop and also eating nonstop cause you really don't care about your summer bod anymore.
4. Because there are nothing better than lazy fall days where you can relax with a book, blanket, and cup of tea.
5. Because there is basically just one holiday after another and it's great to see your family and be in festive mode 24/7.
6. There is nothing better than candles, and crunchy leaves, and seeing red and orange everywhere you go, and listening to indie folk, and watching horror movies, and visiting coffee shops, and buying new sweaters, and OMG I LOVE FALL.
It breaks my heart when I see people give up on herbs too easily.
More and more people are turning to herbs because there is a growing disappointment with using pharmaceuticals for chronic illness.
Many people are getting fed up with taking a pill that never really cures their illness and gives them awful side effects. Maybe they are concerned about acetaminophen giving their young child asthma (1) or they see the growing evidence about the risks associated with statins (2) and they say enough is enough!
From this moment forward they vow to never resort to drugs again and instead try a more natural and holistic approach thus leading them to the world of herbs and herbalism.
But sometimes their love affair with herbalism is stopped short.
They reach for the closest herb book, try a few remedies and then declare that the herbs don’t work! They tried using horehound for coughing with no relief. They tried meadowsweet for their headache to no avail.
They begin to wonder, “Are herbalists a bunch of delusional wood fairies touting the miracles of something that never works?”
As much as I would love to be considered a wood fairy, I’ll have to say no, this is not the case. I’ve seen herbs work hundreds of times. I’ve seen them work for serious infections as well as serious chronic diseases. I’ve seen them work when modern medicine failed.
Yes, herbs work!
I want to share a handful of reasons why herbs might not work in a given situation.
1. Improper dosing (either too little or too much)
When buying over the counter drugs like NyQuil or Tylenol, they come in a package that is clearly marked with the dosage instructions. Generally these are very simple instructions. “Adults take 2 tablets, three times daily.”
Herbs don’t always come with directions. If you buy bulk herbs the dosing instructions are absent entirely. If you buy a tincture or a bottle of capsules the dosage listed on the bottle has most likely been chosen by the FDA’s labeling mandates and not by an herbalist.
I am not going to lie to you. Dosage in the herbal world is confusing.
In herbalism dosage varies from person to person, from plant to plant and from preparation to preparation.
A 15 minute infusion of a teaspoon of nettle leaf will not extract the same vitamins and minerals as a four-hour infusion of an ounce of nettle leaf in a quart of water.
A few drops of lobelia tincture can promote relaxation. A strong cup of lobelia tea could make you vomit.
One way I commonly see dosages being flubbed in herbalism is people using small amounts of tonic/adaptogen herbs in tincture, versus the traditional use of large amount of tonic/adaptogen herbs as decoctions or powders. (As always go with what works, but if you aren’t getting the results you’d expect after taking 5 drops of ashwanganda tincture twice a day, consider your dose!)
Frequency of dosing can also be an issue. During acute illnesses we generally use slightly smaller amounts but with more frequency. I may take elderberry elixir 1-2 times each hour at the onset of an illness for example. General recommendations are to take herbs 3 times a day, but that won’t cut it for acute illness.
2. Low quality plant material
Herbs often don’t come with an expiration date. Quality can also vary significantly and will suffer greatly if the herbs have been improperly harvested or improperly processed.
Plants decay. They simply go bad. The rate at which they do this varies significantly from plant to plant. If you’ve just pulled a bag of herbs from your back shelf and had to blow off an inch of dust… well, they are probably not at their prime.
Having my first exam in sociology coming up in 4 hours today so i still have a lot of time until then. Trying to relax, had a big cup of tea, baguette and bread rolls for breakfast and now i’m slowly starting to feel the nervosity coming up 🤓