Herb Doses and Herb Combinations
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Patty
Posted on: September 25, 2002

I read your answer to natural remedies for Menopause. My question is: you listed several herbs for irregular periods, nervous stress, insomnia, hot sweats, etc. If you wanted to get all of these in a liquid form how many drops should you use of each herb for these symptoms? I have all these symptoms, and would be using vitex or dong quai, skullcap or St. johnswort, valerian or vervain, blackcohosh, and hawthorn berries. In combination do these herbs have any problems or side effects? Should any of these not be used together?

All herbs come with different dosage recommendations. All herb preparations (for example, capsules, tinctures, extracts) are prepared differently, and so will come with specific dosage recommendations.

We answer questions on this website for the purpose of providing information for your further investigation. The best way to use this information is to purchase a good herbal book that will give you more detailed information on the reasons for your health problem, the properties and actions of herbs that can help you, and diet and lifestyle recommendations. The books will describe dosages and herb preparations. This way, you can understand what is happening to your body and why, allowing you more control over your health. If you are unable to spend the time investigating these resources, another approach is to take this information is to a good health store with knowledgeable staff who will help you to choose a herbal combination to suit your needs.

Regarding the particular herbs that you mention, they can be taken together. Some tips on using these herbs: Hawthorn should not be combined with other herbs in a tincture because it precipitates out of solution, resulting in an unpredictable dosage. Take Hawthorn in a separate bottle. Vitex is best taken first thing in the morning, because it works by the pituitary gland, which is most active in the morning. Take vitex in a separate bottle. St. Johnswort should not be taken with prescription drugs without consulting a pharmacist who has access to the particular drugs with which it may interact.

Good resources for menopause are: Amanda McQuade Crawford’s "Herbal Remedies for Women" (Prima Publishing) Susun Weed’s "The Menopausal Years" (Ash Tree Publishing) Anne McIntyre’s "The Complete Woman’s Herbal" (Henry Holt publisher) Rosemary Gladstar’s "Herbal Healing for Women" (Simon & Schuster publisher).

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