With the staggering number of pills, capsules and tablets available on the market, the option of taking a liquid herbal preparation makes many people stop to think; why use liquid herbs? As herbalists we get asked this all the time, and we never tire of answering as it is something we are utterly passionate about.
Herbal medicine is at its most powerful when quality medicines are given at the right dosage. Liquids exemplify this, maximising the efficacy of the herb to treat your condition.
A liquid herbal preparation doesn’t require the tabletting agents, fillers, excipients, coatings and capsule casings that pills necessitate, making it a much more pure and potent form of medicine.
Unlike most drugs that have one ‘active’ element that does one specific thing in the body, herbs are rich in complex phytochemicals (plant chemicals) and have many different ‘actives’ that perform multiple functions. When liquid herbs are prepared properly, the full range of the active constituents of any herb are extracted and ready for use by your body.
The other key user-friendly aspect of a liquid herbal medicine is that it allows for flexibility of dosing. This is important especially in children, where a six month old baby will clearly need a different dose than a six year old child. Trying to divide up a capsule might prove impossible, but adjusting the dose is straight-forward with a liquid. Also a liquid makes it easy to give medicine to little people who may have difficulty with swallowing tablets, or to elderly people who may have problems digesting and absorbing tablets.
There are many other advantages to liquid herbal medicines; for some herbs the taste of the herb is important for its therapeutic action. This is especially true of the group of herbs we call ‘bitters’, which in part work through the taste receptors on your tongue sending signals to your stomach and digestive tract to ramp up digestive function. Yes our bodies are amazing!
In other blogs we have written about the advantages of liquid Echinacea preparations specifically. With Echinacea you can easily gauge the quality of the medicine by how much it makes your tongue tingle! This is because of the presence of alkylamides, the most active constituents in Echinacea. The alkylamides in Echinacea stimulate and modulate your immune system, but they also stimulate your tongue, so a tingly mouth shows you that the Echinacea will be getting to work elsewhere in the body also. A liquid preparation of Echinacea means you can measure the quality for yourself, each time you take it.
The feedback we get from customers is that, quite simply, liquids work better. As herbalists and practitioners, we want to know that we are giving the best quality medicines to each person, at the right dose for them, so that they will get results as fast as possible. Ultimately, you buy a medicine because you want it to be effective, and quality liquids allow herbs to be at their medicinal best.