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Reply To: Herbal Therapeutics

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Hi Deborah,

This is a good question!
Getting used to doses and choosing just the right herbs for a person and their situation can take a while to get the hang of, and even then you will likely find yourself tweaking people’s formulas as you go and the situation develops over time.

But for the specifics in the scenario that you have presented: Although it does make sense to focus on anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory herbs that are specific to the sinuses etc. the dose that you currently have for the nettle in the tincture formula may not need to be so high and I would definitely recommend that the Echinacea and turmeric increases in it’s dose for allergies that are this strong.

Since you have nettle in the infusion as well, you won’t need to have much nettle in the tincture formula. The dose that you currently have for nettle is also on the middle to higher end with 20 mL in a 50 mL formula. Assuming you are suggesting a 5-7.5 mL dose 2x/day, this equals about 40 mL/week or about 7 mL a day which is right in the middle of the dose range found in your Mat Med. Ultimately well done on choosing that dose, but with the nettle in the infusion as well (which is a very good plan) you don’t need to have much, if any at all, in the tincture since the infusion will do a good job on that front. 🙂 Another thing to keep in mind about nettle is that it works well, but can take weeks to months of use to really shine in it’s action.

This opens up a bit more room in the tincture formula. And this is where we get to the Echinacea. Echinacea‘s lower dose is 21 mL/week (1 mL 3x/day or 3 mL/day). I have worked with allergies a fair amount (including ear concerns caused by cat allergies actually!) and Echinacea is an incredible herb for this. However I have found that the dose needs to be fairly high and needs to be a fresh root tincture. This dose would be even up to around 5 mL of a 1:3 2-3x/day, or 70-105 mL/week! for the more acute phases of this persons symptoms/reactions (e.g. the ear infections and blockages). Reishi is similarly great but also that you need to make sure you have a tincture that has been dual extracted and the dose on this is quite high as well. Actually in most cases I would separate the Echinacea or reishi out as a simple, since they need to be so high.

With the Galium aparine (cleavers), I agree they would be a great addition to this formula, but yes, room needs to be made. So with the two ideas above, perhaps you could lower the nettle by at least 10 mL or remove it (since you have it in the infusion), and take the Echinacea out as a simple, then you have plenty of room for the cleavers to go in at 30 mL/week (4.5 mL/day or 15 mL in the 50 mL formula).

The other herb I mentioned is the turmeric, this also needs to increase in dose a bit to be effective (21 mL/week, 3 mL/day on the lower range). You may be able to fit this in still if you have removed the nettle and Echinacea, or maybe you could remove it (you have lots of other wonderful herbs in here) or deliver it as turmeric/black pepper capsules instead.

Overall here is another tip that may help a little bit when formulating and working out doses for tinctures. Think of the tincture as a whole weeks worth (which is commonly about 100-105 mL – divided by 7 days and 2 doses/day which is 7-7.5 mL per dose, 2x/day). If you know that each individual herb in the formula is at an appropriate dose for 1 weeks worth, then this can help in your confidence that they are getting an appropriate dose of the individual herb in the whole formula.
Another option: With your formula of 50 mL total, what was your recommended dose for your friend to take each day? When you have it worked out how much your friend would take each dose or day, this will tell you how long the bottle will last for and may help figure out how much your friend is actually getting of each herb and whether that is enough of each herb.

I realise now that all of this actually sounds rather complicated, but I hope it can and has brought a bit of clarity. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch and ask more!

With wishes of smooth formula making and warmth,