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I’d say this formula could be used for 6-8 weeks or longer. The marshmallow and dandelion can be taken long-term, but the valerian could be swapped out for something else, perhaps chamomile. Please keep in mind that for some people, valerian is very sedating or, very stimulating. You may want to try out this herb on its own with the person to see how they respond to it. I also suggest adding a little bit of licorice to this formula for taste and for the moistening effect.
For these herbs, I’d actually prepare the marshmallow separately as a cold infusion: soak one heaping tablespoon of the shredded, dried root (not powdered) per cup of cold water. Place it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, strain out the herb. Take 2 cups per day. 1 L (2 days worth) could be made at a time.
Then, a valerian or chamomile infusion could be brewed, and 1 tsp of dandelion root powder mixed in. Or, a dandelion and licorice root decoction with full roots could be made, and valerian or chamomile added at the end to infuse. 1-2 cups could be taken per day, and could be even mixed with the cold infusion from above.
Generally, when working with cases of constipation, an infusions are ideal. This is because constipation is a dry condition, and you wan to hydrate, moisten, and work to increase water into the system as much as possible. Further, there is sometimes a liver function issue contributing to the constipation. In this case, you want to avoid alcohol. However, for people who have a hard time with drinking infusions, tinctures can work well.
Keep in mind, the marshmallow root, dandelion root, and licorice powder could also be mixed into food, such as a fruit puree or a bit of nut butter, in order to get them in the system. There are so many ways to take herbs!
In addition to the marshmallow, dandelion, valerian/chamomile, and licorice, I highly recommend the person incorporates carminative herbs in the diet or in teas. Constipation is a cold and dry condition, and so you want to focus on warming and moistening the person. The marshmallow and licorice are moistening, and herbs like cinnamon, rosemary, ginger, and cardamom are warming and carminative.
As stress is a factor here, creating a calm environment around eating times is essential. I suggest warm, cooked foods, eaten slowly, and regularly throughout the day. Freshly ground flax seed and chia seeds well soaked could be incorporated in small amounts each day to support moving away from the metamucil. Further, small amounts of fermented foods (sauerkraut, miso, laco-fermented vegetables) each week could help with supporting the flora of the digestive system, which is turn could help the nervous system stress response and potentially decrease the constipation.
I’m sure you’ve considered this, but movement can also be helpful for constipation and stress management.
Without knowing the details of the person, I feel that this is as much as I’m able to offer right now, but if the person is needing further support, they could book in at the student clinic at the campus (perhaps you could sit in on the consultation!) and they can receive very personalized care from a senior student. Here is the link for booking.
I know this is a lot of information, but I hope it helps! Feel free to respond with further questions.