The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

How Much Herb Do I Use?

Plants are alive. They are intelligent beings that respond to, and interact with, their environment. In this way, they are similar to humans. When two forms of intelligence interact, each relationship is unique. Relationships develop and change over time. This is why the amount and frequency of herb usage varies depending on the person, the herb and the health imbalance that is being addressed.

Numbers are precise, constant, predictable and repeatable. 2 + 2 will always equal 4; regardless of other factors. People are drawn to numbers for the sense of security they provide.

Pharmaceutical medicines are given with precise numbers (take a 325 mg tablet 3x a day). While this appears to be scientific, it fails to take into account the variability of the people using the medicine.

While general guidelines are given below, the actual amount and frequency of herbal usage is very personal.

Consider the following factors:

  • weight – more weight usually requires more herb
  • age – the very young and old need less herb
  • sex – women often are more sensitive to herbs than men and may use smaller amounts
  • preparation – the amount of herb used will be different for teas, tinctures, poultices, baths and aromatic diffusers
  • medications – herbs may interact negatively with some drugs and be contraindicated. Herbs may act synergistically with other drugs and a lower amount or frequency of medication is needed.
  • nature of the herb – some herbs are very mild in their action, like nettles. These can be taken in higher amounts. Other herbs are much stronger, like lobelia, and a smaller amount is used.
  • acute conditions usually benefit from larger amounts and more frequent uses (3-6x a day) of a formula and changes are often noticed within hours or days
  • chronic, long term imbalances usually benefit from smaller amounts taken less frequently (1-2x a day) for several weeks or months
  • from the Ayurvedic perspective, Vatas are the most sensitive to herbs with Kaphas being the least sensitive. Pittas are in the middle.

Michael Moore’s reference for dosing is at:

Herb Amounts for Children
When adult dose is 1 cup:
2 to 4 years: 2 teaspoons
4 to 7 years: 1 tablespoon
7 to 11 years: 2 tablespoons

When Adult dose is 1 teaspoon, or 60 drops:
2 to 3 years: 10 drops
3 to 4 years: 12 drops
4 to 6 years: 15 drops
6 to 9 years: 24 drops
9 to 12 years: 30 drops

It is safest to begin at a lower amount and increase if appropriate.


Copyright©2009-2024. All Rights Reserved. The content of this herbal medicine resources, classes and workshops site is owned exclusively by The Forager's Path, LLC [Flagstaff, Arizona]. Privacy Policy

Flagstaff Herbal and Botanical Therapy website designed by Reliable Web Designs.

Thank you for visiting our Flagstaff based herbal medicine course and consulting site!