Herbal medicine: dried herbs, concentrated granules and pills

Herbal medicine. Dried herbs, concentrated granules and pills.

Over the years I have mainly used dried Chinese herbs that are prescribed and dispensed here at the clinic, taken home and decocted into a soup. This is often supplemented by the use of concentrated herbal pills whenever possible.

In recent years, I have been increasingly prescribing high quality concentrated granulated herbs which allows me to offer patients the option of dissolving a teaspoon of granulated herbs in water as well as the traditional method of decoction.

Not surprisingly, if given the choice, most patients prefer the more time efficient and portable option of granules.  The main consideration I have when offering a choice of dried, granulated or herbal pills is in their suitability and effectiveness. If I need to prescribe a formula with specific individual herbs that are suited to the patient at that particular time, then dried or granulated herbs are used. Pills or capsules are pre- made formulas, and while effective, cannot be modified. These two options are more commonly prescribed when the symptoms are stable, less refinement is required in the formula, and are better suited for longer-term maintenance, or during travel.