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Mixing Herbs  RSS feed

 
Virginia Craft
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Hey y'all! I am trying to self-learn about herbs and have often used Susun Weed as a resource. I know she is keen on simples, but I am curious about combining herbs daily (taking a break every so often from certain herbs, of course).
Can y'all assist me, guide me, or offer any advice about combining herbs safely and effectively. I'll list what I am currently doing, and please feel free to critique anything.

Here's the line-up:

Tinctures: Horsetail, Gotu Kola, Ginkgo Biloba, Rhodiola Rosea, Astragalus, Ashwagandha, St. John's Wort

Infusions: Alfalfa, Nettles, Comfrey, Oatstraw

Decoctions: Dandelion Root, Eleuthero Root

-- I am taking Horsetail tincture followed by Dandelion Root or Eleuthero Root (I vary between the two) decoction on an empty stomach in the morning.
After breakfast some time, I'll take both Gotu Kola and Ginkgo tinctures together, or just Rhodiola tincture.
For the day, I'll drink a quart of one of the above infusions. Then a second dose will be taken of Horsetail along with Gotu Kola and Ginkgo or Rhodiola tinctures.
I may drink some more Dandelion Root decoction again before dinner.
Before bed, I'll drink about 2 cups of Oatstraw infusion, then right before sleep I'll take Ashwagandha and/or St. John's Wort tinctures.
I will take Astragalus tincture a couple times a week.
** I drink plenty of water throughout the day, as well.

I appreciate any and all advice and guidance. Thank y'all :)


 
Jessica Gorton
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Location: Central Maine - Zone 4b/5a
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I am learning about herbs as well, so I don't feel qualified to tell you how to take herbs or which herbs to take, but I do have a few thoughts. First, taking herbs in combination is an age-old way of using such plants - you are right that Susun Weed likes the simples for her daily infusions, but she uses herbs in combinations as well for more complicated treatments.

Something to think about when mixing herbs would be what the single herb's actions on the body are. So, taking an herb that increases heat and circulation, say like cayenne, you may not want to combine that with a cooling herb at the same time. The two actions might cancel one another out. Conversely, you may not want to take two herbs together whose actions are very similar - they may be too strong together for what you are looking for. Of course, there are times you may want the strength of many herbs that do something similar together - a good example is a bitters recipe to help digestion.

That being said, there is a good reason to start with simples - as a learner, you can more readily tell what one herb's actions are when taking them alone. As you begin to understand a few herbs, taking them together can then give you a sense of how they compliment one another.
 
Virginia Craft
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Thank you, Jessica! It sounds like we are on the same page, and I appreciate your advice. :)
 
Vida Norris
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Location: Ontario Canada, Zone 5b
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Hey Virginia - just curious - aside from learning about the herbs are you taking those specific ones for health reasons (you don't have to share all the details or anything)

I was just thinking because so many of the herbs are multipurpose and the combinations are endless really, depending on what you're trying to heal, so maybe you could shed some light on what you're trying to improve on with those specific herbs? Might help people give you more suggestions/combinations etc.
 
Virginia Craft
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Hello Vida, Thank you for being so attentive and willing to help.

Here are my reasons for taking those herbs:

Horsetail - Because 6 months ago I got a compression fracture in one of my vertebrae, so I'm looking to strengthen the cartilage and tissue around the area. I am also interested in growing my hair longer, but that's just an added bonus.
Gotu Kola, Ginkgo, Rhodiola, Eleuthero, Ashwagandha (not all taken together or on the same days) - I just finished bicycling across the country and thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail last year, so I am looking to rejuvenate my fatigued adrenals. Also, as a brain tonic for my overall focus and memory (problems focusing and obtaining necessary energy plague me).
Astragalus - General immune support during these sick months of the year.
St. John's Wort - I tend to experience occasional feelings of depression and mood swings.
Alfalfa, Nettles, Comfrey (Rotated throughout the weeks) - I take these for their general vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and ability to nourish my body. The comfrey, more specifically, to heal minor injuries (as well as the major one, my back) obtained during my travels last year.
Oatstraw - General nerve tonic and emotion-balancer.
Dandelion Root (Rotated with Eleuthero throughout the weeks) - I've recently decided to take a spell from drinking (even though I am not an alcoholic, I just want a break), so dandelion is helping to heal my liver, and provide me with added nutrients.

:)
 
Vida Norris
Posts: 114
Location: Ontario Canada, Zone 5b
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That sounds like a really good line up Virginia!

How long have you been doing this combination?

I've found that in taking herbs in general it sometimes takes a long period of time with the herb to achieve the result and then if I have to switch something up, sometimes I can do it with no problem cold turkey and other times I have to kind of ween myself out of them. Just depends. I've also noticed that if an herb has properties that don't agree with me they usually manifest relatively quickly. But that isn't to say it's the same for everyone. I'm still learning as well, so I can't really comment on what you're doing but it sure sounds like you've done your research! I wish you much healing!
 
Virginia Craft
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I have been using most of that combination for a couple months now, but I've been taking herbs for years.
Within the last couple years though, I've been interested in learning how to use herbs medicinally and more effectively. Most of what I've learned is from reading, so I wanted to make sure I am taking a safe combination of herbs because I would like to use a lot of them for a longer term (with small breaks in between) in order to really work on rehabilitating and nourishing myself.
Thank you for your thoughts on this, Vida!
 
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