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TCM Knowledge ~ ~ Terms & Definitions

TCM Knowledge  

5. Administering Chinese Herbal Formulas

Dosage Courses of Treatment Combining Formulas


   Boiling teas are the fastest acting form for herbal formulas. They are also inconvenient, require time and dedication, and many of them taste and smell bad. Most people find boiling teas impractical and find it difficult to use this form for extended periods of time. But for acute conditions, they are undeniably the best choice. For instructions, see the "How to Boil Teas" page in the index.

   After boiling teas, granule teas are the next best option with regard to effectiveness. The advantage of granule teas are that they are easy to prepare; they come in individual foil packs that can be taken to work or on a trip and simply require the addition of hot water. In addition, they taste and smell much better than most boiling teas.

   Tablets are more convenient for chronic conditions and cost less than granule teas. For some conditions, including chronic Stagnation and chronic Deficiencies, tablets are more effective.

   For certain herbs and formulas, it is best to keep the herbs' original properties and therefore avoid any process that would heat the contents. For these formulas, we offer capsules filled with raw powder for best possible results.

Standard dosage for adults, 120-180 lbs. Decrease or increase the dosage accordingly, based on weight:

(See Appendix 1: How to Boil Tea)

1 bag raw tea   2-3 boils per day
1 package granule tea 2-3 times per day 2-3 packages granule tea per day
4-5 (400 mg) tablets 3 times per day 12-15 tablets per day
3-5 capsules 3 times per day 9-15 capsules per day

children 6-12 years 1/2 the adult dosage
children age 3-6 1/3 the adult dosage
children age 1-3 1/4 the adult dosage
infants less than 1 1/6 the adult dosage

   Very rarely, patients will experience stomach upset or diarrhea. If this happens, either 1) decrease dosage 2) try alternative formulas 3) consider the possible existence of a special condition such as an allergic condition, stomach weakness or Spleen Deficiency or 4) consult with an herbal master.

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Courses of Treatment 

   Most practitioners will suggest one to three weeks of herbs to start. As long as patients continue to notice improvement of their symptoms without side effects, it is best to continue with the same course of treatment. If the symptoms completely resolve and diagnostic methods (tongue, pulse, nails, etc.) indicate that the patient is healthy, treatment can be discontinued. If, during the course of treatment, the patient reaches a plateau or begins to feel worse, the formulas need to be changed; the original formula or formulas suggested have finished their job and it is necessary to reassess the situation through history taking and diagnostic methods in order to move to the next stage of treatment.

Combining Formulas 

   It is common to combine two or more formulas at one time in order to address the full scope of the patient's problems. For ideas on how best to combine formulas, look to the "Combinations" section of the formula pages. Here you will find suggestions for combining formulas given the existence of multiple conditions and/or symptoms. The "Disease Profiles" section also offers invaluable information regarding how best to combine formulas in order to treat specific underlying conditions expediently and successfully.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.



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