How to Take Herbs

The Chinese Medicine Works herbal pharmacy carries 60 formulas as liquid herbal extracts, designed by Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold. Medical doctors, acupuncturists, and other health care providers may prescribe these formulas online through Kan Herb.

bottle-hand234x395 Liquid herbal extracts are concentrated, potent, and easy to drink. An average daily dose is 2–3 milliliters taken 2–4 times a day. When the rubber bulb of the glass dropper is firmly squeezed, approximately 1 ml is drawn into the dropper (one squirt), equal to about 1/2 dropperful in a one-ounce bottle.
Simply put, one squeeze equals one squirt. One dose consists of 2–3 squirts of herbal extract taken in water. The extract can be added to 1/4 to 1/2 cup of boiling water, allowing it to cool until warm. Alternately, it may be more convenient to take the herbs with water at room temperature.

(The terms liquid herbal extracts, extracts, and herbs are used interchageably on this page.)

Adult Dosage and Administration Guidelines

2–3 squirts 2–4 times daily

Simply put, one squeeze equals one squirt. Take herbs in 1/4 to 1/2 cup water.
1 squirt = 1/2 dropperful = 30 drops = approximately 1 milliliter (ml)
For a stronger, more rapid effect, the formulas should be taken on an empty stomach. For those with more sensitive digestion, doses should be taken with food or after meals (this moderates the herbs’ effects and rate of absorption).

Child Dosage and Administration Guidelines

0–4 yrs: 15–30 drops 2–3 times daily
4–8 yrs: 30–45 drops 3x daily
8–12 yrs: 45–60 drops 3x daily
12 yrs–adult: 60–90 drops 3x daily
1 squirt = 1/2 dropperful = 30 drops = approximately 1 milliliter (ml)

Frequency of dosage is important

For babies less than one year, and for children between the ages of one and four, frequency of dosage is more important than quantity. The herbs should be given each time the child would ordinarily nurse, drink, or eat.

Create a routine

For children between five years old and twelve years old, regularity and timing are critical factors: the herbs should be taken shortly after waking, before or after regular meals, and at bedtime. In general, it is easiest to administer medicine to children as part of their morning, mealtime, or evening ritual.

Give medicine at room temperature

The herbs need not be refrigerated, as they have a long shelf life when kept tightly capped and out of direct light. It is best not to give medicine that has been chilled in the refrigerator, but rather it should be warmed or at room temperature. The extracts may also be mixed with room-temperature fruit juice, milk, cereal, or mashed fruits or vegetables to facilitate ingestion and further mask their taste. However, when the herbs become diluted by more than small quantities of foods or liquids, the overall dosage or frequency may need to increase in order to obtain the expected effects, unless a very slow and moderate action is desired.

Tips for infants and young children

For small children and for those averse to strange tastes, the extracts may be squirted into the back of the throat, where there are fewer taste buds and it is easy to trigger the swallowing reflex. For infants or young children, you may add the entire daily dose to one ounce of boiling water. Allow to cool and then add several tablespoons of breast milk, fruit juice, or cereal sweetened with maple syrup or raw sugar to mask the taste. The total daily amount may be divided into four to six individual doses.