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Concentration and dosage

Posted on: February 16, 2017

Consider this when thinking about medicinal plants.

We consume foods that contain substances that have effects on our bodies and those substances aren’t very concentrated this way. For example, when we make herbal tea and drink cups of that without concern or very much guidance. If you are making a Raspberry leaf tea, you are confident that you are using leaves of Rhubus, but may not be clear on whether it is Rhubus idaeus or Rhubus occidentalis.

When we increase the concentration of those substances by making a tincture, a syrup or some other extract we reduce our dosage. We go from cups of a hot water infusion to taking a dropper or a teaspoon and we may look for some guidance when taking herbal extracts this way. The distinction between Angelica sinesis and Angelica dahurica may make a difference in the therapeutic result and we should be aware of the difference.

When plant material is steam distilled and essential oils are extracted, those components become highly concentrated. We need to reduce our dosage again and we need to get some guidance in using essential oils. The genus Lavandula is a very large group, the plants produce essential oils of widely varying chemistry and you do need to know if you are using essential oil of Lavandula spica or of angustifolia.

We’ve delivered those plant chemicals in the form of whole food or in water, we’ve delivered them in alcohol or syrup and we need to deliver the essential oils also. Blend essential oils in base oils for massage and the bath, add them to creams and clay packs and deliver them into the air with steam or a diffusor.

By bring the concentration down and delivering the eo’s in a base material we can make essential oils safe for everyone.