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Digesting Herbal Supplements

Getting the most out of herbal support

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Digesting Herbal Supplements

May 07, 2013 at 10:01 PM



We can reach out for herbal supplements to support our health, to correct an imbalance, to use as a rasayana – substance to support longevity which travels through all channels of the body – but if we do not take it in a form or way that the body will accept, it cannot support us. 

So often, these supplements will be taken in in a way the body does not know how to integrate, and therefore will be filtered through the digestive system and eliminated as a waste product, thereby offering us none of the intended benefits. 

How can we take herbal supplements in the most effective way?

The body is made up of 70% liquid.  We depend on fluids and food to sustain us.  The easiest way for herbal support to be used by the body, is to include it in our food or fluids. 


Find the herb in a powder form and add it to warm water or milk.  Add it to some rice and ghee (clarified butter).  Powdered herbs can also be mixed with a teaspoon or two of honey and ingested.  This is a fantastic way to administer herbs to children.  Open up your capsules and empty out the powder into any of the above choices.  Crush up some of your tablets before swallowing to make it easier on your agni (digestive fire). Digestion starts in the mouth, with our taste buds, which secrete saliva and send a signal to the gut which activates the digestive process.  In this way our bodies can most effectively incorporate the benefits of that herb where we need it.

Castor oil is known for its abilities to get things moving, whether used as a laxative, or on aching joints to relieve pain.  When ingested directly, it can induce vomiting or diarrhea due to the repellent reaction of the gut as it enters the system.  But when a small amount of castor oil is combined with wheat flour dough, made into chapatti and ingested with milk, it is well accepted by the gastrointestinal tract and can be utilized by the body on a cellular level. 

Tags: herbs, Ayurveda, supplements, health
Category: Ayurveda

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