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Equivalent doses from teapills, extract and raw herbs


#1

I had a TCM doctor in Beijing prescribe me raw herbs last year, which was a formula based on buzhong yiqi tang. I was taking about 130g of herbs a day. He then switched me to teapills, which were the equivalent of 14g of herbs a day. When I moved back to the US, I started taking Meridian powder - which was 10g a day of 5:1 concentration, equivalent to 50g of herbs. Then I started using Dragon Herbs Buzhong Yiqi wan capsules, which recommended taking 6 a day. They have .5g of 7:1 herbal concentrate each, so that’s equivalent to 21g.

What’s the logic behind the significant variation in recommended dosage between different forms of the medicine?


#2

There are many factors that go into the dosage of herbal medicines, including form (raw/powder pill etc), body size, age, condition being treated, patient compliance, and practitioner preference. It is not like many western pharmaceuticals where dosage is based on body weight and that alone. Historically the measurement systems tended to change between dynasties so even when there are historical accounts of recommended dosages the actual amount is likely to have changed and in some cases is effectively impossible to determine.

It is for these reasons that the practice of Chinese/oriental herbs is an art as much as it is a science. The bottom line is that even with a fairly wide variation in dosage most formulas are still effective when they are properly proscribed.


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