To Standardize or Not To Standardize
People have often asked my opinion about Standardized Herbal Remedies. My answer usually begins, “That depends...”
Since there is no single standard for herbal remedies, and different manufacturers can standardize the same remedy for different properties, or to different concentrations, or both, it’s hard to give a definitive answer about standardization.
Also, when you begin processing natural products, such as herbs, the product becomes less natural, and the more it is processed, the more it resembles a pharmaceutical drug rather than a natural remedy.
I believe that humanity has evolved through many centuries, consuming natural products, such as herbs and other plant foods; and I believe that our bodies are most suited to consume things in a more natural state. Using whole herbs gives us the full spectrum of the herb, not just the particular aspect that someone somewhere decided was the most important or most effective.
The disadvantage to using whole herbs is the difficulty in knowing exactly how strong a particular herb might be. So many factors can affect the potency of any herb, such as when it was grown, where it was grown, when it was harvested, how it was stored, how long since it was harvested, etc. This makes it difficult to determine dosages, and to know just how strong a reaction will be produced by any particular herb.
The advantage to using a standardized herb is that the dose and potency will be very similar, as long as you use products from the same manufacturer, and if you have taken the product before, you can expect a similar reaction.
Unfortunately, while the standardizing of herbs makes them more even in their effects, it can mean certain constituents of the whole herb may be deleted or discarded, because research seems to point to particular aspects of the herb as providing the maximum benefit.
I believe it is best to use herbal remedies in a minimally processed state whenever possible, and that traditional methods of using and preparing herbs are more likely to produce deep and lasting effects on the human body.
The material presented in this blog is for informational use only and should in no way be used as a substitute for needed medical treatment. I am not a doctor, I do not diagnose or treat disease. If you need medical care, please consult the appropriate medical professional. And please discuss with your doctor if you are taking or planning to take any herbal preparations