Infusions - Newbie Questions

Do you have to worry about overdosing or using too many herbs at one time?  I read today that the average American has 4 different health problems. Can you use different herbs to address each one - all at once?  

Does adding almond milk or monk fruit as a sweetener make an infusion/tea less effective?

Thanks - Daniel


  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2022

    Welcome to TGN Daniel !~ When you have time check out our group guidelines and introduce yourself. You may find someone in your area.

    Some herbs will help multiple issues so I would start researching that. Its always best to know as much about the herb as you can before using. And each person has different reactions to an herb. One may help one person not another.

    And some herbs are stronger than others so should be used more carefully. And if y9ou were on medication or any sort of would ask a doctor about what you could use. Many medications will react with things.

    many people will suggest starting with one herb and noticing how it affects you and then add another one. If you add several at one time you don't know what is actually helping.

    There are many good herb resources online and many members here that know a lot. We also have some very nice classes in our TGN certifications and courses that would help you. And the Grow network has great information. You can find the links to the blog and courses at the top of the discussion page.

    I would not think monk fruit would make a difference in effectiveness and I am not sure about almond milk. Denise

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,408 admin

    Hi @fiddler2. Welcome to TGN's forum.

    A good herbalist will try and find a combination of herbs that are going to address all your issues while keeping several things in mind. Medications, personal constitution of the individual (warm/cold, dry/damp), allergies & sensitivities, classes of herbs indicated, methods of delivery (infusions, tinctures, capsules), etc. Some TCM formulas may contain as many as a dozen herbs. A herbalist may also make nutritional or lifestyle recommendations to be done in combination with some herbs.

    Herbalists are also trying to get at the root cause of the issue, not just give something to treat the symptoms. For example, addressing skin issues may involve treating the liver which can have spinoff results in better digestion, improved bowel function and more energy. Sometimes treating systemic inflammation with one or two herbs can improve conditions throughout the body.

    So its not about using 4 different herbs or 4 different combinations to treat all 4 health issues a person may have.

    As to overdosing, there are some herbs that could be quite dangerous for a home herbalist to use but they aren't usually sold in a health food store or natural pharmacy. They would be special order for experienced practitioners.

    Usually, a sweetener is OK in medicinal teas (cause some are down right nasty tasting) but not usually with a milk of any kind. However, its all about patient compliance and if that is the way to get someone to take a herbal tea to begin with, then so be it. There are actually some herbal "tea" preparations that contain a milk of some kind. Golden Mylk is one.

    I'm going to second @Monek Marie's suggestion of checking out TGN's academy. Home Medicine 101 is a great place to start. If you have questions, there will be someone here who can offer a answers for you.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 1,938 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Welcome @fiddler2 . You will find folks here are quite willing to help. Don't let this journey overwhelm you. There is way more too it thank you can digest in a short time. However, if you start slowly, learn a few plants at a time. You will be amazed when you realize one day that as soon as something happens without even thinking about it you will automatically reach for the right herb to help treat the situation.

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Posts: 1,349 admin

    @fiddler2 welcome from me as well! I am a fan of using Herbs for staying healthy, thus I take infusions everyday and change them, so that my body has support to fight illnesses, so that my immune system gets stronger. I would start with herbs with no side effects and take a cup or two per day. @Monek Marie suggested starting with one herb at a time. It is a good suggestion for a start. If you use combinations for a certain purpose, then there is always a main herb for the purpose - e.g. cold, then a few ones that support it and I always add some herb for a nice taste - lemon balm or peppermint, or lemon leave…

    I do not know how much you know. I loved the course in the network Academy Home Medicine 101. @torey has already mentioned it. It is really very practical and easy. And @vickeym gave such a good advice. Start slowly, just with a few herbs.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,218 admin

    Welcome @fiddler2! You have been given great advice here. I just wanted to add my welcome to you.

    You can give us an idea where you are from by leaving a short introduction in our Introductions section.

    A great way to learn any subject is to pick a topic and fully exhaust learning about it (get to understand it completely), then move on to another one. It is no different with herbs. This style of learning will give the best learning and recall.

    When you are studying about herbs, make sure you are learning about that specific herb from 3 or more respected, accurate sources. There are many, and perhaps if you wish, we could list a number if those that each of us trust for you. We do have some resources listed in the Trusted Resources category. Each source may teach you a little that the other missed. Do pay attention to dosage, contraindications & cautions/warnings & possible look-alikes if you may be foraging for certain herbs.

    You may want to write down in a 3 ring binder, what is called a materia medica, a record of the common & latin name of the plant, what it looks like (identifying characteristics), actions and uses, etc. This way, you have a written record of your own to consult if needed. @torey Do you have a template that you could share for this purpose on the forum?

  • fiddler2
    fiddler2 Posts: 2 ✭✭✭

    Thank you all for the excellent comments and advice. It's wonderful to be part of a knowledgeable community1 I actually came to this forum after taking the "Making Herbal Medicine" course. I didn't see the answers to my questions in the content. I am glad I asked in the forum. Your answers were very helpful. Home Medicine 101 is next. Thanks, again. - Daniel

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,286 admin

    Already tons of great advice, and I can only ditto what has been said. I tend to take a minimalist approach. I do not use many herbs at once. I keep my formulas simple - usually 3 herbs, and no more than 5.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,408 admin

    @fiddler2 You are well on your way with the Making Herbal Medicines course. Herbal Medicine 101 will help you find ways to use those preparations in the most effective ways. Best wishes with your learning journey.

    @LaurieLovesLearning I will post my materia medica template in a separate discussion to make it easier to find. There may be others who have started their own materia medicas and will have additional ideas or formats that they can add.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    Welcome to the forums @fiddler2! All of the above is really good. The one thing I would add is to check with a Pharmacist if you are on any medications as they will know if it has any interactions.

  • nicksamanda11
    nicksamanda11 Posts: 713 ✭✭✭✭

    I love herbal infusions!

  • Martha Stanley
    Martha Stanley Posts: 1
    edited October 2022

    If you’re concerned about taking too many at one time, then just take them at different times of the day and spread them all out.

    Also it’s wise to do some research on contraindications. If you wanna get very technical - which is OK with me- , you can always refer to the “PDR of Herbal Medicine“, a nice fat tome with a huge amount of information.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,408 admin

    Hi @Martha Stanley Welcome to TGN's forum.

    Have you had a chance to check out our introductions section where you can tell us what part of the world you are from?