There's no shortage of access to herbal medicine these days. You can find herbal formulations on the shelves of health food stores, supplement stores, and even neighborhood grocery stores. Recently I even saw a powerful adaptogenic formula kept behind the counter at a 7-11 gas station. But what is it that makes these formulas so accessible question are they the best way to work with herbal medicine, and are you getting the best connection to the plant medicine by working with these formulations? Let’s explorer.
BROAD SPECTRUM FORMULAS
A broad spectrum formula is one that has been written to be effective for the most number of people possible. these are usually written by researchers and pharmaceutical formulators to check as many of the proverbial boxes as possible that somebody might be experiencing. Broad spectrum formulas often include more herbs than a simpler formula would include, and they’re written to make sure the customer feels something.
Because broad spectrum formulas are written for a broad variety of people, many herbs have to be called in that address a variety of issues within the topic at hand. For example, a cold & flu herbal product will often include herbs that dry, dampen, stimulate, sedate, cleanse, clear, and support respiratory health- all the herbs have the lungs in common but each carries nuances that aren’t honored as much as a custom formulation would.
Another aspect of broad spectrum formulations is that the number of herbs in the recipe means you’re getting less of each herb. 10 herbs powdered and stuffed into a capsule gives you very little of each herb- rarely even close to a therapeutic dose.
So, while broad spectrum herbal formulas are great when you aren’t sure which herbs are the right fit for you as a unique person, or when a manufacturer is trying to sell to the greatest number of people, they are not in line with the deeper energetics, nuances, and harmonies of good herbalism. This is where custom formulations come in.
CUSTOM HERBAL FORMULATIONS
Each of us is a unique person with unique ways of experiencing both health and disease. What the common cold looks like in your body might look totally different in mine. You may experience a cold that settles in your head and causes disruption in your sinuses, lots of headaches, ringing ears, and fever. A cold for me might move directly into my lungs making it difficult for me to breathe, ruining my appetite, and stagnating my digestive process. Technically we both have the exact same issue but because we are unique people we are expressing it in unique ways.
Customer herbal formulations allow a competent and confident herbalist to address the way the cold expresses in you as a unique person. Rather than throwing a broad spectrum, busy formula at you, individual herbs are called in that speak meaningfully to all the things you’re experiencing and what you version of center looks like.
In order for an herbalist to custom formulate, they have to know several things. First, they have to be able to explore your experiences and learn about the subtle energetics of your disharmonies. They need to know what healthy looks like for you, what the path from healthy to disharmony looked like, and know how the situation is manifesting in your being. Then, they need to have a deep connection to the plants and know which allies speak directly and with the greatest efficacy and energetic ecology to the issues at hand. Finally, they need to know how to call those herbs together into a formula that goes beyond the sum of its parts and hums with an orchestration of synergy and power.
Having medicine crafted just for you is an experience few of us are accustomed to. We’re all aware of name brands of pharmaceuticals more than we’re aware that good herbalism is about meeting people where they are and making person, meaningful, and relevant connections between humans and plants.
A qualified herbalist is able to explore the subtle languages of disharmony and medicine to find ways that build bridges between the world of plants and our own human experience. They can craft medicines from the materia of their own hearts and minds that resonate on all the levels with their clients- and ensure that each plant medicine brought into the mix is done so with clear intention, purpose, and potency.
If you’ve never had medicine crafted for who you are and what you’re working on, we would love to give you that experience. We handcraft tinctures with over 300 organic herbs, stock over 350 organic bulk herbs, and work with a variety of oils, infused balms, powders, and mushrooms. With all this medicine we're able to formulate and craft herbal medicine just for you in a matter of minutes. Stop in and let us make medicine with you!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products and offerings are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. For more information pertaining to your personal needs please see a qualified health practitioner.