The art of herbal formulation is… well just that- an art!! The #1 mistake too many herbalists make when it comes to formulating is that they think about what organ system they want to work with and BAM- throw every herb they can think of that does something to that system and hope that it will work.
I don’t want you to be a hope formulator!!
Rather I want you to be a strategic and intelligent formulator. In this video I laid out a simple process that I use when I’m thinking through creating an herbal formula. It basically sums up to thinking about what organ affinity I want the herb to operate on, what specific actions I want the plants to have on those organ systems, and most importantly, what specific energetics I want the net effect of the formula to have (IE hot, cold, wet or dry). From there I will think of any supplemental or additional actions or organ systems that will help achieve the net result of the formula.
Too many herbalists stop at the organ system, or will simply keep it at herbal actions, without thinking about the overall net effect of the herbs on not just the organs, but the entire constitution as a whole, as well as other secondary organ systems.
But the important part of formulation is the selection of the individual remedies and having them target the broadest spectrum of effects we want to achieve.
For example, if you have a client with respiratory tract infection in conjunction with lymphatic swelling and a dry cough, what most people do is choose 3 different herbs: 1 for the cough, one for the fever, and one for the lymphatic swelling. What is the most ideal situation though, is to see if you can find 1 remedy that is operates on all of these levels. 2 remedies that come to mind for that would be Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) or Mullein (Verbascum thapsus), both of which are great lymphatic remedies as well as moistening expectorants.
What are some of your favorite formulas for the respiratory system? What have you used successfully for yourself, your family, your kids or your clients?? I’d love to hear from you! Post in the comments section below.