If you're newer to using herbs medicinally, you may have noted an air of disdain towards the use of herb capsules. If you've been around a while and you use capsules, you keep it under your hat. Capsules are so uncool, right? They are just swapping herbs for drugs, you're told.
It IS really cool though, if you get the powdered herb and blend it with just enough honey to create little pastilles (NOT pills, because that would be like swapping herbs for drugs, and that is ... well you know). Yes, that IS my sarcasm font.
At a day-long workshop with Rosemary Gladstar over the weekend, when I first heard her mention herbal capsules, my ears pricked up.
When we had our shop - and pretty much ever since - whenever someone asks us what the best way to ingest herbs for medicine might be, we tell them this: The best way to take herbs is the way that you WILL take herbs. While I might prefer tinctures, if that isn't a form that you will actually use, then it isn't a good way for you.
And after a few more mentions of capsules for taking herbs (NOT essential oils, mind you - herbs), I raised my hand and said that I was glad to hear her mention capsules, since some people will only use them and capsules get such a terrible rap.
She mentioned that there are so many good sources of capsules now; that it is so much easier to find good capsules now than it was 30 or 40 years ago, AND that to find out if it is a good source, you can open a capsule. Check the appearance, scent, and taste for quality and freshness.
Come on out of the closet, capsule users!
Personally, I'm happy to see one more snobby taboo fall away. The more options with which people can access herbs without condescension, the better. Capsules are a great option for people who can't have alcohol and might not have the time, inclination, or money to make or obtain other dosing alternatives. And sometimes... well sometimes herbs ARE used in place of drugs. Herbs have been around forever.
In fact, very often when we talk about medicinal herb use 100 years or so ago, generally the phrase, "because that's all they had," is thrown in there somewhere.
Of course it is better to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent disease. Nobody can argue that.
Herbs in capsules can even be a part of that, if herb capsules are the way a person chooses to use herbs.
Bottom line: Do what works for you and don't pay too much attention to the latest trend.