Strategic Dosing Guidelines


The standard dose of herbal extracts for an average adult is 6 to 10 grams per day.  In treating acute or severe cases, the dosage may be increased up to 20 grams per day.  Since not everybody is an “average adult,” the fundamental concept in dosing is to realize that one size does not fit all.  Every person is unique and must be treated individually.             

 

The principle behind the Age-To-Dose Dosing Guideline is assessment of the maturity of the organs’ ability to metabolize, utilize and eliminate herbs.  This detailed chart is especially useful for adjusting dosages for infants and younger children.  The recommendations are taken from Zhong Yao Xue [Chinese Herbology], published by Nanjing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

 

The principle underlying the Weight-To-Dose Dosing Guideline is based on gauging the effective concentration of the herb after it is distributed throughout the body. This dosing strategy is especially useful for patients whose body weight falls outside of the normal range.  All calculations are based on Clark's Rule in Pharmaceutical Calculations, by Mitchell Stoklosa and Howard Ansel.

 

These two charts provide the herbal practitioner with a handy reference for calculating dosages for those patients who fall outside the definition of an “average adult.”  It is still important to keep in mind, however, that these charts serve only as a guideline - not an absolute rule.  Every person is unique and must be treated as such.  One must always remember to treat each patient as an individual, not as a chart!

 

*Suggestion for pediatric patients to improve compliance: Mix some honey into the herbal tea and have them drink it with a straw.

 

Table I.  Age-to-Dose Dosing Guideline

Age                                         Recommended Daily Dosage                               Fine Granules                        Capsules

0 - 1 month                             1/18 - 1/14 of adult dose                                         0.3 - 0.4 grams                        N/R*      

1 - 6 months                            1/14 - 1/7 of adult dose                                           0.4 - 0.9 grams                        N/R*                      

6 - 12 months                          1/7 - 1/5 of adult dose                                             0.9 - 1.2 grams                        N/R*      

1 - 2 years                               1/5 - 1/4 of adult dose                                             1.2 - 1.5 grams                        N/R*                      

2 - 4 years                               1/4 - 1/3 of adult dose                                             1.5 - 2.0 grams                        N/R*                      

4 - 6 years                               1/3 - 2/5 of adult dose                                             2.0 - 2.4 grams                        N/R*                      

6 - 9 years                               2/5 - 1/2 of adult dose                                             2.4 - 3.0 grams                        5 - 6 capsules**     

9 - 14 years                             1/2 - 2/3 of adult dose                                             3.0 - 4.0 grams                        6 - 8 capsules**     

14 - 18 years                           2/3 - full adult dose                                                 4.0 - 6.0 grams                        8 - 12 capsules**   

18 - 60 years                                 adult dose                                                         6.0 grams                                12 capsules**     

60 years and over                    3/4 or less of adult dose                                          4.5 - 6.0 grams                        9 - 12 capsules**   

 

Table II.  Weight-to-Dose Dosing Guideline

Weight                                    Recommended Daily Dosage                               Fine Granules                        Capsules               

30 - 40 lbs                               20% - 27% of adult dose                                         1.2 - 1.6 grams                        N/R*                      

40 - 50 lbs                               27% - 33% of adult dose                                         1.6 - 1.9 grams                        N/R*                      

50 - 60 lbs                               33% - 40% of adult dose                                         1.9 - 2.4 grams                        N/R*                      

60 - 70 lbs                               40% - 47% of adult dose                                         2.4 - 2.8 grams                        N/R*                      

70 - 80 lbs                               47% - 53% of adult dose                                         2.8 - 3.2 grams                        5 - 6 capsules**

80 - 100 lbs                             53% - 67% of adult dose                                         3.2 - 4.0 grams                        6 - 8 capsules**     

100 - 120 lbs                           67% - 80% of adult dose                                         4.0 - 4.8 grams                        8 - 10 capsules**   

120 - 150 lbs                           80% - 100% of adult dose                                       4.8 - 6.0 grams                        10 - 12 capsules** 

150 lbs                                             adult dose                                                      6.0 grams                                12 capsules**        

150 - 200 lbs                           100% - 133% of adult dose                                     6.0 - 7.9 grams                        12 - 16 capsules**

200 - 250 lbs                           133% - 167% of adult dose                                     7.9 - 10.0 grams                      16 - 20 capsules** 

250 - 300 lbs                           167% - 200% of adult dose                                     10.0 - 12.0 grams                    20 - 24 capsules** 

*    N/R: Not Recommended for infants and young children since they may have difficulty swallowing. 

** Each capsule weighs 500 mg or 0.5 gram.