At Mab & Stoke, we have access to top herbalists, phytochemists, and sourcing experts. In this new article series, we tap into their knowledge to bring you answers to some of the most common questions surrounding plant medicine. 

The expert: Kevin Spelman, Ph.D., herbalist and molecular biologist based in Ashland, Oregon

The answer: There are certain herbs that will give you an almost immediate return on investment. Take, for example, lemon balm, ashwagandha, and hops—you should feel their calming effects quickly. Other plants, like green tea and ginger, can give you an instant sharpness by stimulating blood flow and soothing inflammation.* 

However, you’ll get even more benefits if you add them to your daily routine. For instance, if lemon balm knocks down your anxiety once, you’ll feel a little bit better. If you keep knocking it down day after day, soon enough you’re going to be like “Wow, I was a ball of anxiety, wasn’t I?” 

The same is true for cognitive function. Lion’s mane and gotu kola have been shown to be highly effective for both neuroprotection and cognitive function,* but they take time—about a month—to “massage” and really support those cognitive systems. 

Finally, if you’re using herbs to combat a chronic condition, like acid reflux, depression, or high blood pressure, it’s important to commit to regular use. Chronic conditions are the manifestation of a pathology, or pattern, that has developed and herbs can help to reverse that pattern, but not overnight.* There’s an old rule that for every year that you’ve had a condition you need a month to get over it. But if you can be patient, the results are worthwhile.

The bottom line is that how long it takes to feel the effects of herbal medicine really depends on what you’re treating. Some plants can give you a boost right away, but you’ll notice a compounding beneficial effect if you incorporate them into your daily routine.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.