Dosing Guidelines by Age and Weight, and Veterinary Measures

The standard dose of herbal extracts for an average adult is 6 grams per day, usually divided into two or more doses through the day. Take the herbs on an empty stomach 1 hour before meals or 2 hours after meals. Heat clearing and purgative herbs can be taken with meals should they upset the stomach. Take the herbs at least 2 hours apart from prescription medication or other supplements. Serve with warm water. (If taking granules, dissolve the granules in warm water and drink like tea. Granules do not dissolve well and may clump up in cold or hot water.)

In treating acute or severe cases, dosage of some herbal formulas may be increased up to 20 grams per day. Since not everyone 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 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 or herbal combination 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. One must always remember to treat each patient as a unique individual, not as an 'average case' or a chart!


Table I. Age-To-Dose Dosing Guideline

Age Recommended Daily Dosage Fine Granules Capsules
1 month old 1/18 - 1/14 of adult dose 0.3 - 0.4 grams N/R*
1 - 6 month old 1/14 - 1/7 of adult dose 0.4 - 0.9 grams N/R*
6 - 12 month old 1/7 - 1/5 of adult dose 0.9 - 1.2 grams N/R*
1 - 2 years old 1/5 - 1/4 of adult dose 1.2 - 1.5 grams N/R*
2 - 4 years old 1/4 - 1/3 of adult dose 1.5 - 2.0 grams N/R*
4 - 6 years old 1/3 - 2/5 of adult dose 2.0 - 2.4 grams N/R*
6 - 9 years old 2/5 - 1/2 of adult dose 2.4 - 3.0 grams 5 - 6 capsules**
9 - 14 years old 1/2 - 2/3 of adult dose 3.0 - 4.0 grams 6 - 8 capsules**
14 - 18 years old 2/3 - full adult dose 4.0 - 6.0 grams 8 - 12 capsules**
18 - 60 years old adult dose 6.0 grams 12 capsules**
60 years old and over 3/4 of adult dose or less 4.5 - 6.0 grams 9 - 12 capsules**

Recommendation for better compliance in your pediatric patients: Mix some honey into the herbal tea and have them drink it with a straw so they do not taste the herbs.


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 Recommend for infants and young children since they may have difficulty swallowing.
** Each capsule weighs 500 mg or 0.5 gram.


Table III. Veterinary Dosing Guidelines

Animals Weight Extract Granules
(Daily Dosage)
Capsules
(Daily Dosage)
Dogs Up to 15 kg (25 lbs) 1 - 2 g 2 - 4 caps**
15 - 30 kg (25-50 lbs) 2 - 4 g 4 - 8 caps**
30 - 45 kg (50-75 lbs) 4 - 6 g 8 - 12 caps**
45 - 60 kg (75-100 lbs) 6 g 12 caps**
60 - 75 kg (100-125 lbs) 6 - 8 g 12 - 16 caps**
Cats Up to 6 kg (10 lbs) 0.5 - 1 g 1 - 2 caps**
6 - 9 kg (10-15 lbs) 1 g 2 caps**
>9 kg (>15 lbs) 1 - 2 g 2 - 4 caps**
Horses* Minis 10 - 20 g 20 - 40 caps**
Ponies 20 - 30 g 40 - 60 caps**
550 - 725 kg (900-1200 lbs) 30 - 40 g 60 - 80 caps**
725 - 900 kg (1200-1500 lbs) 40 - 50 g 80 - 100 caps**

*Ruminants, camelids, and pigs may be dosed like horses, extrapolating for like weights.
**Each capsule weighs 500 mg or 0.5 gram.