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Whether you use herbs exclusively or as a complement to traditional medicine, you know that those little capsules can be expensive. However, there is an alternative. You can buy herbs in bulk and put them into gelatin capsules yourself. If you are already taking herbs, check the label to see how much of the herb is in each capsule. Most herbal capsules weight around a quarter to half a gram. That means that a bottle of one hundred capsules contains about two to four ounces of a herb. For about the same price as a bottle of herb capsules, you can buy a pound of loose herbs and a supply of capsules to fill yourself. Although there are devices on the market that supposedly make it easier to fill capsules, they are not necessary.
Herbal supplements can also be taken in the form of a tea. Making a herbal tea with herbs bought in bulk saves the purchase of gelatin capsules. And buying herbs in bulk has the added advantage of reducing the number of plastic bottles headed to landfill sites.
Savings: Although the savings will vary depending on the particular herb, you can save 75 to 90 percent by buying loose herbs and filling your own capsules. For example, a bottle of thirty 250 mg turmeric capsules costs $20. A pound of turmeric is $10.50. There are only 2.64 ounces of turmeric in the capsules, which is the equivalent of $121.21 per pound of turmeric. Gelatin capsules cost a penny or two each, depending on the quantity you buy. You would save about $110 by purchasing the turmeric and filling your own capsules.
This is an excerpt from Ecothrifty: Cheaper, Greener Choices for a Happier, Healthier Life by Deborah Niemann.
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