Lately we have been receiving questions asking about the difference between herbal tablets and herbal capsules. Currently in Ayurvedic circles there is an interesting debate going on around this very subject and while there is no definitive answer we will try to give you our rationale for choosing a herbal tablet or capsule.
For our classic Ayurvedic range we love to use organic whole herbs. Usually when we use whole herbs in a formula and the ingredients can be made into herbal tablets using our pure-press method then we will choose herbal tablets. One of the benefits of taking herbal tablets (over capsules) is that tablets allow you to taste your herbs. Digestion begins in the mouth with the sense of taste, and being able to taste your herbs - even momentarily - allows a communication between your herbs and your body, signalling the healing process to begin.
Where the herbs are difficult to bind such as resins like asafoetida (hing), or where we may need the extra ‘push’ of herbal extracts in addition to whole herbs in a formula then we would usually choose vegetarian capsules using a pure-fill method. Another example for using capsules is a probiotic - such as Florabact - where it is beneficial for the capsule to pass unopened through the stomach so the bacteria can be released in the gut.
We are very fortunate that the Ayurvedic doctor who makes our tablets has developed an expertise in manufacturing herbal tablets without using any synthetic binding or flowing agents - like silicon dioxide or magnesium stearate - that are found in most mass-produced herbal tablets. We use only organic acacia gum as a natural binder (which itself has health benefits) and we use organic rice flour if we need a flowing agent.
We call this our ‘pure press’ method and it is only possible because our herbal tablets are made in small batches by an expert. Their expertise together with small batch production allows time for the attention to detail that is just not possible with mass production methods.
To summarise, there are many ways to take herbs - from tinctures and powders to tablets and capsules. We really like whole-herb herbal tablets for our classic Ayurvedic range, manufactured using a pure-press method. The sense of taste is activated and we can produce them using all natural ingredients. For difficult-to-bind resins like asafoetida, for formulas that include herbal extracts or when timed-release is necessary then vegetarian capsules are a natural choice.
Click here to explore our range of Ayurvedic herbal tablets.