this is an old topic but I guess a lot of posts on the first pages of the sections of this forum are, so I will try to play in them with less apology as hopefully others may be interested in furthering them too.
So my initial thoughts on this thread topic were the whole "standardized" dose thing that is stated about many capsule bottles of herbs. I am surprised that wasn't mentioned but I do like what you added Tobi, and it is so interesting to think about the ways that herbs can be manipulated to make them more potent or have varying impact or effect. I think about food a lot (in smart ways and not so smart ways but I mean the smart ways here lol or muse about them) and how it is usually best in its purest state, but herbs can take a lot more modification and still be effective or perhaps moreso. but I still have to wonder if they are not best in their purer state too, I just don't know or can't say, but while I once would have thought it's not worthwhile to take them raw or just dried, I now think it is.. but anyways we're here to talk beyond that so I'll get on with it.
I have to look up what the whole standardized thing is because it was my understanding that they somehow got a stronger dose of the herbs into the capsules but I'm not sure how and what kind of processing is involved in that. some just say x mg of herb but others say they guarantee you get this much of this and that constituent. so do they make a tincture or something then get it into dried form or how do they make the herb stronger in a powdered form rather than just having the plain ol herb in there which we could grind up at home.. that is what I've been doing mostly recently anyway, as there is a wall of ounce sized bags of herbs at a health store my fiance goes to and he doesn't mind getting them for me as they seem affordable, even though you're paying at least twice as much as you would if you bought the larger bulk version from the same company.
ah ok I found a site that seems to have some helpful answers. the most prominent detail seems to be that extracts or standardized dosages may have used chemicals and other unwanted toxins to achieve the results, so it'd be good to trust the company you get stuff from and investigate what processes they use. also whole herbs may have other things you want, just as you want a whole food rather than a powder or vitamin extract of it..
but there is value in the different forms and concentrations of herbs. One company that I'd definitely trust is through a Dr. Robert Morse who is big into herbs, spiritual, and has an elite understanding of the human body. He makes youtube videos answering people's questions too, having made almost 500 of them to date. He sells herbs which seem pricey, but if they involve processing and extractions and more herbs to get the tiny amount in the capsules or tinctures, etc. the high price tag makes sense and I truly believe he is not greedy. anyways I've not been able to get those but for anyone who can I would recommend him highly. just listening to him you gain an infinite amount though. He has special blends of herbs for different issues and organs, but has involved detox protocols. His top recommendation however is to eat mostly fruit as he claims, and it makes sense, that we are a frugivorous species. that's getting off track though, just wanted to bring him up because he sells herbs and I would buy his over another company's preparations.
As for kelp lol, I picked up a bag of kelp from that lovely herbal wall but only had the guts to down some a couple times. I never liked seafood so it's not really pleasant for me to taste. I do consider myself a champ at swallowing things I don't want to though if it's good for me. I've just been taking a combination of herbs that appeal to me and grinding them in a spice grinder and taking little mouthfuls like that randomly throughout the day.
I've been looking at some of my posts from the years I've been on this forum and see how much I have learned and grown, stating my ignorance outright many times and now honestly saying I put in the work and play to enlighten and teach myself, and I am so grateful for that. So I have faith that I am following a fine path about herbs and will be able to master that to a degree too if that is what I want to do, which I think it is as they are very intriguing and wonderful things. I am glad I find learning so much fun and it is rewarding in countless ways. My desire to help others become better has fueled much of my journey. though I still need to work a lot on being a better delivery system and more convincing lol.. and I know this thread is not about that so I am sorry. but it is an old thread so nobody else was using it hehehe