Taste is a matter of, well…taste. When dealing with medicinal plants and herbs, ones personal tastes can come into play, and may even cause you not to take your medicine properly, but there are ways around this.
Some herbs simply smell and/or taste bad, Examples of this would be valerian root and lungwort. In the case of valerian root, in particular, I have yet to hear a single person say it smelled or tasted well. I can stand it as is, but I have a very high constitution for such things. As long as I know it helps me, I will take it, regardless of the taste or smell.
With other herbs, it is more a matter of personal preference. For example, I hate the taste and smell of licorice, which means I also dislike these qualities in related herbs, such as anise and fennel seeds. All of these have that distinctive licorice fragrance and flavor. In fact, anise and others are often used to flavor licorice candies, in the place of licorice.
Since anise is extremely good for the throat, and any bronchial complaint, including asthma and laryngitis, I take it anyway. My answer here is to simply make a very concentrated tea, so that I don’t have to drink as much. I then just buck up and choke it down!
There are many other ways to deal with the problem of taking ones medicine, however. One of these could literally be called “a spoonful of sugar”. Some people will not drink herb teas without sugar anyway, and it can help the flavor in many cases. Sometimes honey or molasses can be of more help, since they both have an even stronger flavor than sugar.
Adding lemon, vanilla, and other flavorings can also help disguise herbs that disagree with your taste buds. Even other herbs can help. In fact, there are some herbs which are actually quite good at masking the odors and flavors of other more pungent herbs. A few of these include allspice, anise (IF you like licorice, that is), caraway, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ginger, lemon peel, and orange peel.
If you are having trouble stomaching the bold taste of some herbs, but wish to take your medicine anyway because of its relative health benefits, then you might want to consider trying some of these “sugar coated solutions.” With a little experimentation, you may find you have even created new flavors that you truly enjoy.
Source: Over 20 years of study and experimentation of herbal medicines and natural alternatives.