Ask The Herb Lady

Ask The Herb Lady With Cathy Burkemper

Probiotics after Antibiotics and Natural Help for Healthy Nails

Q: I just finished a round of antibiotics and my doctor recommended that I supplement with some probiotics. How long should I do this?
A: I am so happy to hear that your doctor suggested probiotics, aka friendly flora. Whenever you take antibiotics you are effectively killing your bacteria, the bad along with the good. Therefore, you need to replenish the good bacteria with probiotics. Many people do not realize that these “beneficial bugs” are important to our digestive and bowel health because they are “live” bacteria. Anyone who has irregularity or other bowel symptoms, such as gas, bloating and constipation, could benefit from probiotics. When these problems occur, you most likely have an imbalance between the good and the bad gut bacteria. Research has shown that on-going use of probiotics can be very beneficial for not only digestion and colon health, but with your immune system, reducing inflammation and with allergies. So, the long answer to your question is, I would take them daily.

Q: My finger nails are a wreck. What can I take to help them?
A: You did not specify what the problem is, but here are some general suggestions:

  • Biotin supplements can improve thin, splitting and brittle nails. It also makes them grow faster.
  • Soft, chipping or brittle nails – MSM + Vitamin C, minerals
  • Vertical ridges – May indicate calcium deficiency or lack or HCI in stomach
  • White spots – Zinc
  • Thin, flat, spoon-shaped–B-12 deficiency

I also suggest adding GLA (Flax or Evening Primrose Oil).

This herb information is for health education purposes only. It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners. Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins? Send them to Cathy Burkemper, CNHP and Certified Herbalist. Write to: Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011.