With Cathy Schram

Need help for: Skin Problems? Anemia? Constipation?

Q: My teenagers all seem to have problems with their skin; acne, blackheads, etc. What can they do to really make a difference by using something natural?

A: Skin problems can be caused by a variety of reasons. Typically, there is some sort of imbalance in the body. Acne is an inflammatory condition of the skin. Fat-soluble toxins eliminate through the pores of the skin rather than through the colon and the kidneys. So this creates a toxic condition of the blood and lymph. Cleansing the colon, strengthening the kidneys and purifying the blood are all excellent ways to help get rid of skin problems. Burdock root is one of my favorite remedies for acne. Oregon grape root extract, beet root, sarsaparilla root & juniper berries are also good. Sometimes, just adding healthy fats like flax seed or omega 3 oils can help improve utilization of fats in your body.

One of the reasons teenagers have skin problems is that their hormones are out of balance. Chaste tree berries have been beneficial for this problem. Most people think that if they cleanse properly and use specific products on their skin that this alone will alleviate the condition. You must also address the internal toxins and be sure your colon is clean in order to have beautiful skin. Beauty does actually start from within.

Q: I have been told that I’m anemic and should take iron supplements. I’ve been taking an iron supplement but now I’m constipated. Any suggestions?

A: Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia. Being anemic can leave you weak and exhausted and also make you look very pale. It can also cause poor digestion and diarrhea. Most over the counter iron supplements are in the form of ferrous sulfate. This is an inorganic form of iron (meaning it is a chemical source rather than a plant or animal source). I like to refer to it as sucking on a nail. The main side effect from this type of iron is constipation. I prefer to use herbal iron sources such as; dandelion, red raspberry leaves, yellow dock, kelp and/or stinging nettle. These are all high in natural iron and you will not get constipated. Eating leafy, dark greens and other iron-rich foods is also helpful.

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? Write to Cathy Schram, CNHP and Certified Herbalist. c/o Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011. www.morethanherbsonline.com.