Ask The Herb Lady

With Cathy Schram

What About Calcium and Magnesium Supplements?

Q: If I already take a calcium supplement that contains magnesium, should I take additional magnesium?

A: That depends on a number of factors. A majority of the population is low on magnesium. The RDA for magnesium is 300-420 mg. per day, although 500-600 mg. per day is recommended if there is a deficiency. This is a very important mineral as it helps run almost all of your bodily processes. Someone with a magnesium deficiency may experience fatigue, weakness, nausea, loss of appetite, numbness, confusion and even high blood pressure. Most people at risk are diabetics, the elderly, pregnant women, and people under a lot of stress. Also, certain drugs can deplete magnesium levels. Magnesium has been shown to help with bone and heart health as well as to help prevent migraines.

When taking a supplement, look for magnesium citrate, which is inexpensive and easily absorbed by the body. Foods which contain magnesium are kelp, wheat germ, almonds, cashews and molasses.

Q. Help! I’m 22 years old and my periods are very heavy. I’m on a normal cycle, but at least 3 days during my period I bleed excessively. Is there anything I can do?

A: My favorite remedy is Red Raspberry Leaves. If you take them three days prior to the onset of your period, you will not have the usual heavy periods. It is a great female tonic and will also help alleviate cramping. As a bonus, red raspberry leaves are high in iron, manganese, pantothenic acid, as well as calcium, magnesium, selenium and vitamins A, B1 and C. One more added benefit, red raspberry is rich in silicon, which helps strengthen bones, nails, hair, teeth and promotes healthy skin. You can purchase red raspberry in capsule form, liquid or as a tea. I prefer the capsules.

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 Schram, CNHP and Certified Herbalist. Write to: Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011.