Ask The Herb Lady

With Cathy Schram

What’s A Good Vitamin/Herb Regimen For The New Year?

Q: My New Year’s resolution is to begin a healthy vitamin/herbal program. The problem is, I don’t know where to begin. There are so many choices. It is all very confusing to me. What would you suggest that might get me started?

A: I am so happy that you want to begin a supplement program to help maintain your health. It seems that each day there is more information about a new herb or vitamin that promises to be the “fountain of youth.” It can be very confusing as to which ones you should be taking. I’ve put together a list of supplements that I feel are very beneficial to keep you in optimal health.

  • Vitamin C – Important antioxidant, essential to every cell in our body. Vital for wound repair because it manufactures collagen. Great immune booster.
  • Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) – Fish Oil (Omega 3) and/or Flax Oil (Omega 3, 6 & 9) are my EFA’s of choice. These are crucial to the prevention and treatment of disease, particularly coronary, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
  • Vitamin D3 – This is the “sunshine” vitamin. Studies have shown that Americans are severely deficient in Vitamin D3. It helps protect against cancer, aids in brain function and good for the heart and cardiovascular health. It also aids in the absorption of calcium which helps keep the bones healthy.
  • Enzymes – Many of us have trouble digesting our food which can then lead to gas, bloating, belching, acid reflux and colon issues. When you are not digesting your food, you are also not getting any nutrition from the food you eat nor or you absorbing your vitamins properly.
  • Antioxidants – In addition to Vitamin C, there are many other good choices; Acai, Resveratrol, etc. These help to destroy free radicals and protect the body against oxidative stress.
  • Probiotics – These are necessary for good gut function. We want to keep our “good” bacteria healthy and balanced.
  • B-Complex – I’m a huge fan of the B vitamins because they support the nervous system and reduce the effects of stress. All B vitamins work interdependently so it is important to take a B-Complex (one that contains all of the B’s). These vitamins are water-soluble, so any excess will be naturally excreted. Remember that excess stress, alcohol, coffee or heavy perspiration are just a few of the things that may cause us to need additional B vitamins.
  • Multivitamins/Minerals – Use this as your insurance policy to make sure that you are getting adequate nutrition. We don’t always get what we need from our food.

It is always to check with your health care professional or someone knowledgeable about supplements before starting a new herbal/supplement program. There may be some contraindications you need to be aware of in your particular case.

Give yourself the gift of health this year!

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.