Ask The Herb Lady

With Cathy Schram

Best Way To Take Supplements? Parasite Cleanse?

Q: Should I take my supplements with food or on an empty stomach? What’s the best time of day to take them?

A: It is best to take a multivitamin/mineral supplement with meals because nutrients help the body to better metabolize food for energy and they are more easily absorbed. Some minerals should be taken separately due to their respective stimulating and calming effects. For example, chromium is best taken with food throughout the day because it helps regulate blood sugar levels, while calcium and magnesium are best taken before bed due to their relaxing effect. Because herbs are classified as a food, they can be taken with or without meals.

Q: What do you think about doing a parasite cleanse?

I get asked this question a lot. Many people are afraid of doing a cleanse, for fear that they will have to camp out in the bathroom or even worse, they may actually find that they have parasites. I do recommend doing a parasite cleanse. You do not need to travel out of the country to pick up parasites. There are many other ways for us to acquire them. They are prevalent in uncooked meat, sushi, unwashed fruits and vegetables, contact with pets or even walking barefoot outside. Humans may be hosts to over 100 different types of parasites, the most common being roundworms, tapeworms, flukes and single cell parasites. Worms can release as many as 200,000 eggs per day. They can settle anywhere, causing damage and sapping nutrients from us.

Some common effects parasites have on people are: allergies, anemia, digestive disturbances, fatigue, weight loss and nervousness. I know this picture may look scary, but if you have not been feeling well and can’t seem to find out what is going on, you may want to consider the possibility of parasites.

Fortunately, there are plenty of herbs to aid in a critter free system. It is important to cleanse for at least four weeks, which is the reproductive cycle of most parasites. This takes care of the eggs, larvae and the adults. Parasites tend to reproduce during a full moon, so it is a good idea to start your cleanse one week prior to the full moon. Also, since most parasites are in the digestive system, they are the first to get the nutrients from food. Therefore, you want to take your herbs before a meal so they ingest the herbs – not your food.

Some of the popular and most effective herbs are: wormwood, black walnut, artemesia, garlic, pumpkin seeds, paw paw and elecampane. Look for a combination of these herbs for best results. Try to find a cleanse with cloves added as they can calm the stomach and promote bowel movement, while reducing gas and mucus.

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.