Herbs & Vitamins
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. All information is offered from my own personal opinions and experience for you to use for informational purposes only. We are responsible for our own health decisions and that includes consulting medical professionals for advice and care.
Why use them? I run across opinions from the medical sector and “experts” who dismiss the use of supplements, normally with the statement that they’re unnecessary when a balanced diet is consumed. I suppose that those ideas come from insufficient knowledge of agricultural practices.
So where are my degrees? My clinical experience? Nonexistent. I’m a gardener, I’m a mom. But, think about this: Our bodies are composed of what we eat, our nutrients.
In the same way a plant or animal food is composed of its nutrients. If foods are grown on selenium deficient soils, will they have enough selenium in them? Iodine deficient soils are known to cause problems, thus iodized salt.
Modern farming uses depleted soils to grow crops, sometimes repeatedly the same ones, with the chemical additions of the “big three” – nitrogen, potassium, and potash. Additionally, many modern hybrids are raised for disease resistance or ease of handling. This doesn’t translate into better nutrition.
Herbal and vitamin supplementation of the best diet we can avail ourselves of just makes sense.
Because there have been many challenges to deal with in the last decade, there have been a number of supplements I have been trying to add into my daily diet. The most outstanding problem has been hypertension, which I will tell you about first. Besides that, I have routine vitamins, (those taken regularly) :
- A good multivitamin, Nature’s Way Alive! Multivitamin
- Probiotic and a Fiber supplement
Admittedly, I sometimes feel like I’ve amassed a small pharmacy worth of vitamins and herbs; but this has been helping me.
Dealing With High Blood Pressure
In working on the pressures- a doctor suggested having a glucose tolerance test. If blood sugar imbalances are damaging tissues then many of the things which help a diabetic condition would also aid the eye and blood pressure to normalize. This is a confirmation to me to exercise, add supplemental selenium, and antioxidants.
What Am I Doing Now? What Works.
I have been on blood pressure medication for a number of years now. I am trying to cut it back with the goal of no longer needing it. I have had trouble from the beginning with sometimes wild fluctuations, and developed a way to manage this. First I will list what I use, and then explain why.
- I eat beets and drink beet juice supplements
- I take Cinnamon and alpha-lipoic acid capsules
- Fish oil or Krill oil for healthy Omega fats
- Vitamin D3
- Magnesium drink (Calm)
Beet consumption has been shown to lower blood pressure; it works in that way for me. Fish oil is often prescribed for heart health and has blood thinning properties.(1)
Magnesium is a mineral that many Americans are deficient in, and it is needed for blood pressure and glucose regulation. (2)
Ginko Biloba and Some Words on Balancing One’s Life
More on Gingko biloba: this definitely is a helpful herb and its effects ought to be considered. First, I understand it acts as a blood thinner- which might explain some of its helpfulness in the peripheral circulatory system.
Beware of Combinations
You should be aware of other blood thinning products you might be using (like aspirin). Another, subjective, observation is that it has stimulant properties. So, I personally don’t like to take it in the evening – sort of behaves like caffeine in my system.
We are often advised to be careful how foods or others things interact when prescribed medications.
Herbs and even vitamins can interact both with each other, with foods or with medications we are taking, in the same way. Blood thinning factors are one thing to be aware of, but some foods, like grapefruit juice can either magnify, cancel or otherwise change effectiveness or safety of what we ingest.
When devising our own health plan, we should research or ask advisce about possible interactions.
Natural Means Are Not A Quick Fix, But Take Time
My weight is moderate at 125 lbs. and I really don’t want to drop weight, but if you carry extra pounds, the additional exercise and some chromium picolinate can only help. People who need to lose weight should do it for themselves-your health is worth it!
UPDATED: I originally wrote this article in 1999-2001 time period. Today, in 2018 my body and health requisites have changed. I have learned a lot in the meantime, but I have also battled serious issues that include weight gain. I have learned how difficult it is to lose weight when your metabolism has changed, when medications taken have side effects on your appetite and weight gain. I will keep the pertinent original info, but this page must reflect my new status of fighting to keep down blood pressure and weight gain.
Herbs and supplements are not a ‘quick fix’, so moderation and patience (the same qualities needed for all permanent life changes) will be necessary. The concept of homeostasis, picture a balance or stacking building blocks , means we adjust our system gradually. Here is as good a place as any to compare and contrast health philosophies.
This Is Not A Diatribe Against Doctors
There is a place for the medical establishment and for self-help; the two have always coexisted along with the third, the spiritual factor. I have to believe doctors have always found it frustrating to shoulder the responsibility of prevention. It is up to an individual to do the actual exercise and common sense activities of eating, sleeping, etc.
Doctors and hospitals seem best suited for emergency intervention – I definitely want them for injuries or a heart attack! But in daily situations , they are like very expensive personal trainers, if you have the money and the need, avail yourself.
The rest of us are being priced out of the market; besides, it is very pleasant to experience a healthy lifestyle. That’s the reason to use nutrition, herb, and fitness information.
I really have to throw one caveat in here: we cannot guarantee our own health and well-being. No doctor can, either. That’s why there has always been the spiritual factor.
You know the saying “Life happens” (and the variants thereof), well, despite our best laid plans the principle of entropy can manifest. .or lightning can strike…or…or..And in the meantime we can do what we can.
For me, the spiritual factor is Jesus Christ, and I really don’t want to hem and haw around yours if its different. I have a page on why I believe in Him, but, for now, allow me to share one amazing fact. When I exercise for a couple of days, I easily lower my blood pressure points about five-ten; when I pray for maybe ten minutes the same effect occurs. Just thought I’d throw that in since it shows that dealing with the whole person (not just the body) is important.