It has been recently reported in the news that several brands of herbal supplements were found to contain none of the advertised herb. Many people have come to trust the stores that sell these products, notably GNC, Wal-Mart, Target, and Walgreens. It’s not that I think these retailers shouldn’t be in the supplement market. Instead of taking supplements, you should be eating a variety of foods that supply the nutrients you need.
Not everyone needs supplements and the same supplements will not work for everyone. The unique biochemical make up of your body will dictate whether or not you should seek out supplementation. Rather than just take a pill which does not have the complete nutrient value of the whole food, find the food that supplies the complete nutrition.
St. John’s Wort
Generally recommended for depression symptoms but taking St. John’s wort may mask nutritional deficiencies. Eating a more balanced diet with complex carbohydrates, which are high in serotonin, will help alleviate some of the symptoms. Add lean poultry, eggs, walnuts (and other nutrient-dense nuts) and seeds will add more protein to your diet and boost your energy level. You may have to eat several servings a day to get adequate levels. Flaxseeds are an especially good source of fiber and essential fatty acids.
Avoid any food to which you may have sensitivity or allergy. Reducing caffeine and alcohol will help stabilize your mood as these can cause an imbalance in your system making you to feel irritable or tired. Keep your blood sugar stable as possible. If you are having trouble maintaining stable levels, you may need to ease into an eating cycle by eating smaller meals and then try to go longer between each meal as your blood level stabilizes. Removing refined sugar is key to stabilizing blood glucose levels. It might be best to work with a health coach or medical practitioner to reach your optimal levels.
This herb is typically taken to boost the immune system. Although this is an herbal remedy, it is not for everyone. Anyone who has an autoimmune condition is cautioned against using Echinacea on a long-term basis. It is considered a natural antibiotic and is therefore used to ward off colds, flu or respiratory infections.
Using an Echinacea tea can be effective rather than taking a pill form. Drink 6-8 ounces, four times daily from the initial appearance of symptoms. You can continue drinking the tea after symptoms have reduced or disappeared for up to 10 days.
A number of essential oils have antiviral properties and since colds are caused by a viral infection they can help alleviate symptoms. Melaleuca can be used to help a sore throat by applying a drop on the tip of the tongue.
One of the best recommendations is to look for products that have been tested by an independent third-party. dōTERRA Essential Oils “are guaranteed to be pure and natural and free of synthetic compounds or contaminates. They are subjected to rigorous mass spectrometry and gas chromatography testing to ensure extract composition and activity. dōTERRA’s pure essential oils represent the safest and most beneficial essential oils available today.” (https://doterra.com/US/en/blog/healthy-living-cptg-the-doterra-difference)
Ginseng is an adaptogen used to help the body cope with stress, both mental and physical. Eating foods rich in vitamin B-12 will invigorate the nervous system health and physical energy. Good sources of vitamin B-12 are beef liver and clams, but all meat and seafood sources contain vitamin B-12. As a general recommendation, stick to eating whole, unprocessed foods. Conventionally grown and highly processed foods often contain toxins. Keeping your digestive system in top shape has a direct correlation to a healthy brain. Again, stay away from any foods that cause a reaction or have a known allergic response. Removing refined sugar can help clear up the brain fog – one of the reasons why many people take this supplement. Drink plenty of water to rehydrate your brain which is made up of 85% of water!