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Herbs Help Some, Harm Others

From eNewsletter 10/26/2020

DID YOU KNOW that in an 8 week, randomized, placebo-controlled study in Clinical Nutrition, researchers compared changes in vitamin D-deficient adults serum 25OHD concentrations who received sun exposure (more than 20-30 minutes around noon), 500IU oral vitamin D3 supplements, or neither. Both sun exposure and 500IU per day of oral vitamin D3 supplementation significantly increased serum 25OHD concentrations. However, sun exposure was not as effective as 500IU per day of oral vitamin D3 supplementation. There was no change in the control group. YUMMI BEARS OUT, PURE NUTRIENTS GUMMY IN! Over the last few years, we have been frustrated with the quality control and availability of Hero Yummi Bears. We have had a difficult time finding a replacement we could endorse, until now. Pure Encaps just introduced PureNutrients Gummy. Not only do we love the ingredients, but it tastes great and is gluten- and- corn-free! VIRUS PREVENTION

Continue with extra immune support until at least summer of 2021. SARS-CoV-2 knows no boundaries and does not discriminate. Besides, SARS-CoV-2 is not the only virus we fight. There is influenza (flu), norovirus (stomach flu), adenovirus (common cold), and four other coronaviruses (common cold), among others. Prevent and Fight Coronavirus 2.0 is our must-read protocol. For detailed advice about conventional, as well as integrative treatments, read Steve Minsky's COVID-19 Condition Monograph.


Steve and Bonnie: There's a reason we have always preferred vitamins, minerals, and non-reactive nutraceuticals instead of herbal formulations. First, herbs can create strong reactions, via allergy or intolerance. Second, it is very difficult to find quality herbs that are organic, free of pesticides, heavy metals, and contamination. Third, it is very difficult to corroborate herbal formulations that meet label claim. 

We receive the most questions about these three herbs:

Ashwanganda has been a very popular herb during the pandemic because of its supposed anti-anxiety properties. While a root extract, it is still part of the pepper family and considered a nightshade. So for those who are intolerant to peppers (very common), nightshades, and salicylates, it would be best to avoid ashwaganda. In addition, make sure you can trace the origins of the ashwaganda. It is often sourced from India, whose herbs have been found to have high levels of heavy metals and pesticides.

Curcumin/Turmeric have incredible benefits for the right individuals. Unfortunately, if you are salicylate intolerant, have a propensity for excess acidity, or have acid reflux/GERD, curcumin can worsen those issues. Curcumin is often adulterated, so you must trust the herb's source.

Oregano is a popular supplement for immune health. We do not recommend that anyone take this herb. The only thing we can equate it to is like swallowing a pill of kerosene that ignites when it gets into the stomach and intestines. If you took it on an as needed basis for a day or two when you're feeling yucky, then maybe it would be okay. But if you take this on a daily basis, you'll eventually become overtly acidic, if not contract full-on GERD. Oregano is possibly the most acidic herb humans consume.

When in doubt about an herb or herbal formulation, ask a health professional with expertise in herbs. If allergic or intolerant, always try to take the root of the herb instead of the leaf, stalk, or berry.


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