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What's in My Vitamins?  Round III

What's in My Vitamins? Round III

updated

Here is the juicy stuff you have been waiting for…we all know why calcium is important for our bodies, but what the heck is horsetail rush herb, and why do we need it? What follows is a description of all those funky, new-age-sounding herbs and minerals that have recently found their way into our tame little multi-vitamins.

Dong Quai Root Powder

Where It’s Found:

  • Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis) is a perennial herb found in China and Japan

What It Does:

  • Helps relieve menstrual cramps, regulate menstruation, and reduce menopausal symptoms
  • Increases coronary and peripheral blood flow
  • Helps strengthen and slow the heart

Ginger Root Powder

Where It’s Found:

  • Ginger is a common tropical and subtropical herb

What It Does:

  • Inhibits inflammation
  • Stimulates liver function
  • Breaks down protein
  • Helpful for healing wounds, easing morning sickness and hot flashes, indigestion, bowel problems

Ginkgo Biloba

Where It’s Found:

  • Ginkgo biloba is also known as the Maidenhair tree. It is a medium-to-large deciduous tree, and the oldest living tree species in the world.

What It Does:

  • Used to treat blood flow/circulatory disorders
  • Useful for memory and concentration problems
  • Increases metabolism efficiency
  • May relax constricted blood vessels
  • Can be helpful in treating male infertility and impotence
  • Helpful in treatment of eye and ear disorders

Horsetail Rush Herb

Where It’s Found:

  • Horsetail is a primitive perennial commonly found in damp soil. This plant gets its name from stalks that are thought to resemble a horse’s tail.

What It Does:

  • Helps to promote calcium absorption
  • Speeds healing of surface injuries
  • Eliminates excess oil in skin and hair
  • Helps mend broken bones
  • Helps produce collagen
  • A strong diuretic
  • Horsetail contains 15 types of bioflavanoids

Siberian Root

Where It’s Found:

  • Also known as Eleuthero or Siberian ginseng, this herb grows in Siberia, China, Korea, and Japan

What It Does:

  • Helpful in relief of menopause symptoms
  • Increases disease resistance
  • Used since ancient times to increase fertility and libido
  • Thought to boost energy: used since ancient times in China to strengthen “qi,” or life energy
  • Helps reduce and prevent stress-related illnesses and conditions

Black Cohosh Root

Where It’s Found:

  • Cohosh is a member of the buttercup family and is native to forests in North America

What It Does:

  • Blocks growth of breast cancer cells
  • Soothes uterine contractions
  • Helps control menopausal symptoms: black cohosh is said to be a safe alternative to estrogen replacement therapy.
  • Eases muscle soreness

Citrus Bioflavonoids Complex

Where it’s Found:

  • Citrus fruits

What it Does:

  • Antioxidant properties for immune system support
  • Enhances effects of vitamin C
  • Helps strengthen circulatory system
  • Has anti-viral and anti-allergy properties

Lecithin

Where It’s Found:

  • Lecithin is naturally produces in the liver and can be produced from soybeans for use as a supplement

What It Does:

  • Helps lower cholesterol
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Supports liver health
  • Helps improve memory
  • Contributes to healthy skin and hair
  • Provides arthritis relief
  • Essential to liver function

Kelp Powder

Where It’s Found:

  • Harvested from kelp growing in coastal waters

What It Does:

  • Helpful in treatment of hyperthyroidism and obesity
  • Used as a blood purifier
  • Helpful in treatment of rheumatism
  • Absorbs toxins from the bowel
  • Absorbs and removes toxins from the digestive tract

Psyllium Seed Husks

Where It’s Found:

  • Psyllium is a small, inconspicuous plant also known as fleawort

What It Does:

  • Helps lower total cholesterol
  • Anti-inflammatory, expectorant, and diabetic properties
  • Common ingredient in laxatives
  • Beneficial in relief of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms
  • Leaves make an effective poultice for relief from insect bites and poison ivy rashes

Royal Jelly Powder

Where It’s Found:

  • Royal jelly is a food made by bees from pollen and honey, used to feed the Queen Bee

What It Does:

  • Increases energy
  • Helps reduce stress
  • Boosts immune system
  • Helps balance hormones
  • Supports healing of wounds
  • May help with anxiety and nervousness
  • Beneficial for weight control

Soy Isoflavone Extract

Where It’s Found:

  • Isolated from the soybean: can be found in most soy products

What It Does:

  • Reduces the risk of certain hormone-dependent cancers
  • Prevents some early menopause symptoms
  • Chemically similar to the hormone estrogen
  • May reduce headaches, dementia, inflammation, and alcohol abuse

Silicon

Where It’s Found:

  • Silicon is one of the most comment elements on earth

What It Does:

  • May help reduce fat deposits in arteries
  • Supports connective tissue
  • Promotes healthy bones, hair, nails, and skin

Boron

Where It’s Found:

  • Boron is a trace element found all over the world

What It Does:

  • May be helpful in treatment of menopausal symptoms
  • Could help in treatment of psoriasis
  • Used to enhance bodybuilding

Grape Seed Extract

Where It’s Found:

  • This extract is derived from the tiny seeds of common grapes

What It Does:

  • Known for strong antioxidant qualities
  • May help prevent development of cancers
  • Prevents damage to blood vessels, a leading cause of heart disease
  • Reduces buildup of bad cholesterol in the blood
  • May help prevent fibromyalgia
  • Prevents damage to liver cells due to chemotherapy
  • Helpful in treatment of inflammatory skin conditions

Lutein

Where It’s Found:

  • Found in some plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria, including mango, papaya, peaches, prunes, squashes, and oranges
  • Naturally occurs in the macula and lens of the eye: lutein makes up most of the pigment in the center of the retina

What It Does:

  • Protects the eye and optic nerves by filtering against damaging free radicals and blue light
  • Helps prevent age-related macular degeneration
  • Aids in prevention of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and lung cancer

Tin

Where It’s Found:

  • Canned foods
  • Soil

What It Does:

  • Helps prevent fatigue
  • May help prevent asthma
  • Studies have found correlations between low levels of tin and depression

Vanadium

Where It’s Found:

  • Mushrooms
  • Cereals
  • Parsley
  • Soy
  • Seafood

What It Does:

  • May help to stabilize glucose levels, which can improve endurance and lower the blood pressure

Nickel

Where It’s Found:

  • Oatmeal
  • Nuts
  • Chocolate
  • Dried peas and beans

What It Does:

  • Maintains blood glucose levels
  • Helps bone growth
  • Assists with the metabolism of Calcium and B-12

Knowing is only Half the Battle

You made it! Congratulations--you may now consider yourself an expert in the field of daily nutrition. In the first of this series, I stated that I am working on taking better control of my health and approaching my fitness in a more proactive manner. I am happy to say that I have been religiously swallowing my not-too-tiny vitamins every morning, and I am really noticing an improvement. I feel more awake all day long, I am much more focused, and I am even sleeping a little more soundly.

With such busy schedules and so many unhealthy meal options available to us these days, it is very important to ensure that our bodies are being supported with the right vitamins and minerals. If you do nothing else this year to lead you to a healthier place, I urge you to at least pick up a bottle of multi-vitamins. They don't cost very much, and I think it's really the least we can do to repay our bodies for the daily stresses to which we subject them. So bottoms up, folks, and here's to our health!

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