Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Handy Reference for Vitamins and Minerals


I know I've said it before, but I love herbs. I think most of the world's problems could be solved with the right herb. Okay, that may be exaggerating. I just read Mountain Rose Herb's monthly newsletter and found a great article by Cori Young. It's titled Just Say No to Synthetic Vitamins and Processed Foods! In it she outlines several vitamins and minerals and great herbal sources. This is a great pocket reference to keep and use when looking for certain nutrients. In fact, I recommend printing the list and keeping it in a binder to reference in times of need. Here is a portion of the article that I found particularly useful...


~VITAMINS~
VITAMIN A: Enhances immunity, prevents eye problems and skin disorders. Important in bone and teeth formation. Protects against colds and infection. Slows aging process.
HERBAL SOURCES: Alfalfa, borage leaves, burdock root, cayenne, chickweed, eyebright, fennel seed, hops, horsetail, kelp, lemongrass, mullein, nettle, oat straw, paprika, parsley, peppermint, plantain, raspberry leaves, red clover, rose hips, sage, uva ursi, violet leaves, watercress, yellow dock.

VITAMIN B1 (Thiamine): Promotes growth, improves mental attitude, aids digestion, helps strengthen nervous system and prevent stress.
HERBAL SOURCES: Alfalfa, bladder wrack, burdock root, catnip, cayenne, chamomile, chickweed, eyebright, fennel seed, fenugreek, hops, nettle, oat straw, parsley, peppermint, raspberry leaves, red clover, rose hips, sage, yarrow, and yellow dock.

VITAMIN B2: (Riboflavin) Needed for red blood cell formation, aids growth and reproduction, promotes hair, skin and nail growth. Important in the prevention and treatment of cataracts.
HERBAL SOURCES: Alfalfa, bladder wrack, burdock root, catnip, cayenne, chamomile, chickweed, eyebright, fennel seed, fenugreek, ginseng, hops, horsetail, mullein, nettle, oat straw, parsley, peppermint, raspberry leaves, red clover, rose hips, sage, yellow dock.

VITAMIN B3 (Niacin): Essential for proper circulation and healthy skin. Increases energy, aids digestion, helps prevent migranes.
HERBAL SOURCES: Alfalfa, burdock root, catnip, cayenne, chamomile, chickweed, eyebright, fennel seed, hops, licorice, mullein, nettle, oat straw, parsley, peppermint, raspberry leaf, red clover, rose hips, slippery elm, yellow dock.

VITAMIN B5: (Pantothenic Acid)Enhances stamina, prevents anemia, helps wounds heal, fights infection, strengthens immune system.
HERBAL SOURCES: Alfalfa, burdock root, nettle, yellow dock.

VITAMIN B6: (Pyridoxine)Needed to produce hydrochloric acid. Aids in absorption of fats, and protein. Mildly diuretic, helps prevent kidney stones. Helpful in treating allergies, arthritis, and asthma.
HERBAL SOURCES: Alfalfa, catnip, oat straw.

VITAMIN B12: (cyanocobalamin)Helps prevent anemia. Protects nervous system, improves concentration, aids digestion.
HERBAL SOURCES: Alfalfa, bladder wrack, hops.

VITAMIN C: (ascorbic acid)Helps calcium and iron formation. Enhances immunity. Helps prevent cancer. Aids in production of anti-stress hormones. Antioxidant required for proper tissue growth and repair, and adrenal gland function.
HERBAL SOURCES: Alfalfa, burdock root, cayenne, chickweed, eyebright, fennel seed, fenugreek, hops, horsetail, kelp, peppermint, mullein, nettle, oat straw, paprika, parsley, pine needle, plantain, raspberry leaf, red clover, rose hips, skullcap, violet leaves, yarrow, yellow dock.

VITAMIN D: Essential for calcium and phosphorous utilization. Prevents rickets. Needed for normal growth of bones and teeth. Helps regulate heartbeat. Prevents cancer and enhances immunity. Aids thyroid function and blood clotting.
HERBAL SOURCES: Alfalfa, horsetail, nettle, parsley.

VITAMIN E: Antioxidant which helps prevent cancer and heart disease. Prevents cell damage. Reduces blood pressure and promotes healthy skin and hair.
HERBAL SOURCES: Alfalfa, bladder wrack, dandelion, dong quai, flaxseed, nettle, oat straw, raspberry leaf, rose hips.

VITAMIN K: Promotes healthy liver function. Helps bone formation and repair. Increases longevity.HERBAL SOURCES: Alfalfa, green tea, kelp, nettle, oat straw, shepherds purse.

~MINERALS~

CALCIUM: Builds and protects bones and teeth. Helps maintain regular heartbeat. Prevents muscle cramping.
HERBAL SOURCES: Alfalfa, burdock root, cayenne, chamomile, chickweed, chicory, dandelion, eyebright, fennel seed, fenugreek, flaxseed, hops, horsetail, kelp, lemongrass, mullein, nettle, oat straw, paprika, parsley, peppermint, plantain, raspberry leaf, red clover, rose hips, shepherd's purse, violet leaves, yarrow, yellow dock.

CHROMIUM: Vital in the synthesis of glucose and the metabolism of cholesterol, fats and proteins. Maintains blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
HERBAL SOURCES: Catnip, horsetail, licorice, nettle, oat straw, red clover, sarsaparilla, wild yam, yarrow.

COPPER: Converts iron to hemoglobin. Protects against anemia. Needed for healthy bones and joints.
HERBAL SOURCES: Sheep sorrel.

GERMANIUM: Helps fight pain, detoxify the body, and keep immune system functioning properly.
HERBAL SOURCES: Aloe vera, comfrey, ginseng, suma.

IODINE: Needed in trace amounts for a healthy thyroid gland , and to help metabolize excess fat. HERBAL SOURCES: Calendula, tarragon leaves, turkey rhubarb.

IRON: Essential for metabolism, and the production of hemoglobin.
HERBAL SOURCES: Alfalfa, burdock root, catnip, cayenne, chamomile, chickweed, chicory, dandelion, dong quai, eyebright, fennel seed, fenugreek, horsetail, kelp, lemongrass, licorice, milk thistle seed, mullein, nettle, oatstraw, paprika, parsley, peppermint, plantain, raspberry leaf, rose hips, sarsaparilla, shepherd's purse, uva ursi, yellow dock.

MAGNESIUM: Prevents calcification of soft tissue. Helps reduce and dissolve calcium phosphate kidney stones. Helps prevent birth defects. Improves cardiovascular system.
HERBAL SOURCES: Alfalfa, bladder wrack, catnip, cayenne, chamomile, chickweed, dandelion, eyebright, fennel, fenugreek, hops, horsetail, lemongrass, licorice, mullein, nettle, oat straw, paprika, parsley, peppermint, raspberry leaf, red clover, sage, shepherd's purse, yarrow, yellow dock.

MANGANESE: Minute quantities of this mineral are needed for healthy nerves, blood sugar regulation, normal bone growth, and thyroid hormone production.
HERBAL SOURCES: Alfalfa, burdock root, catnip, chamomile, chickweed, dandelion, eyebright, fennel seed, fenugreek, ginseng, hops, horsetail, lemongrass, mullein, parsley, peppermint, raspberry leaf, red clover, rose hip, wild yam, yarrow, yellow dock.

MOLYBDENUM: Small amounts of this mineral are required for nitrogen metabolism. Supports bone growth, and strengthens teeth.
HERBAL SOURCES: Red clover blossoms.

PHOSPHOROUS: Needed for teeth and bone formation, nerve impulse transfer, normal heart rhythm, and kidney function.
HERBAL SOURCES: Burdock root, turkey rhubarb, slippery elm bark.

POTASSIUM: Regulates water balance, and muscle function. Important for health nervous system and regular heart rhythm.
HERBAL SOURCES: Catnip, hops, horsetail, nettle, plantain, red clover, sage, skullcap.

SELENIUM: Provides an important trace element for prostrate gland in males. Protects immune system and helps regulate thyroid hormones.
HERBAL SOURCES: Alfalfa, burdock root, catnip, cayenne, chamomile, chickweed, fennel seed, ginseng, garlic, hawthorn berry, hops, horsetail, lemongrass, milk thistle nettle, oat straw, parsley, peppermint, raspberry leaf, rose hips, sarsaparilla, uva ursi, yarrow, yellow dock.

SULFUR: This mineral helps skin and hair. Fights bacterial infection. Aids liver function. Disinfects blood. Protects against toxic substances.
HERBAL SOURCES: Horsetail.

VANADIUM: Needed for cellular metabolism and formation of bones and teeth. Improves insulin utilization.
HERBAL SOURCES: Dill.

ZINC: Promotes growth and mental alertness. Accelerates healing. Regulates oil glands. Promotes healthy immune system, and healing of wounds.
HERBAL SOURCES: Alfalfa, burdock root, cayenne, chamomile, chickweed, dandelion, eyebright, fennel seed, hops, milk thistle, mullein, nettle, parsley, rose hips, sage, sarsaparilla, skullcap, wild yam.
If you have some time today, take a look at the whole article. I found it really helpful.

Karla

4 comments:

Hanlie said...

Mmm, looks like I can do with a bit of alfalfa... How do you take it? As a tea? I already drink nettle tea!

Living A Whole Life said...

Yes, alfalfa seems to be just about the perfect food. It has just about every vitamin and mineral in it! Maybe that is why they make my guinea pig's food out of it.

Yes, you can take it as a tea, add it to salads, smoothies, or fresh juice. You can even sprout the seeds. Check out this interesting link about alfalfa. http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/alfalfa.php

Stephen said...

Do you know what the difference is between peppermint essential oil and peppermint leaf oil? I am trying to use it to get rid of my recurring migraines and am not sure which one to purchase. Any help/insight would be great.

Living A Whole Life said...

I'm not an expert on essential oils but I'm going to take a shot at what the difference is. An essential oil is a concentrated, hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. They are usually extracted in a certain way and distillation is used with most essential oils.

Your peppermint leaf oil may also be essential but it describes the particular part of the plant used, the leaf, as opposed to stems or roots. For peppermint the leaves and stem should be used so either way, whether essential oil or leaf oil you should get some headache relief. Peppermint tea is even more effective at relieving headaches than the oil so try some fo that too.

By the way, stay tuned, in the next couple of weeks there will be a post about herbal and natural migraine remedies and you've just reminded me that I need to add peppermint to that post! Thanks!

Karla

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