Herb and Vitamin Interactions?
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Lisa
Posted on: December 23, 2002

I am 41 yrs. old. I am currently taking Wellbutrin twice at day. I want to start taking the following: St. John’s Wort, Grape Seed, Iron, Ginseng Root, Echinacea, Vitamin C, B-Compex and a multi vitamin.

In order to get the best results I can, can you tell me which herbs and vitamins to take at one time and which ones to take at different times.

Wellbutrin is an antidepressant. St. John’s wort is not to be taken with antidepressants.

Taking iron as a supplement can seriously affect the mineral balance in your body. It is better to take iron in the form of whole foods, which contain a balanced mixture of minerals. Foods high in iron include red meat, liver, kidney, almonds, dark green leafy vegetables and dried fruit, especially figs. Avoid foods that inhibit iron absorption: coffee, tea, alcohol and wheat bran. There are natural iron supplements made of whole herbs, in liquid form, usually available at health food stores. These natural supplements are better absorbed by the body and do not put the body out of balance because they contain a natural combination of minerals.

Before you start taking Grape Seed extract, make sure that you are aware of the ingredients. There are many articles in scientific magazines reporting studies that the antimicrobials effect of grape seed extract are from the chemical preservatives in the product - not from the grape seeds. These reports state that grapefruit seed extracts without chemical additives do not show antimicrobial activity. Therefore, if you want an effective product, you must decide whether you are willing to ingest chemical contaminants.

Ginseng should not be taken with coffee or any other stimulant. It should be taken for no longer than one month, with a one month break before beginning again. A safe and effective way of taking ginseng is to add a root to simmering soups and stews. This is how the Chinese use ginseng to give their bodies a boost when required.

Otherwise, the herbs and vitamins that you mention can be taken in small doses, three times a day with meals, so that they are well assimilated by the body and remain in the blood stream throughout the day. The doses vary according to preparation. Use the dosage recommended on the bottle as a guide.

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