One question that I get very often is “What vitamin supplements do you recommend?” Frankly, I can’t fully recommend any brand on the market (although I’m not familiar with all of them; it’s possible some are good). These supplements have many problems, which make them less-than-ideal solutions for getting the recommended nutrients.
These are some of the issues we’re facing with commercial supplements:
- Many vitamin supplements are made with synthetic vitamins and minerals, which are not well absorbed (around 10%)
- Many are made with stearates, which bind with the nutrients, making them less well-absorbed (especially gummy varieties)
- Many are out of balance (certain nutrients “compete” in the body and one prevents absorption of another)
- Many can be dangerous in isolation, leading to a deficiency of another vitamin
- They’re not “living” foods, and they don’t come with the enzymes and other factors which increase absorption rates
Honestly it’s really hard to take most vitamins and supplements and do it well. You don’t know exactly what you need or what you’re deficient in (unless you have expensive blood tests done on a regular basis, but who does that?). You don’t know if you’re going to cause a deficiency in some other nutrient or if you even need the one you’re taking!
But where does that leave you if you’re concerned? Sometimes diets are not optimal (in times of illness, stress, pregnancy, or with young children who may be picky eaters). Our soil is depleted, meaning our foods aren’t as nutritious as they once were. Besides eating a good diet with a wide variety of foods, how do we ensure our health without supplements?
I have an answer for you. Herbs are extremely rich in nutrients, and since they’re plants, these nutrients are in a balanced, synergistic form. Adaptogenic herbs are known to help balance and help the body gently, without any side effects (which some herbs can have). These herbs are safe to take daily, and are well-absorbed by the body.
The best way to take this is in a tincture, specifically a glycerin tincture. Alcohol isn’t that safe to take daily (especially for children) and doesn’t extract the vitamins and minerals very well. Glycerin does. The result, when tincturing, is a super-concentrated herbal multi-vitamin.
This formula is safe for children and pregnant women, and can be used instead of standard prenatal vitamins (in my opinion; talk to your health professional). It’s very easy and quick to make, and it’s sweet, so children will take it.
The herbs I chose for this formula are rich in the following nutrients:
- B-vitamin complex (B-1 through B-9, including folic acid)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
It’s an ideal way to get your vitamins! For best results, take it with fermented cod liver oil, so that the fat-soluble vitamins will be properly absorbed.
How to Make It
Here’s the formula (to make one quart):
- 6 tbsp. alfalfa
- 6 tbsp. dandelion
- 3 tbsp. catnip
- 3 tbsp. nettle
- 1.5 tbsp. spearmint
- 2 c. vegetable glycerin
- 2 c. filtered water
Follow the instructions on last week’s glycerin tincture tutorial.
Basically, add all of these herbs to a quart glass jar, add the glycerin and water, and shake to mix. Leave it capped for about 6 weeks, then strain.
Easy to take, and very nutrient-rich!
**This post has been entered in Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist, Made by You Monday at Skip to My Lou, Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead, Motivate Me Monday at Crafts Keep Me Sane, Just Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative, Make Your Own Monday at Nourishing Treasures, Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Healthy2Day Wednesday at Day 2 Day Joys, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Women Living Well Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Things I Love Thursday at The Diaper Diaries, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable.**