Osteoporosis Herbal Remedies

OSTEOPOROSIS

BENEFICIAL HERBS

  • Amaranth (pigweed), chives, dandelion leaves, motherwort, black willow bark, kale, meadowsweet, wintergreen, peppermint, yellow dock, nettle, parsley, mullein, and seaweed such as kelp (brown algae) are rich in calcium and magnesium which can help build strong bones. Caution: Motherwort can increase menstrual flow, so women that have not ceased menses must be warned.
  • Celery seeds and peppermint contain manganese which may help prevent osteoporosis
  • Horsetail and oat straw contain silica, which helps the body absorb and utilize calcium
  • Alfalfa is high in calcium and vitamin K
  • Feverfew contains silica and zinc and is good for pain relief. Caution: Feverfew should be taken during pregnancy

DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Eat plenty of foods that are high in calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K
  • Eat the skins of fruit and vegetables which contain silica, which helps the body absorb and utilize calcium.
  • Consume whole grains and calcium foods at different times. Whole grains contain a substance that binds with calcium and prevents its uptake. Take calcium at bedtime, when it is best absorbed and also aids in sleeping.
  • Include garlic and onions in the diet, as well as eggs (if your cholesterol level is not too high). These foods contain sulfur, which is needed for healthy bones.
  • Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, lettuce, and parsley, which offers significant protection against osteoporosis
  • Increase intake of magnesium and boron and eat citrus fruit and dark berries for their bioflavonoids
  • Limit your intake of almonds, asparagus, beet greens, cashews, chard, rhubarb, citrus fruits, tomatoes and spinach. These foods are high in oxalic acid, which inhibits calcium absorption.
  • Drink less alcohol, coffee, and tea, all which increase calcium excretion
  • Avoid phosphate-containing drinks and foods such as soft drinks, high-protein animal foods, salt and alcohol.

NUTRIENT SUPPLEMENTATION

A well balanced diet is a more natural source of nutrients and it is best to get as much as possible from food. If you are not eating a varied mixture of the main food groups or foods high in a certain nutrient needed for your health situation then make up the remaining through vitamin and mineral supplementation.

  • Calcium: 1,200-1,500 milligrams of calcium citrate at bedtime. Note: The best calcium supplements to take are calcium citrate and other soluble forms (lactate, aspartate, orotate) are better absorbed. Avoid bone meal and oyster shell since these may contain substantial amounts of lead. Caution: Do not take calcium supplementation without your doctors approval if you have heart or kidney problems
  • Multiple vitamin/mineral supplement which includes vitamin B6, folic acid, and vitamin B12. Low levels of these may contribute to osteoporosis.
  • Boron: 2-3 milligrams
  • Copper: 2–3 milligrams
  • Vitamin E: 400 IU. Caution: If you are taking anticoagulants, you should not take vitamin E supplements
  • Vitamin D: 400 IU. Vitamin D: 400 IU. Caution: Do not take vitamin D supplementation without your doctors approval if you have heart or kidney problems
  • Magnesium: 200-400-800 milligrams. Caution: If you have heart or kidney problems, you should always check with your doctor before taking magnesium supplements
  • Manganese: 5 milligrams
  • Fluoride: up to 10 milligrams
  • Vitamin K: up to 100 micrograms
  • Zinc: 15 milligrams. Caution: Do not exceed a total of 80 milligrams daily from all supplements. Taking over 80 milligrams of zinc daily can weaken the immune system

CAUTION: regarding calcium supplementation: If you are over fifty-five, include a calcium lactate (if you are not allergic to milk) or calcium phosphate supplement in your daily regimen, and take hydrochloric acid (HCL) supplements. In order for calcium to be absorbed, there must be an adequate supply of vitamin D as well as sufficient HCL in the stomach. Older people often lack sufficient stomach acid.

  • If you take thyroid hormone or an anticoagulant drug, increase the amount of calcium you take by 25 to 50 percent.
  • If you take a diuretic, consult your physician before beginning calcium and vitamin D supplementation. Thiazide-type diuretics increase blood calcium levels, and complications may result if these drugs are taken in conjunction with calcium and vitamin D supplements. Other types of diuretics increase calcium requirements, however.

NON DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Keep active, and exercise regularly. A lack of exercise can result in the loss of calcium, but this can be reversed with sensible exercise. Walking is probably the best exercise for maintaining bone mass.

In some cases, herbal products can interact negatively with other medications. Such interactions can be dangerous. Herbal remedies are not regulated and their quality is not controlled. Moreover, while there is an abundant supply of information circulating about herbs, not much of it has been scientifically proven. Consult your physician. Informing your doctor and pharmacist of what herbal products you are using is just as important as letting them know what drugs you are taking. Your physician and the pharmacist on duty at your pharmacy can assist you in deciding which herbs
are safe.

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