So Dose Me Already!
When you enter the world of natural medicine, you have to be prepared to take pills. Organic, natural, healthy, but still pills. This is because you are deficient in something. There is no way that you live on this earth, live in this environment and eat this food, and be completely healthy without taking pills. It is a fact of life in this day and age. Face it, our soil is depleted, our environment is polluted and the stuff we call food probably has the nutrient quality of eating air. So face it, it's time for some serious therapy because this is about your health. This is about entering a doorway and walking a path. It's time to give the body what it needs - food. For too long, we subject our bodies to toxins, drugs, preservatives, chemicals and expect it to function even while under assault. Now it's time to sit down, breathe and devote some time to listening to the messages our body is sending us.
So let's start with food.
Food is food, herbs are medicine. Let's not confuse them. So first of all, throw away every supplement you have ever purchased that is supposed to be a vitamin, a mineral or food, when it actually contains herbs, and probably many herbs at that. Remember food is any nutrient you would generally consume for life. Vitamins, minerals, greens, protein, carbohydrates, fats... all of these should be derived from food, whether in our daily diet or in our daily pill!
Nutritional complexes are food. Therefore they are simply larger, more concentrated forms of the essential components your body needs to survive and to function. They are designed for longer-term use and provide the body with the building blocks necessary to function healthfully. Vitamins are easily processed and larger amounts do not normally cause any toxicity. Minerals however, are stored within the body's soft tissues and can produce toxicity if accumulated in large amounts. Because of this, nutritional complexes should be taken with food. Often when taking food supplements or vitamins, you want to take them with foods that would normally contain those vitamins. It also depends on if the vitamins you are taking are water-soluble or fat-soluble. If water soluble, then you want to take them with water just before eating. For instance, vitamin D is fat-soluble, while vitamin B12 is water-soluble.
Herbs, on the other hand, the Chinese would consider to be medicine. Natural, but still medicine. They are considered pharmacological because they can strongly change the body's function. They are not for nutrition, and not to be taken in place of food. Because of this herbs should be taken on an empty stomach, in therapeutic amounts and should be taken for a short term. Longer term use at therapeutic levels can cause systemic fatigue and body dependence, just as synthetic pharmaceuticals. Many herbs can be taken over a longer period of time, such as Echinacea, but not at the same dosage as when you are using it therapeutically. Also, overdosing can cause toxicity and you must be careful that the herbs you are taking are pure, the correct species for your condition, meet international standards and do not interact negatively with any medication you may be taking.
Dosages play an important role in supporting healthy change in the body. There is a difference between a physiologic dose and a pharmacologic or therapeutic dose. Dosages of smaller amounts over an extended period of time are better than one large dose. It will take approximately three weeks using therapeutic nutrition for you to notice a change.
Dosage Times : Supplements to be taken with meals means either during the meal or directly after eating. Supplements to be taken between meals are to be taken at least two hours after eating. If, however, you experience stomach distress after taking the supplements, take a small snack with them. Herbs are to be taken on an empty stomach unless indicated, most 15 minutes before eating. Herbs for relaxation should be taken in the evening before bed. Herbs for stimulation should be taken in the morning before breakfast. Hormonal formulas are usually taken in the morning, unless designed for night symptoms.
Cytosol extracts are those formulas whose names end in "ex". They are water-soluble extracts taken from the cytoplasm of the cell and provide essential precursors for cellular function. They are designed to be temporary food sources to increase glandular activity. Cytosol extracts should not be used longer than 3-4 months. Take 1 every 2 hours for the first day to maximize its' effect.
Dessicates: whole dessicated products are where the entire gland or tissue is compressed to obtain every enzyme, precursor and unknown signal that could be present. The idea behind dessicates is that even with our advanced technology, we still don't know all the components of each of our vitamins. In fact, when vitamins were first noticed in the early part of this century, our ideas about them were completely different from now we view them now. So to be sure we are providing everything, we sometimes use dessicates. These formulas are designed for short term critical use, no more than 4-6 weeks to prevent glandular dependence and atrophy which can be common with long term use. Good dessicated products are derived from cows or pigs and should be lab tested for purity.
Protomorphagenic compounds are rather more complicated. We suggest that you check out our information on Protomorphagens by Dr. Royal Lee. PMG's have very variable dosages depending on the severity of the condition and the ability of the body to handle the changes without experiencing a histamine reaction. Dosages should begin at 2 per day and increase every other day until full amounts are reached. Should a histamine reaction occur, return to the previous dosage and maintain.
Chelated minerals indicate that they are bound with an amino acid making them easier to absorb for those with compromised digestive ability. Also some minerals are protein-bound in nature, so they should be in your supplement as well.
There are also lots of ways to make the things you have to take ... well, takeable. Capsules can be opened, pills can be crushed, multiple things can be mixed together with a little water (for water-soluble) or oil (for fat-soluble) and then mixed into a tablespoon of apple sauce, guacamole, yogurt or juice. This is even true for children. Children will often take the worst-tasting stuff as long as you act like it's no big deal. The minute you make a face or tell them how awful it is, the game's over. I even have patients who leave bowls of Catalyn on their kitchen table so the kids can take whatever they want. I even have one 16 month old patient who calmly tells her parent "vitamin" when she wants one. You'd be amazed how much kids listen to and know their own bodies.
So open up and take your dose. If you hate swallowing pills, be sure to tip your chin to your chest to open your throat. Don't make the mistake of throwing your head back because you'll choke! Grin and bear it... your body will thank you.