The right way to take vitamins and herbs

Question : IS IT safe to take both vitamins (such as vitamins C, E and multivitamins) and other herbal remedies (such as saw palmetto and pumpkin seed) together daily? I have mild hypertension (140/90 mmHg) and digestive problems, such as bloating and flatulence. Could you give a proper schedule of taking vitamins and herbal remedies.

Answer : IT IS safe to take both supplements (such as vitamins C, E and multivitamins) and herbal remedies (such as saw palmetto and pumpkin seed) together with food daily.

But ginkgo, garlic and fish oil should not be used in patients receiving blood- thinning drugs such as warfarin. The consumption of these supplements also has to be discontinued prior to surgery because they can prolong bleeding time. There should also be a gap of three hours when taking other medications and herbal remedies.

Hawthorn, known as the “mother of the heart”, is helpful for alleviating irregular heart rhythm and high blood pressure. Rosemary is a proven heart tonic which is high in calcium. It stimulates the circulatory system and pelvic region.

Typically, a healthy blood pressure reading is seen as being less than 120/80 mmHg. This level may vary according to age, stress levels and day-to-day activities.

Fish oil is important in managing high blood pressure as it lowers blood pressure, dilates blood vessels and inhibits platelet aggregation. Try a highly purified double-strength fish oil containing 65% omega-3 triglycerides. A probiotics supplement that contains both of the lactobacilli and bifidobacteria strains of friendly bacteria will help reduce potentially harmful microbial enzyme activities in the intestine, thus alleviating digestive symptoms such as flatulence.

To help manage hypertension and flatulence, it is advisable to have diet that is high in fibre, complex carbohydrates, grains, legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables, but low in animal products, processed foods and refined carbohydrates. Cut down salt intake and gas-producing foods such as beans. Avoid smoking and alcoholic beverages. Maintain an ideal weight to control blood pressure. Exercise regularly to improve cardiovascular fitness. Perform relaxation techniques such as yoga to manage stress. Do not talk while eating and chew your food slowly.

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