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This is an archive of past Ask The Herb Specialist Questions.


I was diagnose with a mild form of PCOS a year ago. As a result I have not been able to have children and my periods are very irregular. Is there anything that I can take to regulate my period without interfering with my effort to become pregnant. Again I am taking Pro-G-Yam 500 for my low progestrone levels. Heather

The product I would most recommend would be Menstrual Reg as it was designed for this specific purpose. Scientific studies have shown that the herbs used in Menstrual Reg are beneficial in regulating menstruation.

Nicole Bandes, 12/14/03

What is the difference between Proactazmye plus and Food Enzymes?


Proactazyme Plus is a unique enzyme supplement that helps your body digest all types of food but is an excellent choice for vegetarians or those with a high-starch or -sugar diet.

NSP Food Enzymes provides an excellent variety of those enzymes most commonly needed to help digest the typical American diet. Food Enzymes are especially beneficial for meat eaters because of the betain hydrochloride and bile salt that assist in protein and fat digestion respectively.

Nicole Bandes, 11/26/03

Is there any contraindications of taking flax seed oil pills if you have lupus? Flax seed oil is high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids. These fatty acids make up the primary structure of the cell membranes and may help to lubricate joints and tissues. Although studies show mixed results, many individuals with Lupus report a reduction of both pain and inflammation with the use of flax seed oil supplementation.

As most Western diets lack enough Omega-3 essential fatty acids, supplementation is often necessary. Flax seed oil provides the highest vegetarian source of Omega-3’s available.

There are no known negative side effects of supplementing with Flax seed oil while suffering from Lupus. Ultimately, however, your choice in whether or not to take any nutritional supplements with any disease should be discussed with your health care practitioner.

Nicole Bandes 11/17/03

My 10 year old daughter suffers from frequent hives. When she scrathes, is in sunlight at the pool, exercises at gymnastics, etc. She is an identical twin but her sister doesn't suffer at all. What can she use as a suppliment to control this.


Is this something that has been going on for some time or just something that has started recently?

Many times, hive may be related to a Candida issue. It is normal for the human body to have a certain amount of candida but excess carbohydrates in our diet feed and grow Candida beyond what would be considered normal. As the body tries to get rid of the excess, hives and other skin irritations occur.

Excess Candida has been related to other concerns such as yeast infections, athlete’s foot, eczema, rashes of all types and even headaches. The best method for getting rid of candida is to follow a specific and strict diet for 2 to 4 weeks along with supplementation. Supplements should include Yeast/Fungal Detox for the course of 1 bottle. Also, rotate through 1 bottle each of Probiotic Eleven, L. Reuteri and Bifidophilus. This program should be repeated each time antibiotics are introduced.

Hives may also be related to food allergies, pollution in the environment or even an overdose of aspirin. If you aren’t ready to go with a full Candida diet, consider eliminating foods such as flour, wheat, sugar; one at a time for a period of 2 weeks. Then introduce them back into the diet. If the hives disappear and reappear in that amount of time then we can assume it is a food allergy and your daughter will need to avoid those foods for at least 6 months.

Nicole Bandes 9/15/03

After being on birth control for eleven years to help regulate my cycle I am ready to try something new. I heard that feverfew is the best herb to use for that. Is that true?


Feverfew may be beneficial for cramps and reducing menstrual flow but it has not been show beneficial for the regulation of menstrual cycles. Lady’s Mantle, Yarrow, False Unicorn, and Chaste Tree are some herbs that can be beneficial in the regulation of menstruation and the balancing of hormones.

These herbs can all be found in a synergistic combination called Menstrual Reg by Nature’s Sunshine.

Nicole Bandes, 8/21/03

Hi. I just have a few questions to ask. My dog has some major health problems and is currently using the Yeast Detox which is working very well for her. I'm thinking about using the Immune Stimulator and want to know if it is also safe to use for her and also if other pet owners have had luck using this product. THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!

I am not a vet and can not say definitively if this product would work with your dog in your dog’s given set of circumstances but, generally speaking, if a product is safe for human consumption it will also be safe for animal consumption. Just use smaller doses. According to this month's Sunshine Sharing newsletter, Immune Stimulator "is a great formula for "knocking out" viral infections before they become more serious".

Nicole Bandes, 8/10/03


Does your Histablock product contain ephedra?


Matt Ottinger

Histablock contains no ephedra. It is an herbal combination of Stinging Nettle, Bioflavonoid, Fructus aurantia immaturi, and Bromelain and works very well in the relief of seasonal allergies and other allergens that cause a histamine response.

Nicole Bandes, 7/30/03

What nutritional products or regimen would you recommend to get rid of floaters in the eyes, and what is the cause and how do you prevent them?. I would appreciate any information you can give me.

Floaters in the eyes are usually the result of breakdown of the vitreous fluid which fills the central cavity of the eye. As people age, this fluid often clumps together and become visible as “floaters”.

Floaters are commonly experienced by individuals who do not have enough Vitamin C and Bioflavanoids. (Remember, those under stress need higher amounts of these nutrients).

Vitreous fluid is largely composed of collagen so take glucosamine to encourage collagen formation. Also the combination product Eyebright Plus internally may help.

If the floaters come and go quickly, consider low blood sugar as a cause.

Nicole Bandes, 7/13/03

I just read an article that said Spirulina can help to decrease your risk of cancer. Is this true?

Mary Ann, Nashville

Recently, an article was published in Natural Health Magazine (July, 2003) that discussed how spirulina can increase the immune system as well as possibly reverse the signs of aging. This article was based on some studies that have been conducted on the algae Spirulina plantenis. The explaination for it's relation to cancer is that the boost in the immune system from taking spirulina helps the immune cells fight cancer cells as well as possibly helping to prevent tumor cells from attaching to body tissue.

Although spirulina is a wonderful supplement that packs a lot of protein, vitamins and antioxidants, it's true effectiveness in the prevention of cancer should be further studied. In the mean time, spirulina can be very useful to add extra protein to a diet that is low in protein or for a quick protein boost when needed to help maintain blood sugar levels.

Nicole Bandes, 6/28/03

Hi. I want to use tea tree oil to treat my toenail fungus.
Is it safe to use while pregnant or lactating?

Thank you, Kim Lewis.

Absolutely. Tea Tree is one of the safest oils available.

Nicole Bandes, 6/14/03

Can you please tell me if I-X is safe to take during pregnancy? If so how many?
I'm looking for an alternative to taking a regular iron supplement, because I know iron supplements can be constipating, something I have enough of at this time.

Thank you very much.


I-X is safe to take during pregnancy. 2 caps 2 to 3 times a day would be recommended. You may also want to consider using Magnesium. It isn’t a laxative but often helps to relieve constipation by strengthening the muscles used to have BM’s.

Nicole Bandes, 5/29/03

Recently, I found out I had kidney stones. I managed to pass one but there are two left and one is way too large to pass. A very good friend owns an herb store and furnishes NSP products. She recommended the treatment provided by the Recipes for Success Card File which is to take eight JPX or eight Hydrangea along with four Marshmallow for four times a day with a quarter cup of lemon juice. However, the card did not explain what happens to the stone.

I was wondering if you would be kind enough to answer a few questions and help me understand what will take place. First, I was wondering if this treatment will shrink the stones, dissolve them or just exactly happens and generally how long does it take when you follow the recommended treatment? The reason for this question is the possibility that the large stone may move and block the ureter which will create other problems. I was also wondering if it is OK to switch between JPX and Hydrangea while applying the treatment?

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

D. Sutor


This happens to be a topic of personal interest to me as I was just recently diagnosed with kidney stones. Everything they say about them is true. It is the most excruciating pain you can imagine.

The program suggested in Recipes for Success will assist in passing the stones and the Marshmallow will coat the little "barbs" that cause so much pain when the stones are passed. The Hydrangea (probably better than JP-X) does help break up the stones but I cannot guarantee that one would not get stuck. If it did, you would then need to resort to the medical treatment that breaks them up. To date, everyone who has elected to do the program has had success with passing them within 2-7 days. When I did the program, I only had pain for one day.

It is then important to make sure you stay on a program that will prevent the recurrence of the stones. Magnesium, Calcium with Boron, Vitamin B-6 and plenty of purified water and lemonaide (real, not Country Time) will help you to remain free of most types of kidney stones. I know I will be maintaining this program!

Nicole Bandes, 5/17/03

To whom it may concern,

Can you tell me what an Idologist or eyedologist is? I don't have the correct spelling but this is supposed to be a person affiliated with herbal shops, something about looking into the human eye and detecting problems. Able to pin point on different herbs you can take. Can you give me some guidance on this?

T. Douglas

Although this is not specifically about herbs and natural products, I felt it was worth mentioning here.

An Iridologist is an individual trained in looking into the eye and determining tendencies towards weakened body systems. In their beliefs, the parts of the eyes (coloring, cloudyness, dark spots, lines, etc…) are associated with different body systems such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, etc… The characteristics of those parts, determine how strong those systems are.

Iridologists often work with herb shops because they like to recommend herbs for correcting certain weaknesses. They (at least not any that I know) don’t claim to say your eyes will determine what herbs you need to take. They combine their knowledge of the body systems with their knowledge of herbs and recommend based on that.

Nicole Bandes 5/1/03

What can i take to help my allergies be more tolerable?


Now isn't this a great question we are all facing this time of year. Short of hybernationg in our homes all season long, what can be done to help relieve seasonal allergies and get us back outside enjoying the nice weather? My favorite products (and the ones I use regularly) are ALJ and Histablock. I tend to rotate between them to have the best success. Last year I added Nature's Noni juice and found that this year, my allergies haven't been anywhere near as intense. I will be adding it again. I have a client that has added the All Cell Detox to this program as a way of cleaning out the entire body and rebuilding the immune system. They haven't experienced allergies in 3 years now. I will have to give that one a try for myself.

Although I do not have any personal experience with it, many people have success using Bee Pollen. The Bee Pollen acts to build up the immune system against the pollen we have to face every day.

Hope these answers give you a great way of enjoying that Spring Season!

Nicole Bandes, 4/17/03

I wanted to know if there are any natural cures for kidney infection. Thank you.


You can definitely support the kidneys to help so the bacteria that causes a kidney infection does not stick to the lining of the kidneys. I, personally, have had great success using JP-X, 8 to 10 capsules a day till cleared. Now I take cranberry/buchu and Bifidophilus Flora Force daily to support my kidneys in their ability to inhibit further infections. Cranberry has been proven in studies to inhibit bacteria from attaching to the kidneys. Unfortunately, cranberry juice is often sweetened and the sugar counter acts the benefits of the cranberry. Unsweetened cranberry juice is better but many do not like the taste. Cranberry/buchu is much more concentrated in a capsule form for easy use.

Nicole Bandes 4/8/03

Is it safe to take bioflavonoids while pregnant and how much should you take? A midwife is recommending i take them while pregnant.What does it do for you while pregnant? What are the health benefits? Thank you for any information that you can give me.

Karen L Gaylord.

Hi Karen,

Bioflavinoids strengthen capillaries - so she is most likely trying hoping to prevent heavy bleeding at birthing. It should be perfectly safe to take these during pregnancy. I recommend you take the amount suggested on the bottle.

Nicole Bandes, 3/18/03

I suffer from excessive sweating. I have had this problem for over ten years. In the summer it is specially worse. I only have to do something slightly physical, or only walk a short distance and the top half of my body breaks out into a sweat - my back, stomach, neck and not forgetting my face can become completely wet. I have tried a few treatments, but nothing has worked so far.

As you can imagine, having a problem like this can be very embarassing, and it restricts my life in so many ways, including the clothes that I wear and buy.

Do you know of anything that I can take or use to help to treat this problem?

Because of my condition, I absolutely hate hot weather and having to go anywhere when the weather is extremly warm. This is why I am practically forced to stay indoors if it is hot outside.

If you know of anything that can help, please let me know.

According to Kay Lubecke's Recipes for Success Card File:
- Balance the sodium/potassium level with ALOE VERA JUICE,
- SAGE - Contains rosmarinic acid, which reduces perspiration
- Cleanse the bowel: CLEANSTART, followed by LBS II and PSYLLIUM HULLS
- Be sure to drink adequate water (1/2 your weight in ounces)
- Can be caused by weak lungs: CHINESE LUNG SUPPORT
- Can be caused by weak kidneys: CHINESE KIDNEY ACTIVATOR
- Consider the Thyroid: THYROID SUPPORT

If you have tried to support any of these systems already, move on to the next. Unfortunately, there is no one answer for every individual.

Nicole Bandes, 3/06/03

Hello -
My husband has a ringing in his right ear continuously. What do you recommend?

Ringing in the ears is often either a zinc or potassium deficiency. Try supplementing with either Zinc or Combination Potassium for a long term fix. He may find immediate relief with Ginkgo & Hawthorn (usually in 10 to 20 days).

Nicole Bandes, 2/20/03
Does this herb have natural aspirin in it? A friend of mine who took it
back in September has had an outbreak of ulcerative colitis ... could there
be a link?


According to Reader's Digest, The Healing Power of Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs; there are no known side effects of astragalus root and has been used safely for thousands of years for immunity and respiratory infections. It is unlikely that the outbreak your friend is experiencing has anything to do with taking this herb.

Nicole Bandes, 2/8/03

I really need some help. I'm exploring ways to help myself with my condition. I have had CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction) for several years. These last 2 months I have had a major relapse. Keeping in mind that with this syndrome the immune system is supposedly over working, what on earth do I do? How do I help support the immune system and get some balance so that I'm not so sick (swollen glands, sore throat, painful joints, migraines, weakness, tiredness, etc. etc. etc.)? I'm finally forced to not over work, exercise, or do much at all. I'm thinking the severity of this will pass. What can a person do to have the best health possible with this illness? Help?

Thank you

It’s very difficult dealing with an autoimmune disorder. One product that has been very beneficial, however, is Colostrum. Colostrum is a super-nutritional substance secreted by the mammary glands of nursing mammals. It contains immunoglobulins, specific antibodies and broad-based immune enhancers. Colostrum supports the immune system, aids in weight management and helps accelerate the body’s healing processes. Mother Nature designed colostrum to stimulate and support a newborn’s immune system. NSP Colostrum comes from bovine sources.

Another thing you may want to consider is making sure you have balanced pH. Use pH test strips to test your urine and saliva. When your pH is in balance (not to acid or alkaline) your immune system works more efficiently and the rest of the systems of your body work better as well. Let me know if you would like me to send you information on pH balancing.

Nicole Bandes, 1/24/03

I can not swallow pills. I am trying to change my diet so I am now including herbs and supplements in my diet. My question is by crushing my pills or opening capsule am I destroying it's purpose or making it less effective? Is there a pill alternative to vitamins like MSM, Co-Q10,.... ?

Congratulations on your goal to change your diet. Crushing tablets or opening the capsules and mixing them with food or liquid does not alter their purpose or effectiveness. In fact, for many herbs and vitamins, this is preferred. We also do have several alternatives to many of the herbs and vitamins. The Product Categories on the Search Page will show Bulk Herbs, Homeopathics, Liquids and Drinks, and Liquid Herbs. We have several herbs and vitamins in liquid or powder form.

MSM comes in a cream form that can be applied to the skin, this is most helpful if you are taking it for joint support as it is combined with Glucosamine. Co-Q10 does not currently come in an alternative form.

Nicole Bandes 1/10/2003

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