BACK TO ASK THE HERBALIST
ANSWER FROM CARLOS:
I am so glad I have found your site. For about a year
and a half I have not able to put one foot in front of
the other and I am a very active person normally. In the
early fall I started having headaches and nausea every
day and noticed my vision and concentration was
declining. I was about to make an appointment to see if
I could find out what the problem was.
Unfortunately I was diagnosed with breast cancer about
that time which of course took priority. I am one of the
lucky ones and my cancer was caught very early and I
believe it was rated a Stage 1. I chose to have both
breasts removed and it ended up that cancer was the
other side as well but did not show up in the mammogram.
The lymph nodes were biopsied on the one side before the
actual mastectomy but of course not on the other. It had
not spread to lymph nodes on that side but the other
side was not checked. I am not required to have chemo
but given Tamoxifen to put me in a post menopausal state
to block estrogen for five years.
My headaches, nausea and fatigue had gotten much worse.
Anytime I mentioned that I had the problem before I knew
about the cancer it fell on deaf ears and they kept
saying it was just from the surgery and constipation
from it. I was honestly giving up hope and started a
little searching the internet to find out about
Tamoxifen and see if I could possibly do anything to put
quality back in my life. I ended up finding out all
about the liver and the need for detoxification.
I have always had trouble with constipation all my life
and it was not unusual to go three weeks without a bowel
movement and to tell you the truth I thought that was
normal. I have never gone more than once a week my
entire life that I can remember and I am 52. The doctors
donít believe me and I honestly canít blame them. So
needless to say is it any wonder I have cancer. I
changed my eating habits two weeks ago and only eat
organic foods focusing on eating tons of raw fruit and
vegetables and drinking water. My cancer is estrogen fed
so the oncologist says I have no choice other than to
take the Tamoxifen which makes the constipation so much
worse no matter how healthy I eat. Is there any remedy
that would help to keep the estrogen fed cancer from
returning other than Tamoxifen as well as ideas on how
to get the liver going again? I am worried I have
damaged it beyond repair all these years. I am sorry
this is so long and my guess about the liver could be
wrong but I have to hope something will help me.
Anything at all you might suggest would be a blessing
because if I am lucky enough to make it to work I have
to take a shower the night before and still have a hard
time. On weekends I donít even attempt to get out and
donít have the energy to even do chores that are really
piling up. I have missed worked without pay so I did not
have the money to try this and that but would spend my
last dime on something you thought might help.
My motto has always been: "Good health is not the
absence of illness, but the presence of balance and
harmony". You're a survivor of a devastating illness,
and I will do my utmost to help if I can.
Please be aware that our suggestions here at the site
because of space and time are generalized, and due to
your particular presenting problems I would encourage
you to allow us do an individualized evaluation, which
would determine the correct treatment plan, but more on
that later. Let's try and get you well.
It is extremely important to begin with a fresh canvas.
I suggest a 48 hour fast. Drinking only infusions of
Dandelion root tea. Your local herbal store should have
it. Boil the root, cover for 15 minutes. Sweeten honey
with a bit of honey.
If you can find the extract so much the better, just add
25 drops to an infusion of Green tea and drink 4-5xs day
during your fast. You need also to drink plenty of fresh
water during this time. If hunger overtakes you you may
eat Yogurt or crackers. Please continue to take your
medicine during your fast.
My next suggestion is to begin dealing with your
constipation wisely, and I could suggest several
remedies such as: Cascara Sagrada, Senna or Globe
Artichoke, but better and by far healthier is fresh
carrot juice. I would sincerely encourage you to buy a
juicer, they are cheap enough about $30, and 1 hour
before bedtime, juice 6 carrots and 1 stick of celery
(to off-set any acidity). Before juicing the carrots cut
the top and tip, scrape the carrots under cold water (we
don't want hot carrot juice) scrape just enough to get
the waxy film and any dirt off. You will see results in
the morning. You may do this during your fast and
Following your fast it is extremely important that you
eliminate from your diet: Heavy red meats, pork, white
sugar, all dairy and all fried foods. Avoid foods with
preservatives and processed foods. Moderate your intake
of coffee and alcohol.
Enhance your diet with fresh fish (salmon, mackerel),
honey, brown rice, nuts and grains, fresh garlic and
onion (these two will help fight off illnesses). Eat
lentils, and garbanzos often (these last two contain a
lot of fiber), and plenty of fresh raw or steamed
vegetables and fresh fruits.
Continue drinking the Dandelion infusions 2xs daily for
14 days and the carrot juice as needed. The suggestions
above will begin helping your liver as soon as you
As to the other end of your question regarding your
cancer. Drink Green tea 2xs day. Add to all your broths,
soups and stews a large Astragalus root. extract and
discard when the dish is done. In the alternative add 25
drops of the extract of Astragalus to your meal 2xs day.
Astragalus is tasteless and odorless.
Astragalus is by far the very best herb to supplement
the auto immune system. You may want to consult with
your physician on the energy issue about taking 1
sublingual vitamin B-12 daily. There are also several
Traditional Chinese Medicines Lisa, and a few other
exotic remedies that would more than likely be of help,
but we would need to do an evaluation for you to
determine the appropriateness, frequency and dosage. I
sincerely recommend one, if you are interested you may
email me directly at:
I am 65 years old and don't
have much energy. I don't sleep well and wake up
frequently and can't get back to sleep. I have
fibromyalgia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (newly
I take Ultram for pain and some immune supportive
vitamins. I need to build up my immune system as well as
obtain more energy. My blood pressure is excellent and I
am only 10 pounds overweight. I cut out all sugars and
artificial sweeteners. I try to buy organic foods when I
can. I don't eat red meat. Please advise me what herbs I
can take for energy, immune support and better sleep.
Thank you kindly,
ANSWER: Building up
the immune system is a very important issue. In my view,
the best way is by starting with a 48 hour fast drinking
only Dandelion root tea. Drink 4-5xs a day and sweeten
only with a bit of honey. Dandelion is perhaps the
number one herb to help clean the system from toxins. If
hunger overtakes you, you may eat yogurt or fresh
fruits. After you fast eliminate from your diet all red
meats, pork, white sugar, all dairy and all fried foods.
These only serve to stagnate the system. Also avoid
excessive coffee and alcohol. Enhance your diet with
plenty of fresh oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines),
eat fresh garlic and onions daily, brown rice, honey,
raw or steamed fresh vegetables and fresh fruits.
Garlic is by far the best antibacterial plant and will
help support the immune. I suggest you have blood work
done to see where your level of vitamin B-12 is at. If
low, I suggest one sublingual B-12 tablet upon
awakening. To supplement the immune system there's no
other plant like Astragalus. I suggest 25 drops of the
extract 1x daily.
You may add these to your
foods or drinks, Astragalus is tasteless and odorless.
If you have problems finding the extract or tincture I
suggest you visit:
a very reputable company.
For pain you may find the
herb Devil's claw to be of some help, but as to a
linament I would straongly encourage you to find Yin
Tee, by far the best in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It
comes in a small bottle, but just a little goes far.
Alternating heat and cold may also prove beneficial.
For sleep I personally do
not suggest Valerian, its far too harsh on the body. I
prefer to suggest Lemon balm tea and adding to it 15
drops of extract or tincture of Linden flower. Sweeten
with a bit of honey and drink 1 or 2 cup and hour before
My husband is ALWAYS tired. He wakes up that way. He
has had a complete physical and other than being
overweight with high blood pressure and high cholesterol
he is fine. He has controlled high blood pressure. He
takes Metoprolol er 50 mg and Lisinopril 25 mg daily and
it controls the blood pressure. I also give him fish
oil. Also, he gets colds very easily. I wanted to know
what herbs I could give him to help with immune and
energy. He is about 60 lbs overweight but doesn't work
out because he is so tired all the time.
In your husband's case the very best thing that he can
do is watch his diet. He should (as well as you),
eliminate all red meats, pork, white sugar, all dairy
products, all products with preservatives, pastas, sodas
and colas, alcohol and all fried foods. All these foods
above stagnate the system and do not allow it to work
To enhance the immune system you should add a large
piece of Astragalus root to all your broths, soups and
stews. In the alternative you may add 30 drops of the
extract or tincture.
Enhance your diet with foods that will help, such as:
Fresh fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, these contain
plenty of Omega-3), add fresh garlic and onions to all
your dishes (they are anti-bacterial and will help
support the immune system), eat brown organic rice,
honey and plenty of fresh locally grown fruits and
You husband will find benefit drinking infusions of
Dandelion root tea and adding to these 20 drops of
extract or tincture of white Chinese ginseng and 25
drops extract of Passionflower. Sweeten only with honey
and drink 3xs day.
Go to your local library and find videos on Tai chi or
Qi Gong or Yoga. these are easy and there's not much
strenuous work to them, but the benefits are great.
I am 46 years old and have been on Dilantin since
2002... I run/walk at least four times a week, but my
energy this year has just plummeted--last year I could
run 3 miles with no problem, now I can barely finish
two. I know I don't eat well, but I am a very picky
eater... I have no sense of smell, so eating is a chore
already :) I take a multivitamin and also a B complex
and vitamin D and E, and I eat a special K protein bar
each morning. Any suggestions?
As we age our energy decreases and diet plays a big role
in this. Although you are taking a B-complex, I would
suggest 1 sublingual B-12 in the mornings instead.
Avoid eating red meats and pork, avoid also all dairy,
white sugar and all fried foods.
Increase your intake of fresh fish, such as salmon and
mackerel, eat plenty of fresh garlic and onions, brown
rice and raw or steamed vegetables and fresh fruits.
Add a spoon of honey or bee pollen to your diet 2xs
The root of the Codnopsis plant would be very helpful in
your case. I would find the extract or tincture and add
15 drops to a cup of Green tea 3xs day. Extracts and
tinctures work better and faster.
I can also suggest that you find the extracts of Gotu
kola or Ashwagandha and of the Maitake mushroom they are
great for addressing issues of fatigue. Ten drops 3xs
The best ginseng for this is red Korean, but it may be
too heating for you, so I would suggest the extract of
white Chinese ginseng instead, 15 drops 2xs day.
Remember it is also important to keep a smile and a
ANSWERS FROM AMANDA
I was wondering if you could
give me any information or ideas on to what herbs to
take. I am 22 years old and a mother of a 14 month old,
My energy levels are not what they use to be. I could
sleep all day, sometimes I do, I have been taking a B-
complex vitamin but I am wondering what kind of herbs
are out there to help with my severe exhaustion. I am
not on any medications and am overall healthy. Please
help as I feel as though I am missing out on my sons
I am glad you are basically healthy but before we talk
about herbs, we need to talk about food. What are you
eating most days? Is your son still breastfeeding? Are
you at home or working away from home part of each day?
The reasons for your exhaustion will lead us to the
foods and/or herbs that will rebuild your stamina.
Meanwhile, herbs used for cooking such as basil,
rosemary, garlic, fennel seed, cinnamon, can be
incorporated into morning oatmeal or evening pasta
dishes to increase digestion, a beginning to better
absorption of those B vitamins you are already on. If
your sleep is disrupted, as many young parents find,
drinking coffee in the morning is a quick way to start
the day but feel more exhausted as the day progresses,
further making a night's sleep more fragile and
unrestful. Another safe every day way to get some
caffeine and antioxidant benefits is Yerba Mate. Many
good blends are on the market as teas these days. It has
a smoky flavor. Once you are used to it, a cup a few
times a day can make a big difference to your endurance
ANSWERS FROM LORYHL:
HióI just bought some herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs and
they gave me your name. I bought a big bag of gota kola
because I read if a person is sleeping too much, this
herb is good. I am unsure how to use-do I boil the herb
and drink the tea remaining. Or just steep it like
tea. I found one site that said to use 1 TBSP per cup.
Thanks so much.
You can use one tablespoon, per cup, or one teaspoon,
some may find the one tablespoon, too strong. You could
have one to three cups per day of the tea. Or you could
take the capsules, 3 in the AM, and 3 at 2 Pm, for
energy, and brightness. You could do a cleanse, and take
a close look at your diet, and put more seaweed into
your diet, for the iron and minerals, and eat better,
I need help with finding something to increase my energy
level. I am 59 years old I take Maxzide (diuretic) and
Aceon (High blood pressure) and Ultram ER for pain for
arthritis. I have fibromyalgia and arthritis, high
cholesterol and high blood pressure. We were recently
blessed with the birth of our first grandchild. At
eight and 1/2 months she wears me out. I seem to need
at least 10 hours of sleep to get going and during the
work week that is impossible as we usually get her from
4-8 and sometimes all weekend so her mom can work(she is
a single mom).What can I take to get some energy I'm so
tired of being tired. I tried taking multiple vitamins
and supplements but stopped because I wasn't getting
better after two months. I need help.
A lot of the problem is like with most North Americans,
it is the wrong foods, for many years, and toxins, and
drugs, stress, etc.
Please read the downloads, I am sending you, if
you can find out your blood type, that will help
You can have the blends of herbs made up by me to
assist you in energy, arthritic pain etc. These are anti
oxidant as well, and coupled with the right foods for
your body, you will see a improvement, according to how
far you want to go. Our formula, Thumper, is excellent
for energy, as well as our Green Alkinalizing mix. I
notice a real difference when I take the Green mix and
Thumper two times daily.
Take note of the nightshades, the group of foods
most of us in North America eat which is causing
hardening of the arteries, high cholesterol, arthritis
etc. It has been researched and clinically proven, that
certain chemicals in our foods, and the group of
nightshades, are indeed culprits in the arthritic
problems, that are epidemic. Potatoes ( sweet potatoes
are OK), tomatoes, eggplants, green pepper, red,
yellow, tobacco, are all nightshades, and all are in the
same plant family, as Solanacea, or as it was known
anciently, deadly nightshades. Deadly because we consume
them as food, instead of medicine, and they do cause
arthritis, as above.
ANSWERS FROM KAREN MALLENGER
FREQUENT TRAVELER FIGHTS FATIGUE
QUESTION: I have taken nearly a year off from
work to do some traveling and generally
laze about, and am soon to return to a very busy, hectic
job. Among my many responsibilities will be to travel
extensively around Europe and from Europe to the US,
visiting as many as three cities in three days on some
occasions. Although jet lag is somewhat of a concern for
the US trips, most of the trips are short-haul and the
time difference is only an hour or two. I am
more concerned about general fatigue from flying and
being constantly on the move. I am a generally high
energy person but I sometimes find flying to be very
drying and tiring, and I will be alone in various hotel
rooms trying to eat right, hunched over my laptop. I
wonder if you might recommend some herbs or vitamins
that I might take to keep my immunity and energy levels
balanced and to mitigate the effects of being a modern
ANSWER: Well, you should be taking vitamins A, C,
E and selenium as a regular course. I usually up the C
to 2000 mg if I suspect situations that may attack my
immune system, which adds stress and changing times will
certainly do. Also, a sub-lingual vitamin B complex is a
very good idea.
www.trivita.com has an excellent one that I highly
recommend. As for herbs, acacia, cayenne, ginkgo biloba,
gotu kola, guarana and Siberian ginseng are all helpful
in fighting fatigue. Also, bee pollen is very good, but
it needs to stay refrigerated. Try to get all of these
reputable herbalist. Lastly, workaholic or not, you
need to eat well, avoid caffeine, white flour
and sugar. These things will sap your energy more than
you know. Also, try to get a full 8 hours of sleep each
night. It's very important. To reduce the jet lag, get
yourself on the time zone of the country you're in as
quickly as possible. Try chamomile, lemon balm or
valerian to help you get
to sleep. Enjoy your travels! I have lots of co-workers
in London as well as family, so I've done the cross
Atlantic traveling. It can wear you down if you aren't
NEW MOTHER NEEDS ENERGY
I am a 25 year old woman, with a 13 month old baby, it's
hard enough trying to keep up with her, but recently my
energy levels have gotten so low I just don't want to
get out off bed until evening and even then I still feel
tired. I have been diagnosed with a lot of problems
over the years, depression, hypothyroidism, reoccurring
glandular fever, anemia and just recently I've found out
I've had Crohns Disease for quite a while, as you can
imagine all of these do no help with my problem. I'm
looking for something that could boost my energy, maybe
even pick me up, that doesn't effect my illnesses or
medication (it would be great if it wasn't too expensive
either). Please can you help me, I'm at my wits end.
Since I don't know what medications you're taking, I
can't advise on that basis. I don't usually recommend
mixing herbs with prescription medications. The
interactions can cause more harm than good. Aloe vera,
burdock root, echinacea, fenugreek, licorice,
marshmallow root, pau d'arco all support digestion,
cleanse the blood stream and reduce inflammation. I
would check with your doctor before taking any herbs for
the possible interactions with your meds. I can make a
custom formulation for you if you're interested, but
would need to know what specific meds you are on and
what they are for.
ANSWERS FROM DAVID BRILL
QUESTION: my husband is a truck driver he needs to stay
awake for long periods of
time once in awhile i don't lie him to take the pills at the truck
because i don't know what is in them can you tell me something that
I am sorry I do not recommend herbs for this use, most of the no doze
products out there will injure him whether herbal or natural. My
only advice is pull over and sleep to save his life and/or someone
QUESTION: I am 22 years old and in relatively good physical
shape. I take multiple
vitamins on an almost daily basis and eat relatively healthy.
the past year or two, I have noticed a decrease in my energy level.
I would like to find some supplement and/or tea that I can take on a
basis to increase my energy level. This supplement should be
priced (less than a couple dollars per day) and should be safe to take
ANSWER: If you are in good shape and eat well, take care
of stress in your life, aren't on any medication or supplements which
could cause this, I would be looking for a reason for you decreased
If everything checks out, I would try Siberian Ginseng, it is a tonic
herb that can be taken every day and will give you a little energy.
You can take it as a pill, tea or extract or simply ingest it with
oatmeal or on salad if you get the powder.
For convenience I would suggest the extract.
QUESTION: Is there a better herb to take if you want to maintain or lose weight, gain energy; however, have been diagnosed with Lupus (about 10 years ago) currently in remission.
I am not currently taking any prescription medications, due mainly because I don't care for the side effects. I am looking for something that will help me gain energy so that I can exercise more frequently to lose weight; however, I don't want to take anything that will create difficulties for me in dealing with my Lupus.
Any assistance or suggestions you can give me are greatly appreciated.
Most of the Ginsengs are adaptogens and help the body deal with stress, including Siberian Ginseng which is not a true Panax Ginseng Species. These type of herbs can potentiate immune function, since Lupus is thought to be an autoimmune disease, these herbs could be contraindicated for you.
If you would like to try a herbal adaptogen which can be used with Lupus try Licorice, additionally the medicinal mushrooms, Ganoderma (Reishi), Maitake and Shitake are immune amphoterics, raising hypo immune systems and lowering hyper immune system responses such as in the case of the autoimmune disease, Lupus.
You may want to read my other answer on Lupus online.