Why a Multivitamin Isn’t Enough ~ The Importance of Phytochemicals

Certainly the most common supplement taken by the average person for their health is a multivitamin. Although this is an excellent step in the right direction, due to our depleted soils, an overwhelming tendency toward processed food, and deficient consumption of raw fruits and vegetables, a multi alone will not a healthy person make. Part of the advantage of using herbs as medicine lies in their inherent phytochemical composition that no multi can provide. Some examples of phytochemicals include, but are not limited to, bioflavanoids, polyphenols, carotenoids, lignans, curcuminoids, tannins, and so on.

Phytochemicals are naturally occurring in plants because they help the plants to protect themselves from the stresses of their environment. These protecting properties transfer to our bodies when we consume them, and are the “active constituents” that cause the effects derived from medicinal herbs.

These nutrients’ often volatile nature means if they are not in their raw state, they must be carefully extracted. Phytochemicals in freshly harvested plant foods may be destroyed or removed by modern processing techniques, including cooking. Alcohol or glycerin herbal extracts are more viable, usually leaving more phytochemicals intact than dried herbs encapsulated. Certain herbs, Echinacea for example, are rendered completely inert & useless by drying. Our liquid herbal extracts by Herbalist & Alchemist, Herb Pharm and Nature’s Sunshine are our first preference when administering an herb, not only because the vitality and integrity of these phytochemicals is maintained, but also because they are more rapidly and efficiently absorbed into the bloodstream through mucus membranes and the lining of the gut. Many herbs have such unique active constituents that only they possess it. This is why it’s important to occasionally recalibrate your supplementary regime to make sure you’re getting as many different kinds of beneficial phytochemicals as possible. Everyone knows, or at least has been told, that eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables is key to longevity. This also applies to herbs!

Take your health into your own hands! Ask questions – that’s why we’re here! If you have a problem, be it physical, emotional or spiritual – there is an herb for it. If you don’t have a problem, lucky you! There are herbs to keep it this way.

Visit us at Remedy to redesign or maximize your health regime!

Remedy blogs are by Mary Katherine Dunwody…our Remedy herbalist extraordinaire!