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03 5977 2000

Clinic suite located at Chiropractic Connection
5  St. Catherines Ct, Mornington, Victoria 3931


In Clinic Tues: 9:30am - 2pm & Thur: 9:30am - 7pm

03 5977 2000

5 St. Catherines Ct, Mornington, Victoria 3931

When herbs and supplements are a waste of money! - Nicole Topp - Naturopath
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When herbs and supplements are a waste of money!


What a topic, I suppose you never thought that you would hear me say this, but it is true.

I see it in clinic quite a lot. 

A new client comes in with a bag full of supplements, asking which ones she needs. Sometimes we can use some and other times, we bin the lot.

You see it depends on where they have come from, what she is taking them for and if there is even a therapeutic dose in each tablet.

Let me first explain part one of the issue. 

Have you ever needed an item from Bunnings and upon arrival you notice that you have many different levels of quality to choose from? You have the super cheap option, that might be good for one use, but likely to break, come apart or be rendered useless very quickly. Or you have the quality item that will consistently do the job again and again. There are usually some other levels in between.

Supplements work in a very similar way. Some companies pride themselves on their quality. Meaning that each dose that you receive is actually what is described on the label. The items are also tested to be within the therapeutic dose. 

Within some companies the herbs are consistently tested to make sure that there is enough of the active constituent in the raw material. What many of us never think about is that plant material can vary depending on where it is grown and cultivated. (Think about how some years a vineyard will have a certain flavour/batch that is exemplary. This is due to a variation in the crop, climate, rainfall, soil nutrient levels….. so many variables.)

Some companies heavily refine their fish oils. Heavy metals are such a problem in our oceans, the oils need to be filtered to make sure that the supplement is not actually doing more harm than good. This all costs money, but I know which fish oil i will reach for!

Some supplement companies however, just want to be in the market. 

The other issue that we have is self prescribed supplements. 

I can not tell you how often this happens. While I love the proactive effort and in fact applaud the pro health approach, I see people literally flushing money down the toilet. 

There is an absolute reason that we study for four years for our Bachelor in Health Science degree, there is a lot of ground to cover! 

We need to learn about how the body functions (anatomy and physiology), what can go wrong (pathophysiology.) Then of course ALL of the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, herbs and all other extra modalities along the way. 

When Sarah from down the road tells you that she has used a tablet to help her arthritis or John used a powder that helped with his anxiety, they have no idea about how YOUR body is presently functioning. They can not tell if you are deficient (if you are not, then it will be useless) OR if you may have a reaction/contraindication to a herb due to your current medication or metabolic ability. 

I can not tell you how often I have had to repair damage from popular drink/shot/shake and weight loss packages that have been sold by those who are not qualified to do so. Super expensive packages mind you that pose as natural powders, that upon further examination are anything but!

I know that when something goes wrong with my car, I visit a mechanic, not the guy who takes my card at the petrol station.

Your body is the only place you have to live, lets be careful about where you are getting your health advice from. Check their qualifications and check their registration. 

What works for one person may not work for another, even if they have similar symptoms. The difference is the CAUSE of the problem. 

If you picture someone limping around due to a tack stuck in their foot and they were simply telling you that they needed a pill to stop the pain, do you remove the tack (cause) or do you give them a pill?

Please choose wisely about where you obtain your health information. If you already have some questions PLEASE book in for a free 20 minute chat to make sure that you are on the right track.


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