Supplements I Use

By Cat, June 2007; updated May 2019, May 2021, June 2022 note: I have several articles in the parasite section below that are from my old iWeb site; I need to move those to Cat’sKitchen, and replace the references to them.

My goal is to get all the nutrients I need from my diet. Unfortunately, that becomes more difficult as we age; I find that I need more supplements than when I was younger. I have three main health issues: gut microbial imbalance, insulin resistance, and overweight (the last two are related). My food sensitivity to sulfur-containing amino acids: lipoic acid and cysteine, has been cleared – a good thing, because I need all the help I can give to my liver’s need for glutathione. Since I first wrote this article, I’ve added supplements for these issues, including spore-based probiotics, inositol, glutamine, and sublingual glutathione.

And now (May 2021) I’m adding even more, to balance my hormones and hopefully loose weight (see below for list and info about the new ones). 

I also have trouble absorbing most minerals from foods and supplements. I’ve learned the importance of braising dark leafy greens, to maximize the availability of minerals in these and other vegetables, and drinking raw milk (for the minerals that are not available for absorption in pasteurized milk, especially calcium). I also take the recommended doses of most minerals supplementally (calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, chromium, selenium, and trace minerals). At my naturopath’s suggestion, I also take the following supplementally: vitamins A, D and E, and also Omega-3 fats (as krill oil and fermented cod liver oil). 

Article is too long; need to break it up. I already put Smoothie in its own file. Perhaps also put supps I no longer use in a separate file?


I don’t intend to suggest that taking supplements can provide the same health benefits as eating healthful meals.  Supplements are intended to support our health when there is a dietary lack, or when a health condition causes the body not to assimilate a particular nutrient properly.  They should not be used as drugs to “make something go away,” and they should not be abused.  Overuse of supplements, just as overuse of drugs, can lead to other health problems.

Healthful meals are comprised of whole foods as much as possible, especially fresh (or home canned/frozen) organic or biodynamic foods grown by someone you know.  It means avoiding prepared and processed foods (commercially canned, bottled, boxed, bagged, frozen), and especially avoiding foods made with highly processed or artificial ingredients.  Know your ingredients; know your cook.  Refer to my Diet for Health articles for more information:

Consult with your health practitioner before taking any supplements.

Supplements I Use

My goal is to get all the nutrients I need from my diet. But I’m learning that as I age, that becomes more and more difficult. Food is not so easily absorbed in my gut, or once absorbed it is just not utilized

May 2021 update: As mentioned above, I’m adding some new supplements as an experiment to see if I can lose weight by removing hormone blocks. See my article: IR-Hormone Imbalance – I for more info. These new supplements are as follows (as of 5/3/21, I’ve included them in the detail section, below): 

  • Liqui-Dulse (for thyroid),
  • bladderwrack (for thyroid and cortisol) [6/8/21: I’ve not yet added this],
  • DIM or diindolylmethane (for estrogen), and
  • African mango seed extract (for leptin) [6/8/21: I’ve not yet added this]
  • And slowly increasing dosage of a-Drenal from 1-cap, 2x/day to 2-caps, 2x/day to better support cortisol balance.

June 2021 update:  I’ve:

  • Switched from regular PQQ to Micro-PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline quinone) as it is more effective at energizing/restoring active mitochondria in the cells, to slow aging; and
  • Added quercetin – a potent antioxidant – to my regimen.

My Morning Smoothie

This section has been moved to Supplements and Whole Foods I Use in My Morning Smoothie.

My Daily Supplements

This list includes those used in my Morning Smoothie, to provide additional information about each supplement.

Vitamin and/or Mineral Supplements:

  • Multi Vitamin-Mineral supplement: I take either Mercola Multi (iHerb MCL-01939) as 4 – 6 tablets/day or My Kind Multi (iHerb GOL-11778) as 2 tablets/day. Both also contain dried whole foods.
  • Ancient Earth Minerals or Vital Earth Minerals (liquid fulvic and humic acid complex)
  • Magnesium Chloride as 80% solution (a compound-prescription to treat my Mg deficiency due to malabsorption); provides 95 mg Magnesium per ml; I take 2 – 2½ ml, 3-times daily in lemon-water, for 190 – 238 mg magnesium per day. This is a large dose, but without it I am constipated – I’ve had this issue since infancy. It also helps with insulin resistance. See my articles: Magnesium (About) and Magnesium Chloride, 80% Solution.
  • Thorne Bio-Mins (iHerb THR-00665), a low-dose multi-mineral supplement; I take 1 capsule at lunch and before bed, to prevent charley-horse and to augment the amount of daily minerals. [I formerly used Health Origins Chelated Multi-Mineral (Amazon B06XVX33QS).]
  • Zinc picolinate (iHerbTHR-00692), June ’21 update: Decreased dose to 15 mg zinc/capsule, taken 1/day before breakfast, and adjusted my copper supplement accordingly, to maintain proper 15:2 balance for zinc to work.  [Beginning Dec ’20, used 30 mg zinc capsule, 1/day before breakfast at recommendation of my naturopath, after my sensitivity to zinc was resolved (NAET)]
  • Copper bisglycinate (iHerb THR-00341), 2 mg/capsule; I take 1-2/day at breakfast, to balance my zinc supplement (Zn:Cu ratio 15:2 or 8:1);
  • Selenomethionine (iHerb THR-22501), 200 mcg/capsule; I take 1/day with dinner
  • Vitamin B12 (added June ’21)(iHerb THR-12502), as methyl cobalamin, 1000 mcg/capsule; 1/day with breakfast. An alternative is Pure Encapsulations: Adenosyl-Hydroxy B12 (Amz: B015AEXKU2), which I have taken off and on since 2020.
  • Vitamin C as:
    • Mercola’s Liposomal Vitamin-C  (iHerb MCL-01559) contains 500 mg Vitamin C; I take 1-cap each, lunch and dinner. However, during flu season I may take 3/day.
    • Vitamin C liquid, with rosehips, bioflavonoids, and acerola (iHerb DNH-10039); contains 1000 mg Vitamin C per Tablespoon; I use 1 tsp/day in my morning smoothie (333 mg vitamin C).
    • Ascorbate, with cofactors; only while I’m chelating heavy metals, as this helps my body with their removal).
  • Vitamin D3 liquid (prescription). Each drop (from an eyedropper) provides 1,000 IU; I take 2 – 4 drops daily (depending on my levels from a spring fasting blood test), with my smoothie (it helps to take it with fat, and I have a fair amount of fat from cream, coconut oil and avocado in my smoothie). I have an “allergy” to the sun’s rays at midday, so cannot get enough D3 from the sun (interacting with cholesterol in my skin to create D3). That allergy creates a rash on my face and chest, and a bad headache if I’m in the sun too long. I also get natural D3 (and vitamin A) in my Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil.
  • Vitamin E as MRM Complete E (iherb MRM-81007) which contains 688 mg of a natural tocopherol blend (d-alpha, beta, delta & gamma tocopherols and tocotrionals) plus 120 mg vitamin C, 50 mg alpha lipoic acid, 5 mg phytosterols and 30 mg Co-Q10. I take 1 – 2 softgels daily.

Acerola 4:1 extract powder

Extract powder from acerola fruit, rich in vitamin C. I use ½ tsp/day (80 mg vitamin C) in my morning smoothie. See iHerb code NOW-00740 for more information.

Adrenal supplements, tinctures:

  • a-Drenal:
    • This supplement is from RLC Labs, and was prescribed by my Naturopath. It contains adrenal tissue (from Organic bovines), pantothenic acid, and adaptogens (aswagandha, rhodiola, eleuthero, Korean ginseng, and astragalus), L-theonine from Green tea leaf, Ginger root and cordyceps mushroom. Although the recommended dosage is 4 capsules daily, but I started with 2/day (breakfast) for 2 years, then increased to 3/day (2-breakfast, 1-lunch) May ’21. Will eventually increase to 4/day, to help balance cortisol and other hormones. a-Drenal contains several adaptogens, of which rhodiola and panax (red) ginseng are recommended for balancing cortisol. a-Drenal provides 25 mg/cap of  each: rhodiola and panax ginseng). (see IR: Hormone Imbalance-I)
  • Drenatrophin PMG: This supplement is from Standard Process and was also recommended by my Naturopath. Each small tablet contains a 134 mg of a proprietary blend of bovine adrenal PMG extract (PMG means “protomorphogen”). I take the recommended dosage of 1 tablet per meal, at breakfast, lunch and dinner. 
  • Yucca, Summa & Maca Tincture: See “tinctures” below. May 2021 update: I’m no longer taking this, tho I may add it back.

African Mango Seed Extract

Paradise Herbs extract (iHerb PAR-77841): 1 cap provides 150 mg of the extract to help balance my leptin hormone (see IR: Hormone Imbalance-I for more info). June ’21: I’ve not yet added this, as I’m dealing with a diarrhea problem.

Anti-microbial tinctures (to fight bacteria, fungi, and/or viruses); and Anti-parasite tinctures

See “tinctures” below.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

I started taking 1 Tbsp in water before bed each night, to help with my insulin resistance and keep body’s pH in a healthy range, hoping to work up to the recommended 2 Tbsp ACV daily, but I just couldn’t get along with its taste. So I switched to ACV in capsules (NOW Brand, see iHerb code NOW-03317).  2 capsules is the equivalent of 1 Tbsp liquid ACV. I started with 2 capsules first thing in the morning, and 2 capsules before bed, but  that caused some acid reflux during the night, so I reduced the bedtime dose to 1 capsule and have not had any more issues with it. May 2021 update: I’ve since dropped the bedtime dose, and just take 2 capsules in the morning.

I also make my own salad dressings using Bragg’s brand of ACV (which still has the “mother” in the bottle). My favorite of these is Basil-Balsamic Vinaigrette (sometimes I use marjoram instead of basil of a Greek flavor).

Artery & Vein Support Tincture

See “tinctures” below.


  • Berberine supplement: Berberine is found in goldenseal, goldenthread and Oregon grape roots. It “has been extensively used for many centuries, especially in the traditional Chinese and Native American medicine. Evidence suggests that berberine possesses several therapeutic uses, including anti-tumoral activity.” It is also well known as an anti-microbial, going after bacteria, some viruses and some fungi.  (18B). I recently treated a serious staph infection on a finger by mixing berberine with a natural salve that I rubbed onto the infected area; it worked like a miracle!
  • More recently, it has been found to be helpful with insulin resistance, which is why I started taking it supplementally. It is important to note that it should not be taken for more than a few days in row, or your body will stop responding to it. For this reason, I take it 1-week on, 1-week off.
  • May 2021 update: I just switched to Mercola’s Berberine-MicroPQQ supplement (iHerb MCL-01846); contains 500 mg Berberine and 10 mg Micro-MQQ; I take it 1-week on/off; and just MicroPQQ (Amz B00AZNTY5Y) on the off days). I hope to see benefits from this change….
  • See Dr. Axe’s article (19B) for lots more about berberine.  
  • Goldenseal and/or Oregon Grape Tincture (see “tinctures,” below).

See also Berberine as a promising safe anti-cancer agent – is there a role for mitochondria?(

Bladderwrack extract:

  • Nature’s Way bladderwrack (iHerb NWY-15380); contains 151 mcg iodine/capsule (in 580 mg plant powder) to help balance my thyroid hormones (see “iodine” below); the plant powder in one capsule also helps balance my cortisol hormone. (see IR: Hormone Imbalance-I for more info). June ’21: I’ve not yet added this, as I’m dealing with a diarrhea problem.
  • See also “Iodine” below.

Blood-Cleansing Tincture

see “tinctures,” below


Contains 250 mg each Organic broccoli sprouts, and glutathione (reduced) per capsule. I started taking this because I had food sensitivity issues with any supplement containing sulfur, such as glutathione; my thought was that the broccoli sprouts might help me heal from that problem – and it did. I started with just one capsule every other day, and slowly worked up to 1/day (in afternoon), and then to 2/day (1 with breakfast and 1 in the afternoon) Mon, Wed and Fri (1-other days), and will eventually take 2/day.

Butyric Acid/Butyrate (in my smoothie)

  • Tributyrin, the natural form of butyric acid found in butter (ButyCaps brand). I add one sachet/packet (with banana aroma added), which provides 787 mg tributryin, to my daily smoothie. See my article: Butyrate on Cat’s Kitchen for more about the benefits of this short-chain fatty acid.
  • Another form is butyrate capsules, which I used to take, but often forgot because it was kept in my freezer, rather than with other supplements. (It should be kept in the freezer to minimize its awful taste). I switched to Tributyrin when I discovered the ButyCaps brand, because it is the natural form.
  • And, or course, I eat lots of Organic butter.

Caprylic Acid

My main reason I take this is to help keep my candida overgrowth in-check, along with mugwort tea (see below) and S. boulardi supplements (see probiotics, below), 2 weeks of one, then 2 weeks of the other.

It is also a beneficial medium-chain fatty acid (one of the fatty acids in MCT oil). Each NOW-brand softgel provides 600 mg caprylic acid; I take 2 softgels daily (breakfast and dinner).

Chlorophyl (in my smoothie)

I get chlorophyl in whole foods such as broccoli, spinach, green beans/peas, and salad of fresh greens every day. I use Mercola’s Organic Greens Powder in my smoothie, which includes 1400 mg Organic greens; 875 mg other Organic veggies; 250 mg Organic mushroom blend; 165 mg Organic antioxidant blend; 100 mg Organic adaptogen blend; and 20 mg Organic aqua-powder (from chlorella and spirulina).

Choline and Lecithin

I do a 4-week rotation of  the following 2 supplements as follows: 2 out of 4 weeks: 2 softgels sunflower lecithin per day, with meals; the other 2 weeks: 1-Alpha GPC capsule with my breakfast smoothie, and 1-sunflower lecithin softgel with dinner.

  • Sunflower lecithin, NOW brand; contains 1200 mg lecithin per Softgel, which includes 210 mg phosphatidyl choline per Softgel. Lecithin is comprised of choline and inositol. I do not recommend the more common lecithin supplement from soy because unless it is Organic, it is GMO and likely contaminated with glyphosate.
  • Alpha GPC, Double Wood Brand (a form of choline): Alpha-GPC rapidly delivers choline to the brain across the blood–brain barrier and is a biosynthetic precursor of acetylcholine (25). Many functional medicine practitioners such as Dr. Fred Pescatore believe it has potential for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. It is found in many foods, such as oats, milk, cheese, yogurt, and eggs, but the dosages are quite small. There is a lot of disagreement on how much we should intake daily. I take 1 capsule of Double Wood Alpha GPC, which provides 300 mg per capsule, but they recommend 2 capsules per day (600 mg). It does have side effects; one of the most common is dizziness, which is an indicator you are taking too much. (26)

May 2021 update: I no longer take Alpha GPC every 2 weeks; instead I take sunflower lecithin every day, and Alpha GPC only when I feel I need to help my brain.

Cinnamon Powder (spice, in my smoothie)

I’ve added true cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon), as opposed to cassia cinnamon to my morning smoothie for decades. It was one of the first foods I learned about that helps with insulin resistance (see my article: Cinnamon: treatment for blood sugar and insulin sensitivity; for more on the difference between Ceylon and cassia cinnamon, and how to tell them apart, see my article: Herbs & Spices, Individual A – F; scroll down to “Cinnamon and Cassia.”

Digestive Enzymes

I take 1 capsule per meal. May 2021 update: The brand I use is Thorne B.P.P. (iHerb THR-41002), which includes: Betaine Hydrochloride, Pancreatin (Porcine) and Pepsin (Porcine). Betaine-HCL helps with acid reflux, and helps to optimize the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and protein by the enzymes.

I no longer use NOW (iHerb code NOW-02964) because it includes stearate which forms a bio-film in the gut, making it harder to get rid of parasites. Its ingredients include: Betaine-HCL, Ox Bile Extract, papaya fruit powder, pancreatin 11X (supplies amylase, protease and lipase), bromelain, acid-stable protease, papain, and cellulase. 

DIM (diindolylmethane)

To help balance my estrogen hormone, I’ve added Thorne’s DIM (iherb THR-00691) which provides 150 mg/capsule. I’ll start with 1 cap/day and work up to 2/day if needed (300 mg/2-caps).

Eye Support

Many people take AREDS2 as they age, to avoid macular degeneration. In addition to lutein and zeaxanthin (important carotenoids that benefit the eyes), and vitamins C and E, it also contains zinc and copper in proper balance (AREDS version did not include copper, to reduce the risk of copper deficiency anemia, a condition associated with high levels of zinc intake).

But I take Mercola’s Eye Support (Amazon B0877BBH8K) for all the important carotenoids (anthocyanin, lutein, astaxanthin and zeaxanthin) to help maintain eye health; plus I take the minerals zinc and copper in proper balance, liposomal vitamin C, and MRM’s Complete E  which contains all the known tocopherols and tocotrionals, rather than just vitamin E (d-alpha tocophero. See VITAMINS and MINERALS, above for more. Not only does this formula help avoid macular degeneration, it also supports the eyes in general.

Fermented foods

Fermented foods are rich in probiotics – perhaps the best and most reliable source. Many health experts recommend a small spoonful of a fermented food with each meal. See article by Dr. Axe: Top 15 Fermented Foods & Their Benefits (19D) for more.

In my smoothie

      • I add about ½ tsp homemade fermented citrus (orange, lemon and/or grapefruit) or fermented berries to my smoothie; 
      • Also 1 scoop (5 g) of Mercola’s fermented beet powder (iHerb MCL-01840) which is an excellent whole food source of antioxidants and nitrates (good for heart health, and supports fitness efforts), or his fermented fruit powder (iHerb MCL-03205).

As supplements

I alternate these three by Mercola, one bottle (60-days) at a time, taking 1 capsule with lunch or dinner (May 2021 update):

      • Fermented Black Garlic (iHerb MCL-01582, 60 capsules/bottle). 1 capsule contains 400 mg fermented garlic bulb powder + 0.6 mg S-Allyl-Cysteine. 
      • Fermented Ginger (iHerb code MCL-01770, 60 capsules/bottle). 1 capsule contains 200 mg Organic fermented ginger root powder and 150 mg Perilla leaf extract. 
      • Fermented Elderberry (iHerb MCL-03225, 60 tablets/bottle). 1 capsule contains 500 mg fermented Organic elderberry powder and 250 mg Organic elderberry extract. I take this during cold and flu season to support my immune system.


(See also Brocco-Glutathione, above).

Glutathione is the “mother of all antioxidants” (according to Dr. Mark Hyman, MD); it is one of the most important detox molecules in the liver. It is a small peptide comprised of just 3 amino acids: glycine, cysteine and L-glutamic acid. Dr Axe has a great article with lots of info about glutathione – its benefits, where to get it (in foods) and more. (19C)

It is also a precursor for glutathione peroxidase enzyme, a major free-radical scavenging enzyme.

Some believe that because glutathione is such a small peptide, it is easily broken down in the digestive tract, so you get no benefit from taking it as a supplement you swallow. I no longer take the sublingual form (iHerb SNS-01305) despite that issue.

Instead I take Brocco-Glutathione (iHerb NTA-16030), 1 – 2 times/day; it includes the reduced from of glutathione which is more readily absorbed than regular glutathione, and also broccoli sprouts which supply “Glucoraphanin (the Glucosinolate precursor of Sulforaphane) than mature broccoli. Sulforaphane, an organosulfur compound, activates the body’s cells to increase the levels of Glutathione.” (quote from the iHerb page NTA-16030) Plus I often add broccoli sprouts to my smoothie.

For more about reduced glutathione, see article by Dr. Chris Masterjohn, PhD. (24).

Green Food Powder (in my smoothie)

(Mercola Brand, iHerb code MCL-01540) This product is made entirely of Organic ingredients; 1 scoop contains 1.4 g leafy greens, 875 mg veggies, 250 mg mushrooms, 165 mg antioxidant blend, 100 mg adaptogen blend, and 20 mg aqua powder (chlorella and spiraling). See the iHerb code for more details. I take 1 scoop in my daily morning smoothie.

Inositol (in my smoothie)

Iodine (to support my Thyroid)

  • Liqui-Dulse: daily dose of 4-drops (added to at least 8-oz filtered water) provides 225 mcg iodine; (see IR: Hormone Imbalance-I for more info). June ’21: I’ve reduced this to 1-drop daily, until I’ve resolved my diarrhea problem.
  • Bladderwrack:  (iHerb NWY-15380); contains 151 mcg iodine/capsule (in 580 mg plant powder); it will also help balance my cortisol (see IR: Hormone Imbalance-I for more info). June ’21: I’ve not yet added this/

Joint health and Turmeric

May 2021 update: Last month I learned about the importance of taking liposomal turmeric -either as a

I do a 30-day rotation of:

  • Liposomal turmeric for 30 days (I take Sports Research brand “C3 Complex, Turmeric, Curcumin” (iHerb code SRE-00083 or Amazon code B00A39MPNI), which contains the ingredients for liposomal turmeric), and
  • Mercola’s Joint Formula (MCL-03135), which includes boswellia, for 30 days, as 1 tablet/day.

and sometimes I drink Golden Milk before bed.

(I no longer take the following in rotation:

  • For 60 days, I take Himalaya brand’s Turmeric 95, as 1 capsule daily with lunch (use up the bottle);
  • For the first 30 days, take 2 Now-brand Boswellia extract capsules daily, one with breakfast and the other with dinner (use up half the bottle).
  • For the next 30 days I switch to Mercola’s Joint Formula, which does not contain turmeric (using up that bottle).)

Kidney-Bladder Tinctures

See “tinctures” below

Liver, desiccated powder (in my smoothie)

I use Now brand powder made from the liver of Argentine beef, and dried at low temperature. I cannot get good quality fresh liver from grass-fed/finished beef where I live. I take ½ tsp/day (250 mg liver fat, 117 mg protein, less than 1% RDA iron, plus natural vitamins B6 and B12) in my morning smoothie. See iHerb code NOW-02450 for more information.

Liver-support tincture

See “tinctures” below

Magnesium Chloride, 80% Solution

See Vitamins and Minerals section below.

D-Mannose Powder (in my smoothie)

(NOW Brand, iHerb code NOW-02809) I add ½ tsp to my daily morning smoothie (provides 1 g or 1,000 mg d-mannose), to help prevent urinary tract infections; it is the simple sugar in cranberry that is known for this benefit. Very little of it is metabolized by the body; instead it is rapidly excreted with the urine, healing all the way from kidney to urethra (this is supported by clinical studies, per the NOW label). When I’m not doing a smoothie (such as when I’m doing a veggie-juice fast), I mix it with unsweetened cranberry juice and add a couple drops of liquid stevia extract to add a bit of sweetness. 

Mugwort Tea

I get this from Swan Valley Herbs; it comes as a dry herb mixture (Mugwort, Pau D’Arco, and Fennel), from which I make the tea with filtered water. I drink 3 servings daily for a week, then take a 3-week break to avoid developing a food sensitivity to mugwort. During that 3-week break, I take caprylic acid all 3-weeks, and S. boulardi (a probiotic that helps keep candida in-check) for 2 weeks. See my article Mugwort Tea from Swan Valley Herbs for brewing Instructions for brewing.

Mushroom powders (in my smoothie):

  • Immune Mushroom powder mix (Organic Om brand); includes desiccated powder of Agaricus blazel, Turkey-Tail, Maitake. Shitake, Cordyceps militaris, Reishi, and Androdia camphorata icelial biomass. I add 1 scoop/day (2 grams) to my morning smoothie, off and on (as needed). See iHerb code OMM-00417 for more information.
  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom powder (Organic Om brand); Hericium erinaceus  mycelial biomass and fruit body powder cultured on organic oats. I add 1 scoop/day (2 grams) to my morning smoothie, daily. See iHerb codeOMM-00423 for more information.

Omega-3 oils (in my smoothie and as softgel supplement):

  • Fermented Cod Liver Oil (Blue Ice brand), for Omega-3s (EPA, DHA) plus vitamins A & D).  I add this to smoothie (see above). For more about cod liver oil, see Weston A. Price Foundation article (WAPF), by David Wetzel on Cod Liver Oil. (5B)
  • Krill Oil, Antarctic (California Gold Nutrition brand, 1000 mg), for Omega-3s (120 mg EPA, 60 mg DHA) and Astazanthin (300 mg) per Softgel; Ii take 1 daily, with breakfast

Pain tincture

This is another from Swan Valley Herbs, especially for nerve or muscle pain. I take it when my jaw muscles hurt a lot from my TMJ issue acting up (tempers-mandibular going disfunction); 15 drops (1 dropperful) is typically all I need for several hours or a good night’s sleep without the pain. It includes willow bark, skullcap and lobelia.

Note that the main active substance in willow bark is salicylic acid; that may sound familiar because the main ingredient in aspirin is a synthetic form, acetyl-salicylic acid, made by modifying the natural salicylic acid so Bayer could patent it. 

Skullcap works by reducing or inhibiting the inflammatory response (22). For this reason, it should only be used for a short period of time, because the inflammatory response is one of the tools used by your body’s immune system. Do NOT take this if you are taking a type of sedative, especially a benzodiazepine (23). 

PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline quinone)

May 2021 update: I started taking PQQ as part of Mercola’s Berberine + MicroPQQ supplement (iHerbMCL-01846), primarily for the Berberine (to help with my insulin resistance). I’ve since learned that PQQ is important for our mitochondria and to slow aging, especially if Bio-PQQ or Micro-PQQ forms are used, because they are better absorbed and utilized to energize/restore active mitochondria (per a study at University of California, Davis (29). See “Berberine” above, for more.

Because berberine should not be taken everyday, but rather take a break every week or so, I take Mercola’s Berberine & Micro-PQQ one week on and one week off. During the off-week, I will take Pure Therapro: MicroActive CoQ10 Enhanced with MicroPQQ + Shilajit “Sustained Release (Amz: B00AZNTY5Y), which provides 10 mg MicroPQQ as well as 180 mg micro-active CoQ10, and 100 mg Shilajit Fulvic Acid Complex.


I do two sets of probiotics in rotation every 30 days; each contains a spore-based probiotic and a regular probiotic. For more about spore format, see “Bacillus Probiotics: Spore Germination in the Gastrointestinal Tract” (18A).

  • First set for 30 days:
    • Digestive Health Probiotic with Lactospore (Doctor’s Best Brand- iHerb DRB-00464); 1 capsule/day with a meal (breakfast or dinner).
    • Nutricology Humic-Monolaurin (iHerb ARG-56720), 2 capsules/day (in afternoon and before bed). I take this because the Lactospore (above) does not include fulvic/humic acid. See also “Minerals” below.
    • Lake Avenue Probiotic w Bifidus (LKN-01422) – this is not spore based; 1 capsule/day  in afternoon.
  • Second set for 30 days:
    • Terraflora (Amazon ASIN B07G7GK2N1) contains spore-based probiotic and humic acids. I take 2 capsules (M and F), 1 capsule other days.
    • S. Boulardi (iHerb LKN-01421) to keep candida in balance (2 capsules per day); see more about this below (under “Other probiotics”).
    • Lake Avenue Probiotic w Bifidus (LKN-01422) – this is not spore based; 1 capsule in afternoon

Occasionally I will replace one of the above spore-based probiotics (e.g., if my regular spore probiotic is out of stock) with the following, for 30 days:

  • Spore Restore (Mercola brand): I started this in March 2017 when I stopped Prescript Assist. 1 capsule per day, taken with a meal. Includes 3 Bacillus species and 1 Pediococus species, 140 mg; and an Organic mushroom blend, 200 mg. See iHerb code MCL-01885 

May 2021 update: I no longer take the following because it contains stearate:

  • You Theory Spore Probiotic: I started this in April 2017, alternating with Mercola’s Complete Spore Restore (see previous). 2 capsules per day includes Triphala blend (1,000 mg) and 3 Bacillus species, (total 6 billion CFU), same as those in Complete Spore Restore (previous). See iHerb code YOU-00722 for more info. I like that it contains the Ayurvedic Triphala blend, and only 3 probiotic species.

Probiotic supplements, other

  • Complete Probiotics (Mercola brand, iherb MCL-01317): I added this to my rotation regimen in March 2017, when I’m taking Mercola’s Spore Restore, as 1 capsule daily (before breakfast); however, I stopped taking it in 2021. It provides 270 mg of  a combination of 6 Lactobacillus species, 3 Bifidobacterium species, and Streptococcus thermophilus.
  • Saccharomyces Boulardi with MOS (formerly used Jarrow brand, (iHerb code JRW-03004). But changed to Lake Avenue Nutrition (LKN-01421) in 2021; for more, see above. Also:  This is a a beneficial yeast; 2 capsules per day provides minimum of 10 billion CFU. Note: I also take this in a different rotation sequence with mugwort tea – I take mugwort tea for 1 week, every 4 weeks.

I like this because I have systemic candida overgrowth, and it helps keep that in control; it also works against some parasites. It “survives passage through stomach acid and delivers its benefits to the intestinal tract. This strain helps protect and maintain a normal intestinal microflora. It also works to restore the normal intestinal microflora when possible disruptions may occur, such as during travel or the intake of certain medications.” (quote from iHerb, but I lost the link)

  • Primdophilus Bifidus: (Natures Way brand). I’d been taking this for a long time (since 2008?) at my Naturopaths recommendation to take bifidus. But I stopped in 2020 when I replaced it with Lake Ave Nutrition probiotic because the Nature’s Way brand contained stearate. Both brands contain Bifidobacterium and 2 Lactobacillus species. I take 1 capsule/day (in afternoon).
  • JarroDophilus EPS: (Jarrow Brand, iHerb code JRW-03024) I’d been taking this for a very long time (since the 1990s). 1 capsule contains 5 Billion viable cells in the blend that includes 2 Bifidobacterium, 5 Lactobacillus plus Pediococcus acidilactici R1001 species/strains.  I stopped taking it in 2020, tho if I run out of the Lake Avenue probiotic, I will take EPS as long as I have some on-hand.

Probiotics, food-based (in my smoothie)

  • I use raw goats milk and fresh yogurt in my smoothie. The raw milk is from a local farm; the yogurt is from a local dairy (from cow’s milk, and the honey is also local).
  • I eat a variety of cheeses, especially brie and gorgonzola, but also Parmesan, Romano, feta, cheddar, Swiss and many others used in my recipes.
  • I add homemade fermented orange, grapefruit and/or lemon to my smoothie as well (link is to my recipe on Cat’s Kitchen).
  • I add Mercola’s fermented beet or fruit powder, 1 scoop/day to my smoothie.
  • I no longer make Kefir nor fermented Ginger Ale (using kefir as the fermenting agent), because I developed a food sensitivity to the kefir starter.
  • I also make homemade lacto-fermented foods, including pickled beets, fermented Apple and Beetroot Relish, fermented berries, bread & butter pickles, beet kvass, and lots more. I try to eat a small spoonful with dinner, and put a bit in my daily smoothie. (Links are to my recipes on Cat’s Kitchen. See my Cultured and Fermented Foods Menu for lots of recipes).

Protein (in my smoothie)

  • Whey protein powder: I use Bob Red Mill brand (iHerb code BRM-00218), because it is the only brand I can find that uses a low-temperature method to dehydrate the whey, avoiding the creation of MSG from the amino acid glucosamine (I have food sensitivity to MSG that causes considerable intestinal pain). I add ¼ cup (4 Tbsp) to my daily smoothie; it provides 15 g protein.
  • I also add 1 coddled large egg (from local farmer) and 2 Tbsp Daisy-brand cottage cheese 


I plan to add this after my diarrhea problem is resolved. At that time, I will take it 1-week on/off along with Micro-PQQ (when not taking Mercola’s Berberine with MicroPQQ).

Triphala (in my smoothie)

  • Tri-Cleanse, Discontinued by manufacturer — Restarted in 2022 – hooray!: Internal cleanser powder that included triphala and several sources of fiber, to clean the gut. I started adding it to my morning smoothie (¼ tsp/day) when I could not get Blue Heron (NF-Formulas) in Montana. But Tri-Cleanse is no longer available, so not sure what I will use instead. Options that contain triphala are:
    • Triphala powder (iHerb code STR-09080); 
    • MRM Detox&Cleanse Powder (iHerb code MRM-80012) – contains triphala and several sources of fiber; or
    • order Blue Heron capsules on Amazon (ASIN B001AM012O).
  • See Dr. Axe: “Triphala: an Ayurvedic Herbal Formulation that Fights Cancer & Constipation” (19A)


May 2021 update: I’ve recently learned the importance of taking liposomal turmeric, rather than just the root or the spice, because the liposomal version is more readily absorbed and utilized. It is available as a supplement, or as a warming beverage which I drink before bed: Golden Milk/Tea.

See “Joint Health” above for how I take liposomal turmeric in rotation with Mercola’s Joint Formula (contains boswellia extract, hyaluronic acid, astaxanthin, calcium and egg-shell membranes.

However, note that turmeric has many more benefits that just helping with joint health. In fact, it seems like every day a new benefit of turmeric/curcumin is announced. See the following articles for more about its benefits:

  • Mercola: Food Facts: Turmeric (2C)
  • Mercola: Turmeric, The Spice of Life (Benefits of Curcumin and Turmeric) (2D) 
  • Dr Axe: Turmeric and Curcumin Benefits: Can This Herb Really Combat Disease? (19E)
  • Dr Axe: Turmeric Dosage for Inflammation & Other Conditions (19F) 
  • Eat This! 20 Benefits of Turmeric (27)

Ubiquinol (a form of Co-Q10)

I take 1 softgel every morning of Life Extension Ubiquinol with fulvic acid (iHerb LEX-14266), which contains 100 mg ubiquinol per softgel (the daily recommended maintenance dose). Ubiquinol is the active antioxidant form of Co-Enzyme Q-10; both have the same molecular structure, but ubiquinol has taken on 2 extra electrons, which makes it the reduced form. Both forms are part of the energy production process in the cells – changing food into energy. One of the most important actions of ubiquinol is combatting free radicals. (2E) Dr. Axe has a great article that describes 8 benefits of Co-Q10/Ubiquinol (19G)

As a supplement, the ubiquinol form is more readily absorbed that the Co-Q10 form, especially in adults over 30. It is the active form in humans; some people have lost the ability to make it from Co-Q10, so taking it as ubiquinol provides more benefits. (2E) For maximum absorption of ubiquinol (the only fat-soluble form), take it with healthy fats such as butter, coconut oil, and avocado oil(28). Recommended supplement dosage is to start with 200 to 300 mg per day. After 3 weeks, you can reduce the dosage to 100 mg. (2E)

The best foods for supplying Co-Q10 are detailed on Dr. Ax’s site (19G) and Livestrong (28); included are foods I eat regularly, such as grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, cage-free eggs, fatty-fish such as salmon; broccoli, oranges, peanuts and pistachio nuts. (19G, 28) However, even the best of these foods do not provide much Co-Q10.

For maximum absorption of ubiquinol (the only fat-soluble form), take it with healthy fats such as butter, coconut oil, and avocado oil. I take it with my morning smoothie that includes whole milk, coconut oil, fresh avocado and yogurt made from whole milk. I could probably add some heavy cream to increase the amount of healthy fats.

There are some negative side effects, especially for those who take certain drugs, such as statins. (19G)

Tinctures I Take

NOTE: The ingredients listed for each of the tinctures from Swan Valley Herbs, are of equal quantity unless a specific % is listed for each. Thus, unless noted otherwise: 3 ingredients are each 33.3%; 4 ingredients are each 25%; 5 ingredients are each 20%, and so on. 

I don’t take all of these every day

Adrenal Support Tinctures

  • Yucca, Summa & Maca Tincture, for adrenal support: This is from Swan Valley Herbs that supports the adrenals. Maca is also helpful for women with menopause who are experiencing anxiety and depression. I take 15 drops (1-dropperful) 3-times daily. May 2021 update: I  have not taken this for several years, ever since my naturopath had me start taking a-Drenal supplement (see above).

Anti-microbial tinctures:

  • Goldenseal & Oregon Grape: An anti-microbial tincture  from Swan Valley Herbs, used mainly to fight bacterial infections, but it also works against some viruses. I take this only when needed. I also use a mix of powdered goldenseal in a natural salve to heal skin infections.
  • Lomatium Complex Tincture: An anti-viral tincture for respiratory viruses such as cold, flu, and viral-pneumonia. I take this at the first signs of a respiratory infection: cough, sneeze, swollen glands in lower jaw, etc.. May 2021 note: It has really helped me have a strong immune system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Contains: lomatium root, osha root, cedar leaf, yarrow and usnea, Typical dose is 30 drops (2 droppers-full),3-4 times daily. 

Anti-parasite herbs and tinctures

  • See an article by Dr. Jockers: 12 Herbs that Kill Parasites Naturally (30)
  • See an article on my old iWeb Health-Disease site for more (May 21 update: these articles are no longer available online – the links don’t work; I do plan to move them to a wordpress blog one of these days): Intestinal Parasite & Worms, and related articles on the same site: 1. Parasite Symptoms; 2. My Story; 3. Treatment of Intestinal Parasites Common in Humans (includes Hulda Clark’s Frequencies); and 4. Herbal & Alternative Remedies. < update links when moved to my new blog.
  • Tincture based on “Clarkia:” This is the first one I took, from Swan Valley Herbs, and is designed after “Clarkia” (named for Hulda Clark). It contains black walnut and wormwood to go after the adult parasites. It is taken with ground cloves to go after the parasite’s eggs (20A, 20B). It worked great for my tapeworm (in the 1990s), but not so well for my large roundworm (ascaris), because the ascaris larvae matures in the lungs where it hides in a bio-film. 
  • Tincture for large round worm (Ascaris): Tom at Swan Valley Herbs came up with another tincture specific for this adult worm; it contains black walnut, bracken fern and woodfern, plus wormwood off-and on. I take 30-drops (2-droppersfull), 3-times daily to kill the adult ascaris in my small intestine. However, sometimes it comes back, and then I take 45-drops (3-droppersfull) 3-times daily for a couple weeks and then go back to the 30-drops. I also take a tincture to support my liver (see Liver-support tincture, below), because of the toxins given off by the parasite as it dies. May 2021 update: the adult worm is gone from my small intestine, thanks to this new tincture; I continue to take it until the last of the larvae leaves my lungs and reaches the intestine. In past years, I’ve tried Hulda Clark’s “mop-up” (21), which involves ozonated olive oil*.

CAUTION: Do not do the mop-up (ozonated olive oil) longer than 3 weeks in a row) without a break of at least 1 week.

‘* I make my own ozonated Organic olive oil with an ozonater, because the form that I can buy here is too thick/hard (ozonated too long for this use). Mine is just barely thicker than plain olive oil.  I’ve not taken this for several years because I became concerned that my cats’ exposure to ozone as it is made, was not good for them. When/if I restart, I will make it outdoors.

For instructions, see Treatment of Intestinal Parasites Common in Humans (on my old iWEb site), at bottom of article (May 2021 update: link no longer works). < update link when moved to my new blog.

  • Common ingredient in many supplements that interferes with ridding your gut of ascaris and other parasites in the gut:

That common ingredient is “stearate” or “stearic acid.”  It is used by the supplement manufacturers to move the powdered ingredients in the supplement through the pathway to make a tablet or capsule. It creates a bio-film in the gut that protects the parasite.

Once I learned about that bio-film problem, I stopped taking any supplements that contain stearate/stearic acid.  In only a few months, the parasite was totally gone and has not returned in the last 2 years. If you have a problem with gut parasites, please, consider using supplements that do not contain the stearate ingredient.

Artery & Vein Support Tincture

This mixture from Swan Valley Herbs contains butcher’s broom (40%), Hawthorn bark (40%) and yellow dock (20%). Recommended dose is 15 drops (1 dropper full), 2-times daily. I started taking this in spring of 2019 when Tom (owner of Swan Valley Herbs) determined my leg veins need help moving blood, mostly because I don’t get enough exercise, especially in the winter when roads, sidewalks and trails are slippery from snow and ice. He recommended adding capsicum to the tincture for my particular need. It is amazing how much it has helped!

Tom also said this is likely a long-term tincture for me, unless I get more exercise to help with moving blood through my veins.

Berberine Tincture

See Anti-microbial tinctures, above.

Blood-Cleansing Tincture

Hoxey Tincture: This is also from Swan Valley Herbs, based on (but different from) the original anti-cancer tincture developed by Harry Hoxsey. I take it to clean out my blood at least 2-times a year. Contains burdock r00t, red clove flower, chaparral, poke r00t, stillingia, bladderwrack, Oregon grape r00t, licorice root, buckthorn bark, prickly ash bark, wild indigo, blood r00t, and myrrh gum. Typically dose is 30 drops (2 droppers full), 3 – 4 time s a day. As a blood-cleanser, I buy the 8 oz bottle and take it until it’s all used up.

NOTE: it includes licorice root, which can raise blood pressure, so best to monitor that if you have high blood pressure. 

Kidney-Bladder Tinctures

Swan Valley Herbs has several different tincture for urinary tract problems; here are two that I’ve taken, designed for my particular issues. NOTE: All or most ingredients in these tinctures are diuretic (you have to pee a lot), which is part of the cleaning and healing process. Also note: Marshmallow is a plant (in this case), once used in the making of “marshmallows,” those sweet white things you roast over a fire. Here’s two tinctures:

  • For general urinary tract health, and includes: marshmallow, uva ursi, horsetail, wild carrot, juniper berry and ginger. I take 15 drops (1-dropperfull), 2 – 3 times daily.
  • For treating “gravel” in the kidneys (small kidney stones); includes the herb “gravel root.” Other ingredients in the one specialty designed for me are: marshmallow, skullcap, plantain, gravel root, hydrangea, juniper berries, uva ursi, ginger. 

May 2021 update: over the years, Tom has had me try different versions of these tinctures. The “gravel” versions do help, but both make me pee a lot – every 1-2 hours (night and day), so I take a break now and then.

Liver-support tincture

I take 30-drops, 3-times daily of an herbal tincture (dandelion root, milk thistle seed, and burdock root) from Swan Valley Herbs to support my liver, because of the die-off toxins from large roundworm (ascaris) parasite. (See also anti-parasite tincture, above).

Tom has also had me experiment with different versions of this tincture. May 2021: I am currently use a version that contains yellow dock instead of burdock.

Supplements I’m Not Currently Using

These are supplements that I no longer take, or I’ve considered but decided not to take:

  • Antler Velvet: This is to help with my joint health; I stopped it for a while because I wanted to try some new supplements, but I may restart it again. 
  • Blue Herron: I started taking this in the 1990s to help with my intestinal parasite problem, and found it to be very helpful for my health in general. One of its main ingredients is Triphala, an ancient Ayurvedic herbal remedy that “contains gallic acid, ellagic acid and chebulinic acid, which are all strong antioxidants. It also has flavonoids and polyphenols, which have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antidiarrheal abilities” (19). Its full list of ingredients is: flax, psyllium, rice, dried plum, fenugreek, slippery elm, triphala, & probiotics.

I stopped taking it when I moved back to Montana (from Portland OR), and could not find it here. Now I take Tri-Cleanse powder in my smoothie, but it was discontinued in 2018, so may order Blue Herron on Amazon

  • iFlora: I stopped this because it was just getting too complicated to keep track of which to take, and when, in my rotation.
  • MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) Oils:

These contain saturated fatty acids with 6 – 12 carbons in the hydrocarbon chain. These include caproic (6-carbons), caprylic (8-carbons), capric (10 carbons), and lauric (12-carbons) acids.

Instead of taking commercial MCT Oil supplement (synthetically made from natural oils), I get my natural MCTs from raw milk, coconut milk, and coconut oil. However, MCT oils are becoming quite popular as of this 2017 update. They are made from natural sources like coconut and palm oils, but because these natural sources also contain saturated (omega-9) and poly-unsaturated (omega-6 and omega-3) fatty acids, all the fatty acids are removed from the triglyceride backbone, isolated, and then only the MCTs are recombined with glycerol to form triglycerides. This type of process may produce combinations that are not as helpful as the natural combos. So I will continue to use the original natural sources.

  • My Healthy Belly Probiotic (Spore-based probiotic): I started this in 2016, but then switched to Prescript Assist in Dec 2016, upon suggestion of my Naturopath, because it contains fulvic and humic acids. However, I’ve since stopped taking Prescript Assist (see below).
  • Nutritional Yeast (added to my smoothie, mainly for selenium and chromium); 2012 update: I no longer take this because of food sensitivity to MSG produced by the yeast. I now get the selenium and chromium from Mercola’s Whole Food Multi , and additional selenium from selenomthionine (see Supplements I Use, Vitamins and Minerals, above)
  • Omega-7 Fatty Acids:

The highest amounts of palmitoleic acid is found in Sea Buckthorn Oil (not the seed oil); however, this oil also contains palmitic acid which acts in opposition to palmitoleic acid, so need to use sea buckthorn oil that has had the palmitic acid removed or neutralized. The same may be true for macadamia nuts.

I no longer take this nor other Omega-7 supplements; I opt to take their oils as foods: Excellent food sources are dairy products such as butter/ghee and many cheeses; olive oil; lard; fish oils such as anchovy, and avocado; all of which I use. See article on slism (18) for more info and a chart.

  • Prescript Assist Probiotic (Spore-based probiotic with fulvic/humic acid): I started this in Dec 2016, as mentioned above. However, not long after that, they changed their formula to add pea protein and change some of the species of bacteria, so I stopped taking it.
  • Protein Powders made from soy, pea or whey and dehydrated with high heat. I developed food sensitivity to all of these that could not be cleared. I attribute this to production of MSG (from the proteins) during the heating process. Instead, I now use Bob’s Red Mill brand of whey protein powder, because it is made from milk of grass-fed cows, and is dehydrated at low heat. I’ve not developed a food sensitivity to this.
  • Several supplements suggested by my Naturopath for my age, general health and/or insulin resistance. I stopped taking them for the reason indicated in each bullet.
    • L-Carnitine: I spend too much on probiotics. However, now (2019) that I’m having senior moments, I may add this back.
    • Benfotiamine (a form of Thiamine): too expensive, and I get thiamine in my Mercola Multi.
    • R-Lipoic Acid (sustained release):  50% of  alpha-lipoic acid is the active R-lipoic acid, and the other 50% is the inactive S-lipoic acid, so you need to take more of t. I am slowly re-introducing alpha lipoic acid to my regimen to avoid return of the food sensitivity. I may eventually switch to R-lipoic acid (and cut dose in half).
    • NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine, sustained release) I get a small amount of this in my Mercola Multi; if I take too much, my food sensitivity may return.
    • FOS (Fructo-Oligo Saccharides) or Inulin. Hmm, I don’t recall why I stopped this.
    • Magnesium Chloride and Potassium Chloride (combo): Minerals: 80% MgCl2 solution) but I was getting too much potassium, so I went back to just the 80% MgCl2 solution.


Note: the numbers in parenthesis are the reference numbers in my original article (on old iWeb site). When I moved and updated the article to this Cat’s Kitchen version, I reorganized references on the same site (such as Mercola) to be together (as 2A, 2B, etc.. Those added since that reorganization say “new” in the parenthesis.

  1. (1)
  2. Mercola:
    1. (2)
    2. (16) and following pages:  Page 2, Page 3
    3. (new)
    4. (new)
    5. (new)
  3. (3) Power Surge:
    2. (5)
  4. (4)
  5. WAPF:
    1. (6)
    2. (new)
  6. (7)
  7. (8) Vanadyl Sulfate Improves Hepatic and Muscle Insulin Sensitivity in …
  8. (9)
  9. (10)
  10. (11)
  11. (12)
  12. (13)
  13. (14) The Perricone Promise, by Nicholas Perricone, M.D. (book)
  14. (15)
  15. (16) and following pages:  Page 2, Page 3
  16. (17) Omega-7 acids table:
  17. (18) Omega-7s in Food:
  18. ncbi (Scientific study abstracts):
    1. (New)
    2. (New)
  19. Dr Axe:
    1. (new)
    2. (new)
    3. (new)
    4. (new)
    5. (new)
    6. (new)
    7. (new)
  20. CureZone:
  24. Chris Masterjohn:
  25. Wikipedia:
  27. Eat This!
  29.—ad-from-2021-04-30/pdfdisplayad_5f2e3ac6-6b14-578e-85ba-a4969b7879a9.html and
  30. Dr. Jockers: I’ve also saved this article as a pdf: HEALTH-NUTRITION / PODCASTS-ARTICLES / Dr JOCKERS ARTICLES > Parasites_12 HerbsThatKillThemNaturally _DrJockers_063022.pdf.

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