by Dr. Patricia Rupert.

1. Take herbs and prescription drugs at least two hours apart. Whenever possible take herbs on an empty stomach, at least a half an hour or more before meals, or one hour after meals.

2. Take vitamins WITH food. The enzymes in the food will help release the full potency of the vitamin.

3. Take fat soluble supplements with fat. This will release the full potency of a fat soluble vitamin. Good fats include Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils, nuts, avocados.

4. Ideally, herbal pills should be taken with hot water. They should not be taken with coffee or other caffeinated beverages or carbonated drinks.

5. Tonic herbs and formulas are inappropriate during the initial stages of a cold or flu. In addition to making the body stronger, tonics may make the cold or flu more virulent. Resume tonic formulas once the illness has run its course.

6. Do not us herbs indiscriminately during menstruation because herbs can increase the quantity and the duration of bleeding.

7. Herbs need to be monitored at least once a week to start. Gradually this may change to every other week or once per month.

8. Vitamin C will increase the absorption of iron. Iron is a known carcinogen. Also find out what the source is for your Vitamin C. Where does it come from–fruit, vegetable, laboratory. You may be surprised!

9. Do not take supplemental iron unless you have been diagnosed with microcytic anemia through a serum lab analysis.

10. Do not take Vitamin A supplements on a regular basis. It can contribute to bone loss.

11. Herbal supplementation always requires a full evaluation. Special precautions should be taken if you are using any of the following Medications: Axid (Nizatidine), Carafate (sucralfate), Cholestid (colestipol), Coumadin (warfarin), Diflucan (fluconazole), Dilantin (phenytoin),k E-Mycin (erythromycin), Haldol (haloperidol), Maalax (antacid), Methotrexate, Mylanta (antacid), Nizoral (ketoconazole), Pepcid (famotidine), Phenobarbital, Prilosec (omeprazole), Propulsid (cisapride),Questran (cholestryamine), Reglan (metoclopramide), Rifadin (rifampin), Sporonox (itraconzaole), Tagamet (cimetidine), Tegretol (carbamazepine), Tums (antacid), Zantac (ranitidine).

12. Be cautious of any ingredients you do not recognize. Inactive ingredients and fillers can be harmful. Avoid as much as possible, supplements containing magnesium stearate and vegetable stearate.