Osteoporosis Health

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There are a number of reasons people can suffer from osteoporosis. For instance, a person’s diet may be deficient in calcium or magnesium, or they may consume too much phosphorus or not get enough vitamin D. As people age their bodies are often less able to absorb calcium too. Some doctors also point out that dairy products are not the best sources of calcium, and, in fact, other calcium sources are even richer and more effective at building strong bones than dairy products. These other calcium-rich and osteoporosis health sources are seaweeds and herbs.

Calcium also does more than just build strong bones. It’s important to the nervous sytem because it soothes and calms nerves, and, if your blood calcium level is too low, you can suffer from irritability, muscle cramps, muscle spasms, nervousness, or even insomina. This is unfortunate because calcium is plentiful and can be found in many forms other than milk, yogurt, or dairy products. For instance, chestnuts, salmon, figs, tofu, blackstrap molasses, okra, and dark-green leafy vegetables (kale, broccoli, collard greens, chicory greens, parsley, and turnip and beet greens) contain high levels of calcium.

Another excellent and often overlooked calcium-rich source is seaweed. Look at the chart below to see the calcium differences between seaweed and dairy products:

Food Calcium Content
Based on 3 1/2 Ounces
Cottage Cheese, 1% 60 mg
Hijiki (or Hiziki) 1400 mg
Kelp 1093 mg
Milk, 2% 140 mg
Wakame 1300 mg
Yogurt, 2% 179 mg

As you can see the seaweeds, hijiki, kelp, and wakame, all rate significantly higher than do cottage cheese, milk, or yogurt. Besides seaweed, there are a number of herbs that have high calcium content. For instance, amaranth has 298 mg of calcium per cup, and 1 cup of raw dandelion greens has 103 mg of calcium. Other osteoporosis health herbs include:

  • Chickweed
  • Horsetail
  • Mustard Greens
  • Nettle
  • Oats
  • Watercress

Magnesium is also important because it helps with the absorption of calcium, and magnesium deficiency is fairly common in the United States with about 1/3 of the U.S. population deficient. Magnesium deficiency has also been linked to osteoporosis. Seaweeds, nuts, and seeds, particularly sesame seeds, contain both calcium and magnesium. There are also several herbs that contain both minerals. These herbs include:

  • Horsetail
  • Nettle
  • Oatstraw
  • Parsley
  • Watercress
  • Yellow Dock

Well-known herbalist, teacher, and author, Rosemary Gladstar, recommends several teas to help ensure adequate calcium intake in her book Rosemary Gladstar’s Family Herbal: A Guide to Living Life with Energy, Health, and Vitality. She recommends what she calls high-calcium tea for nervousness, insomnia, and irritability, and she recommends the adrenal tonic tea to achieve adrenal balance. Gladstar claims that osteoporsis health is dependent upon good adrenal balance, and she claims it is imperative to nourish and care for the endrocine glands, as well as the liver, particularly if you are going through menopause. In addition, Gladstar recommends the adrenal tea to help alleviate mood swings, depression, and irritability associated with menopause.

High-Calcium Tea

  • 1 part horsetail
  • 1 part oats and oatstraw
  • 1 part nettle

Gladstar recommends you make an infusion and suggests 3 to 4 cups daily. To make an infusion, pour 1 quart boiling water over 1 ounce herbs, and let steep thirty to sixty minutes.

Adrenal Tonic Tea

  • 3 parts sassafras
  • 1 part ginger
  • 1 part licorice
  • 1 part wild yam
  • 1/2 part chaste tree berry
  • 1/2 part cinnamon
  • 1/4 part dong quai
  • 1/8 part orange peel

Gladstar recommends this be made as a decoction, with 1 cup taken three times daily. To make a decoction, add 1 ounce herbs and cover 1 with quart cold water. Simmer for 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the strength needed.


Informational Note:

This site provides information for educational purposes, and although
these remedies can, and have, helped many people without
incident, there are several important things you should know.

People sometimes have allergic or adverse reactions to herbs.
For instance, horsetail contains high levels of salicylic acids, so if
you have reactions to aspirin, you may not be able to use horsetail.

If you have not taken something before and if you decide to try it,
do so with caution. Also, check to make sure you know what side effects
or adverse reactions can happen if you do take something. If you are
breastfeeding, pregnant, taking other medications, or if you suffer
from a chronic disease, DO NOT take anything without first
talking to your health care professional.


If you are interested in learning more about calcium sources, read Calcium-Rich Foods. If you’re interested in learning about calcium absorption, read Osteoporosis: Calcium Absorption Factors. If you’re looking for strength training to help build bones, read Resistance Exercises and Weight Lifting Basics.


  1. Would taking a kelp supplement be as effective as actually consuming seaweed? I take a multi-vitamin each morning, but I don’t believe I am getting enough calcium. Osteoporosis runs in my family.

  2. According to MedlinePlus, one problem with any supplement is “supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand.” Additionally, in relation to supplements with kelp (there are various synonyms for kelp including bladderwrack), there are health concerns. “Most adverse effects appear related to the high iodine content, heavy metal, or other contamination of bladderwrack preparations, rather than to the seaweed itself.” Medline notes there are health problems such as iodine toxicity, lowered blood sugar, and blood-thinning problems. Additionally, it can interfere with thyroid medications, and people taking medications such as levothyroxine (Synthroid®, Levoxyl®) need to be aware. If you want to read the article in depth, here’s the link http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bladderwrack.html

    My own personal note is that supplements are usually less effective than the real thing, so whenever you can get the real thing its best. However, sometimes supplements are necessary, and, if you decided you want to take a kelp supplement, you should talk to your health care professional before doing so. Another thing, if you take a supplement, ensure you store it correctly, as supplements can lose potency if subjected to heat, moisture, etc.

  3. Thanks for this very helpful information.

    Take care – Kellan

  4. I have determined that this article and reader comments are very important to my interests. In my experience, this is a great website to locate information on issues such as natural health. Will anyone here tell me where to get more particular information on this topic, please? Thanks!

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