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:
Based on 3 1/2 Ounces
|Cottage Cheese, 1%||60 mg|
|Hijiki (or Hiziki)||1400 mg|
|Milk, 2%||140 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:
- Mustard Greens
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:
- 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.
- 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.
This site provides information for educational purposes, and although
People sometimes have allergic or adverse reactions to herbs.
If you have not taken something before and if you decide to try it,
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.