Can I Take Vitamins And Herbs Together?

Published on June 08, 2023

By Kristen Boye BS, Natural Health

Kristen Boye

Kristen Boye is a natural health expert, writer, copywriter, and editor. Kristen was raised on an organic farm in British Columbia which inspired her life’s work. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Health, is a Certified Natural Foods Chef, co-owner of a medicinal herb farm, and is a natural foods and children’s health advocate. Kristen lives with her husband and two children on their medicinal herb farm in Western North Carolina.

Have you ever wondered if certain herbs may work well with vitamins, minerals, or other nutritional supplements you’re taking?

The answer is yes! Often specific herbs and nutritional supplements do complement each other. 

This is why various multivitamins also contain herbs (known as herbal multivitamins).

In this article, we’ll share details on seven herbs and nutritional supplements that may complement each other as part of a health and wellness routine.

However, it’s important to note that you need to speak with your doctor or medical professional before starting any new vitamin or herbal supplements, especially if you are on medication. 

7 Herbs And Supplements That Go Well Together

#1: Digestive Enzymes + Ginger For Digestive Health

Digestive enzymes and enzyme blends containing lactase, protease, amylase, lipase, cellulase, and others are popular dietary supplements.

They work by providing additional plant or animal-based digestive enzymes which support the digestive process. REF#1881

Enzyme supplements may be formulated exclusively with digestive enzymes or also contain complementary herbs, like Ginger.

Ginger has a long history of use as a “carminative” herb, meaning it can help with occasional bloating, gas, and digestive upset. 

Studies have also shown Ginger may have a broad range of benefits on digestive health, including reducing occasional nausea, bloating, and indigestion and supporting normal gastric emptying. REF#1882 

Gaia Herbs has several Ginger-based supplements, including:

#2: Iron Supplements + Camu Camu Berry (a version of Herbal Vitamin C) May Promote Normal Iron Levels

Herbs are common additions to popular iron supplements because they contain natural iron, help enhance flavor, and contain other complementary nutrients.

One of these complementary nutrients is vitamin C, which research has shown can help increase iron absorption when taken simultaneously. REF#1883 REF#1884 

Therefore, herbal sources of vitamin C, such as Camu Camu berry, may be beneficial when taken with an iron supplement. REF#1885

Learn more in: A Nutritionist’s Guide To Iron Supplements.

Note: Not everyone will benefit from supplemental iron; taking too much iron can be dangerous. Check with your doctor for individual recommendations.

#3: Zinc Lozenges + Andographis For Throat Comfort

There are a few things more uncomfortable than the occasional sore or scratchy throat.

Unfortunately, few natural solutions provide long-lasting relief.

This leads many people to seek relief from hot herbal tea, salt water gargles, herbal throat sprays, and zinc lozenges.

Zinc is one of the few natural supplements shown in studies to help soothe sore throats and support various aspects of immune health.

Certain herbs, like Andographis, have also been shown to provide throat comfort while supporting respiratory health. REF#1886 

So, the next time you experience minor throat discomfort, try combining an angiographis-containing herbal supplement, like Gaia Herbs Quick Defense, with zinc lozenges to help soothe occasional minor throat irritation..*

#4: Vitamin D3 + Mushrooms For Immune Support

If you take Vitamin D3 to support immunity, specific wild or cultivated mushrooms may be a natural addition to your supplement routine.

Mushrooms have been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine and other systems of herbal folklore to support immune health, provide nutrition, and for additional health benefits*.

Research has shown the beta-glucan polysaccharides in various mushrooms and fungi, such as Reishi,REF#1887 Shiitake,REF#1888 and Cordyceps REF#1889, may provide helpful immune support.

Plus, mushrooms are one of the only plant-based dietary sources of Vitamin D2, and their Vitamin D content is enhanced when exposed to sunlight. REF#1890

So, the next time you prepare mushrooms, try putting them out in the sun to boost Vitamin D content naturally.

#5: Quercetin + Turmeric + N-acetylcysteine For Period Pain

Antioxidants like Quercetin and Turmeric are often used to support normal inflammatory response, for minor aches and pains associated with daily activity, and to promote overall health and well-being *.

Yet, we rarely think of them for menstrual support or cramps.

However, one study found the combination of Quercetin, Turmeric, and N-acetylcysteine or NAC (a supplemental form of the semi-essential amino acid cysteine) was effective for period pain and supporting normal endometrium function and uterine inflammatory response.REF#1891

More research is needed to confirm these findings.

However, if you struggle with menstrual discomfort, this may be a combination worth discussing with your doctor or healthcare practitioner.

#6: Probiotics + Oregano Oil, Black Walnut, and/or Turmeric For Microbiome Health

Probiotics are one of the top-selling supplements globally, valued at 8072.58 million in 2022 per MarketWatch.REF#1892 

This means people have been learning about the exciting new scientific findings on how the gut microbiome influences nearly aspects of health.

Plus, probiotics are an inexpensive and effective way to promote digestive health, immunity, mood, and more*.

Probiotics deliver good bacteria in the form of probiotic cultures that support the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome. 

The more good bacteria you have, the less bad bacteria can thrive.

Although herbs do not deliver probiotic cultures, herbs like Oregano Oil, Black Walnut, and Turmeric can complement their actions by also supporting immune health. REF#1893 REF#1894 REF#1895 REF#1896

Gaia Herbs Microbiome Cleanse contains herbs like Oregano, Black Walnut, and others to support gut health.

#7: Glutathione + Milk Thistle For Glutathione Support

Glutathione is made in the liver and is your body’s master antioxidant.

It’s also become a popular supplement for supporting cell health, detoxification, and various aspects of well-being*.

The idea with supplementation is to provide your body with more optimal levels of glutathione so it can function better*.

Many experts also recommend taking Milk Thistle in addition to glutathione supplements and other lifestyle changes.

This herb contains an active compound called Silymarin, in vitro and animal studies suggest it may help support the body’s natural production of glutathione but human clincal research is necessary to support this conclusion.REF#1897 REF#1898 

Some glutathione supplements may contain Milk Thistle, or you can talk to your doctor or healthcare practitioner about taking an additional Milk Thistle herbal supplement.

What’s The Difference Between Herbal Supplements And Dietary Or Nutritional Supplements?

From a regulatory and legal perspective, there is no difference because herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, probiotics, prebiotics, and other supplements are all considered foods, which the FDA regulates as either dietary supplements or foods depending on the products intended use.

However, from a historical and folklore perspective, herbs have properties and traditional uses that make them unique.

These properties may also make them helpful to take with certain other dietary supplements.

Are There Any Herbs That Should Not Be Taken With Dietary Supplements?

Although most herbs go well with other supplements, there are a few exceptions. 

Additionally, as mentioned previously, make sure any medication you’re taking is OK to take with herbs and supplements you’re interested in.

For example:

  • Green Tea can inhibit the absorption of iron.
  • Taking a relaxant herb, such as Passionflower or Valerian, with melatonin could make you extra drowsy. Some sleep support supplements combine these ingredients.
  • Herbs with natural blood thinning properties may not be safe when taken with supplements used for the same purposes, such as Vitamin E or Bromelein.

We cover this topic in more detail in 10 Herbal Supplement Combinations You Should Not Mix.

It’s also important to discuss combining dietary supplements or taking new herbs, herbal multivitamins, or other supplements with your doctor or healthcare practitioner.

Discover More About Using Herbs To Optimize Nutrition In The Following Articles:


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