Taking iron supplements with calcium foods interferes with its absorption; taking it with vitamin C enhances absorption.
Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia can include:
Altered resistance to infection
Fissures at the corners of the mouth
Botanical Treatment Strategies
Herbs and foods are often highly bioavailable, and usually non-constipating, non-nauseating sources of absorbable iron. Taraxacum and Rumex may be used in syrup form in addition, for their liver stimulating and supporting qualities, needed for blood production. Iron supplementation is not necessary unless a woman is anemic, but iron rich foods and herbs can be included as a regular part of the diet. If there is iron deficiency anemia, herb and food based supplements can be a first line of treatment in the absence of an underlying medical disorder, in which case the cause must be treated as well, though herbal and food sources of iron can still be used as highly bioavailable supplements in many cases.
Ginseng and Longan formula to reduce heart palpitations and improve hematopoiesis (2 grams concentrated granules daily): Panax ginseng, Atractylodes, Poria, Jujube fruit, Licorice, Longan (Euphoria longana), Zizyphus seed, Aucklandia root, Tang gui, Ginger. Granules can be obtained from a company called Sun Ten Formulas, but they can also be obtained from other companies. They are relatively palatable (for Chinese herbs) and don’t require any preparation. They can also be purchased and taken in capsules.
And remember, green leafy vegetables such as kale and collard greens are iron (and calcium) rich and are herbs, too!
Consumption of both iron-rich and vitamin C-rich foods is essential for the production of iron. Floradix is an herbal-food supplement that is excellent for treatment of anemia. Note that Floradix does contain some herbs that are found on contraindicated lists, for example, angelica, however, the amount is small and no problems have been reported even with extensive use by pregnant women.
- Blackstrap molasses 1 Tbs daily with 250 mg Vitamin C
- Beef stew cooked with tomato base and black pepper added, 2x week