Friday, 4 September 2015

Herbs for Strong Bones

Osteoporosis is a silent process of losing minerals from your bones. They become brittle and fracture easily.There is no pain unless you experience a fracture which is why it is important to look after your bone health with preventive measures.

Good bone health is achieved by ensuring that you have an adequate intake of vitamin D, calcium and magnesium, preferably through diet. It is also important to do regular gentle weight building exercise.

I have created a Bone Building Tea that includes a range of herbs that are naturally rich in minerals and helpful in supporting strong healthy bones. Many of these herbs can be found in your back garden. The amount of vitamins and minerals you can get from these plants is significant.

Boneset (Eupatorium)

Boneset helps build healthy bone mass as well as helping to treat with arthritis. It is also used as a pain reliever for broken bones and may help them heal faster. This wonderful herb is also used for the body pains and aches you get with influenza and helps to reduce fever. Boneset has a very bitter taste.


Mallow looks beautiful and tastes great. The whole plant can be used but the root has the most virtue. It contains phytoestrogens which help in bone remodelling.
The leaves are a powerhouse of minerals and vitamins ( calcium, iron, vitamin c, copper traces and more. They also release soothing mucilage.

Yellow Dock Root

Yellow dock has been used as a multi-purpose plant for centuries. Today it can often be found as an ingredient in toothpastes. The plant is also known as narrow dock, curled dock and curly leaf dock. 
The leaves contain high levels of organic oxalic acid which is no problem to eat raw in very small quantities but if eaten in large quantities can lock up other nutrients in the food. The leaf stalks are used in salads. The root is used as medicine.
Oxalic acid readily combines with calcium and helps the digestive assimilation of the calcium. 


Alfalfa is a nutritional powerhouse. It is a high source of vitamins A,C, E and K4. It is also high in minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, iron and easy to assimilate. It contains essential amino acids which are not made by the body but must be obtained from foods sources.It contains one of the highest chlorophyll content of any plant.

It is also a useful alternative for helping to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. Because of it's high magnesium and calcium it is wise to use it for keeping bones strong. It is also good for arthritis and joint issues. As with most herbs, alfafa should be used with caution is on blood thinning agents. 

 Nettle Leaf 

Nettle is found all along the roadsides and in most people's back garden. I believe stinging nettle to be Ireland's nutritional powerhouse herb. It contains several nutrients and active constituents.  The leaves have significant amounts of carotene, vitamin A,C, D, K, potassium and calcium, all in  a form that is easy for the body to use.  The boran in nettles helps protect bones. Stinging nettles is one of natures best nutraceuticals. 

Dandelion Leaf
Although you probably think of dandelion as a weed, the plant has been used as a traditional herbal remedy for centuries all over the world.
Dandelion root is a great digestive tonic and is used for stimulating bile. The leaf is a great source of vitamins A,B, C and D and the minerals iron, potassium, calcium and zinc. Dandelion leaves can be picked from your back garden and put into your salad.

To establish your risk of bone fracture see the FRAX index. This is a simple academic and WHO (world health organisation) approved index of bone fracture risk. Check out the website  for Bone Density under calculation tools.

On the website there is a questionnaire to answer. You will be asked for your weight and height on the right side of the page so it is better that you have this information to  hand before you start. On the dropdown "select BMD" you are asked to put the results of your bone scan into your T score (if you have had one done). Otherwise you can leave it blank.

It is wise to check this index before starting medication and discuss with your health provider.
For diet and exercise advice see

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