Hey Phyrra crew! My name is Jen, loooooong-time friend of Courtney, and blogger behind cruelty free beauty, health and lifestyle blog, My Beauty Bunny. Courtney asked me to share my all-time favorite health and beauty supplements with you, so here’s a list of the products I just cannot live without!
First of all, let me start by saying, I’m not a healthcare professional (just someone who enjoys biohacking and researches health as a hobby), and this is not medical advice. Now, you probably know this, but there is a lot of crap out there, and you really do get what you pay for. I generally avoid most of the supplements at drugstores, with a few exceptions that I won’t get into here. In general, you’ll find higher grade supplements at local health food stores, Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, and at your functional medicine doctor or naturopath’s offices. You can find a lot of these same supplement brands on Amazon.
The other thing I want to make clear is that not every supplement will work for everyone. There are so many factors involved: genetics, your diet, your environment, your habits (smoking, drinking, etc.). In fact, supplements can be harmful, so it’s best to go slow, listen to your body, pay attention to side effects, and if possible, work with an integrative or functional medicine doctor or other health practitioner. I believe it’s important to only test out one new supplement at a time, so you can pay attention to its effects on your body. For example, I am very sensitive to B Vitamins (they increase anxiety for me), so I take a couple of drops instead of a teaspoon as recommended. I recently realized that even this super low dose of B Vitamins has been causing hard, cystic acne (there’s no biotin, so B12 is probably the culprit), so I’ve backed off, and will only take it occasionally.
So all of that being said, there are some supplements that have worked WONDERS for me, as well as for my friends and family. You may want to read about my experience with them, and then do your own research to decide if they are right for you. These are my all-time, favorite supplements!
I talk about this TOA-free Cat’s Claw supplement a lot because it has worked like nothing else I’ve ever tried when it comes to immunity. It’s a must-have supplement for health and beauty for me! Cat’s Claw is a plant (no cats are harmed – don’t worry!) that is commonly used in other countries to boost the immune system. I take a dropper-full of Samento directly under the tongue (or in tea) 3 times a day when I feel run down or when I feel a sore throat coming on. In the past, a sore throat was ALWAYS a sign that I was about to come down with a cold or flu.
Now, as long as I am proactive with the Samento, I rarely get sick. It’s not a cheap supplement, and you can get regular Cat’s Claw at a cheaper price. I think regular, standardized Cat’s Claw is great, and if you are on a budget, try it, but this TOA-free supplement has always worked best for me. There’s some debate on the TOA issue (and whether it an issue at all), but I’ve seen great results with Samento, so I stick with it. Many immunity supplements can rev up my immune system TOO much (which just increases inflammation and makes me feel worse), but I feel that Samento is able to regulate it so that I feel better quickly.
I’ve heard some people say that hair, skin and nail supplements don’t work. That’s just 100% not true for me! I avoid taking most of the standard hair/nails/skin formulas because they generally contain too many ingredients, and often ones that I can’t handle (biotin for example – which aggravates cystic acne for me). But, sea buckthorn oil has majorly improved hair growth, nail growth and digestion for me and my husband, which is why it’s one of our favorite supplements.
Sea buckthorn is not from the sea – it’s a little orange berry that grows in places like Eastern Europe and Tibet. My aesthetician, Vera, is from Russia, and she talks about how sea buckthorn is widely known there as a healing berry, that is used for skincare and even burn victims! I like two brands – Seabuck Wonders and Sibu Beauty – I have a video about Seabuck Wonders and how it helped grow my hair here. If you’re vegan, check to see if the products contain bovine gelatin before purchasing (both brands have vegan options).
Last but not least is the supplement, I won’t leave the house without – enteric coated peppermint oil! It’s my all-time favorite supplement! I learned about this one when I was much younger and hadn’t quite figured out which foods upset my stomach. If you or your family EVER have tummy issues or gas, you need this in your medicine cabinet!
Peppermint oil soothes the digestive tract and stops gas, but it works much better if it can get to your intestines. If you drink peppermint tea, that can help, but the enteric coating is what gets the peppermint oil to bypass your stomach and go straight to the source of the problem. Peppermint oil in your tummy can also cause heartburn, so if that’s an issue for you, enteric-coated is better. It’s also great to have this on hand when you travel, and plan on eating foods you wouldn’t normally eat! The brand I use is Pepogest by Nature’s Way.
Do you have any supplements that you just SWEAR by? I’d love to know – let me know in the comments! And if you’re interested in alternative health, come find me on Instagram, Facebook and the My Beauty Bunny blog!