Some food supplements are indispensable, such as Vitamin B12 for vegans. It is often assumed that a healthy diet automatically contains everything required. However, the human body is constantly working, a lot is demanded of it during and after illness and diets are often not balanced. There are a large range of herbal remedies and aids which can be used to improve (and maintain) quality of life and prevent disease.

There are a large variety of food supplements to choose from. Depending on one's personal requirements and budget, it may be advisable to consult an expert when searching for the right products. To completely reject these valuable natural aids is, in my view, to miss an opportunity. The use of well chosen food supplements is simple but effective. There is a low time requirement yet a lot to gain! In my opinion it is essential to take preventive measures. And this does not just apply to people with a long history of illness. Is it really worth risking depression just because a few essential vitamins are missing from your diet, or perhaps even because of an obvious vitamin deficiency?

It is important to convince yourself of the beneficial properties of different medicaments, or rather to inform yourself about them. That is because these products work when consumed regularly over a longer time period. Moreover, the literature surrounding naturopathy is interesting and insightful. In the following I will provide some insights into the range of supplements which I currently use and adjust based on budget and need. The quantity of food additives in the powder, tablet and capsule forms can be a reason to not take such tablets. As every person has different needs, it is essential to carry our dedicated research.

In my opinion it is recommendable to undergo a full blood test. The best option would be to consult a creditable naturopathy or homeopathy expert and go through with them a list of food supplements which would be suitable for a person with your diet, constitution, age and history of illness. If you do not undertake research or take advice it is possible that an important supplement could be forgotten and the amount of money spent could become unneccessarily large.

In the following I have put together a list of supplements together with the places where they can be obtained:

Seller: zur Rose Apotheke, (available in almost every pharmacy or drugstore)

1. Burgerstein: Selenium Vital: 1 tablet daily

Products containing selenium are beneficial for vegans and vegetarians, especially in Europe where the soil contains little selenium. For this reason selenium is often mixed into the food of livestock. As a result, meat eaters likely consume good quantities of selenium.

Selenium supports the normal functioning of the immune system and the thyroid gland and helps to protect the cells from oxidative damage. It also has positive effects on hair and nails.

2. Burgerstein: Dolomite Plus: 2 tablets daily 

Strengthens teeth and bones. Contains vitamin D

An optimal combination of calcium and magnesium. Vitamin D3 contributes to the continuous absorption and use of calcium.

For athletes: Magnesium und calcium help to increase energy metabolism and bone density. Additionally, magnesium contributes to muscle function and electrolyte equilibrium.

Vitamin D3 strengthens the immune system.

3. Burgerstein Vitamin B complex B 50: 1 tablet daily (in the morning or afternoon) 

= B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, biotin (I alternate between this product and the vitamin complex from Foodspring).

B vitamins support the functioning of the nervous system, while Vitamin C supports energy metabolism.

Magnesium and vitamin B12 help to combat symptoms of fatigue as well as lack of motivation.

Biotin has a positive effect on the psyche and also supports mental performance.

Folic acid regulates blood formation while vitamins B12, B6 and B2 regulate the formation of red blood cells.

Niacin and vitamin B2 contribute to healthy skin and mucous membranes, while niacin is particularly important in cases of mental illness.

4. A. Vogel (Bioforce) Kelp: 1 tablet every two days, or daily if you are or have been ill recently

Sea algae are rich in natural iodine. In our latitutes people are tending to consume less iodine due to the fact that marine fish and fruit are not as prevalent in our diets. The creation of artificially iodized table salt has led to less people suffering from goitre. If you are already consuming a sufficient quantity of artificially iodized table salt, you should not take any additional iodine supplements. However, if you use salt which is not iodized or cook with small quantities of salt then kelp (vegetable iodine) is an ideal food supplement.

5. Allsan Milk thistle: 3 tablets daily

Owing to being overweight and taking medication which is a burden on the liver, I currently take a somewhat higher dose. This has a positive influence on the digestion. Silymarin stimulates lipometabolism as well as the flow of bile. Bile is essential for the digestion of fat. Additionally, milk thistle has a regenerative effect on the function of liver cells.

6. Allsan alkaline mineral salt: 1 tablet daily over a limited time period or in intervals

A balance of acids-bases is important for one's health. If this becomes unstable, this can negatively affect the entire organism. The balanced combination of alkaline mineral substances which is contained within the Allsan product supports the effective functioning of the acid-base household.

7. Tebokan (Schwabe) 120 (Ginkgo): When needed

This contains dry extract from the leaf of the ginko biloba. Ginkgo-extract improves blood flow and increases flow velocity, in paticular in relation to small and miniscule blood vessels. Tebokan 120 aids symptomatic treatment in cases of decreasing performance and helps to combat memory and concentration disorders (if you have a relevant doctor's prescription Tebokan may be covered by your health insurance).

8. Cardiplant 450 (Schwabe): 1 tablet daily as needed

From experience regular cardio training is the best thing which you can do for your heart. A vegan diet protects against calcification of the blood stream. If you haben to have problems due to stress or heditary problems a Weissdorn product could be useful. Nervous heart problems manifest themselves in the form of a fast pulse, palpitations or a racing heart, heart spasms, dizziness, and a feeling of tightness in the chest. It is highly likely that I will continue to use this product as I get older. More information can be found on the internet by searching for “Weissdorn” (Crataegus).

9. Lasea (Lavender oil): 1 tablet to be taken while eating, when needed

I always have some Lasea on hand in case I test my levels of nervous strain and find them to be too high.

10. Bryophyllum 50%: when needed

Another product to keep in your reserve. When conditions of extreme nervous strain are experienced this medication can, like Lasea, have a calming effect. If excess pressure is placed on the nerve center or aggressive behaviour is identified then bryophyllum should be used (this is validated by the prescription received from my homeopath and doctor).

Seller: Dropa Drugstore Appenzell,

11. Coenzyme Q10: one capsule daily

This promotes celular energy, cell protection and blood flow. It is suitable for the prevention of heart and metabolic disorders. For people who need to take many different kinds of medicine Q10 is ideal for the detoxification and support of the liver. With increasing age greater energy levels will be observed when this product is used. Athletic performance can also be improved by this product, as can oxygen supply to the muscles and brain.

12. Cimasan N: 1 capsule after large meals

This would also be useful for vegans who wish to take advantage of the many advantages of lentils. It works to counteract the wind which can be caused by the consumption of lentils and has an invigorating effect. This is particularly beneficial and calming after a heavy meal. Cimasan N also helps to reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

13. Curcugast: 1 capsule daily as a preventive measure, when needed 2 capsules can be taken

The combination of curkuma oil, vegetable omega 3 fatty acids with DHA and EPA, Vitamin A, molybdenum, fennel oil and peppermint oil acts to regulate digestion and has a positive effect on the mucous membranes. One tablet after a meal does good things for the intestines. A higher dosage can help with stomach or intestinal troubles. In ancient times poor intestinal health was thought responsible for many illnesses. If the intestines do not work properly, the nutriments cannot be fully absorbed. Special measures are needed for those who take medication such as antibiotics or those who are obese.

14. Evening primrose oil: 1-2 capsules as needed

Helps to improve the general appearance of the skin. It is also useful for those suffering from allergies such as hay fever, chronic inflammation, skin irritation, itchiness, dry skin, inflamed mucous membrane, headaches, premenstrual syndrome, menopausal symptoms, regulation of lipid metabolism and wound treatment.

15. Passiflor: when needed

This product has a calming, balancing effect and reduces anxiety. Can be taken when experiencing depressive states, fear, nervous exhaustion and listlessness. It is helpful to have a reserve of this product to be used when any sign of aggression is detected or when thoughts start to spiral.

16. Boswellia (Incense food supplement): when needed

It has an anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect which can help with chronic joint pain or intestinal problems, irritable bowel syndrome and recurrent colds. As a former smoker I can recommend incense for its effect on the bronchial tubes.

Seller: Kloster:

17. Propolis: 1-2 capsules daily when needed

Particularly important during flu season or when suffering from an infection. It strengthens the body's defences and does not give a cold a chance.

18. Ling Zhi: 1-2 capsules daily

Alleviates headaches

Improves hearing and eyesight, as well as memory

Helps to combat exhaustion and chronic fatigue

Helps when experiencing fear or depression

Combats insomnia, nervousness and tinnitus

Helps in cases of myocardial and coronary insufficiency

Works against hepatitis and poor liver function

Has a detoxifying effect and functions as an antioxidant

Supports cancer therapy

Reduces symptoms of chemotherapy

Combats menopausal symptoms

Reduces blood pressure 

Reduces cholesterol and blood sugar levels

Strengthens immune defences

Combats inflammation, bacteria, and viruses

Antithrombotic effect, stimulates circulation 

Combats joint pain

Can be used against gastric ulcers

Can be used against skin diseases, neurodermatitis, and allergies

Helps with obesity and haemorrhoids

Combats bronchitis and asthma

If I could only recommend one food supplement, it would be this one.

Seller: Foodspring

19. Omega 3 capsules (algae-based) 1 tablet daily 

This is good for brain and heart function, as well as for the eyes

These capsules are vegan and can be recommended to vegans for the purpose of obtaining the nutrients contained in meat.

20. Daily Vitamins

This can either be taken as an alternative or in addition to the Vitamin B complex sold by Burgerstein. Personally, I alternate between these two food supplements. From my own experience I am convinced that obtaining sufficient vitamins is essential. These can also be very helpful in the treatment of psychological afflictions.

It is important to take these supplements regularly. For vegans, Vitamin B12 is essential.

21. L-arginine: now and then

This is an ideal product for the purpose of improving athletic performance. It helps the body to recover quicker.

22. L-glutamine: for strength and endurance athletes

Supports the procceses of regeneration and improves physical and mental performance

23. Foodspring Vegan Protein (free from soya, for vegans):

A protein shake after a workout is highly beneficial. A mixture of protein powder and rice, oat or coconut milk can serve you well.