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A to Z Nutrients


Vitamin C




Cascara Sagrada


Cedar Berry


Chaste Berry

Chick Weed




See Vitamin B-12


Comfrey Leaf



Corn Silk

Couch Grass

Cow Parsnip

Cramp Bark



Cysteine (NAC)

Vitamin C is involved in hundreds of roles in the healthy body. Besides being a primary antioxidant and a crucial support for immune response, it also maintains collagen, helps wounds and fractures heal, reduces scar tissue, strengthens blood vessels, aids in absorption of iron, and may provide resistance to infections. Signs of deficiency include bleeding gums, swollen or painful joints, slow-healing wounds and fractures, bruising, nosebleeds, and impaired digestion.
Recommended amounts (to avoid deficiency disease, not for optimal health): Infants: 35 mg; Children: 45-50 mg; Adults: 60 mg. Vitamin C is essentially nontoxic, although a large dose can cause diarrhea; 5000-15,000 mg. daily over a prolonged period may have side effects in some persons.

Calcium is widely understood to help the development and maintenance of strong bones, joints, tendons, and teeth. It also assists normal blood clotting, muscle action, nerve function, and heart function, it helps to regulates acid-base balance and maintain osmotic pressure, and it helps stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid. Signs of deficiency include tetany, softening bones, back and leg pains, brittle bones, insomnia, irritability, and depression.
Recommended amounts are infants: 360-540 mg; children: 800-1200 mg; adults: 800 mg, with adult women up to 1500 mg. Excessive intakes of calcium may have side effects in certain persons.

Calendula Flower (Calendula officinalis) Anti-inflammatory; astringent; styptic; anti-fungal; emmenagogue; cholagogue; topically for wounds, ulcers, burns,abscesses.

Carnitine is known for it's ability to increase the utilization of stored body-fat, helping people to slim down and increase lean muscle mass. Most often they also notice a significant increase in energy, partly due to feeling better about their new size and partly due to the energy derived from the better burning of fat. Carnitine is also considered protective of heart function, both because the heart uses lipids as the source of most of it's energy, and because it helps to reduce blood levels of fat and triglycerides.

Cascara Sagrada Bark (Rhamnus purshiana) Laxative, mild liver stimulant; bitter tonic.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) For indigestion, flatulence and colic; mild astringent, specific for childhood diarrhea.

Cayenne (Capsicum spp.) Equalizes circulation; for cold hands and feet; strengthens heart; stimulant; carminative; styptic. Antiseptic, used as gargle for persistent cough.

Cedar Berry (Thuja spp.) Astringent; diuretic; emmenagogue; anthelmintic; expectorant. Has been used to decrease need for insulin therapy.

Chamomile Flower (Matricaria chamomilla) Sedative, carminative, anti-spasmodic, anodyne. Children's herb, especially for fever and restlessness. Mouthwash for gingivitis. (top)

Chaste Berry (Vitex agnus-castrus) Stimulates and normalizes pituitary function. Used for PMS, menstrual cramps, menopause, post birth control pill rebalancing.

Chick Weed (Stellaria media) Nutritive; restorative demulcent; diuretic; regulates thyroid; high in saponins (increasing cell membrane permeability) and lecithin (emulsifying and mobilizing fat).

Choline is important in normal nerve transmission. Aids metabolism and transport of fats. Helps regulate liver and gallbladder. Signs of deficiency include fatty liver, hemorrhaging kidneys, and high blood pressure. There is no RDA, and there is no known oral toxicity, even with intake as high as 50,000 mg. daily for 1 week - although a side effect of a high choline intake in some people is an unpleasant fishy smell. The average diet yields 500-900 mg per day. (top)

Chromium helps the cell to handle sugar in the system. It does this by binding the hormone insulin to the cell wall to perform its functions. Insulin is also necessary for normal brain function, wound healing and immune response. Chromium can help maintain alertness after eating, and increase energy and concentration, as well as mood elevation. The Western Journal of Medicine (Jan.'9O ) reported "Supplemental chromium is associated with improvements of risk factors associated with maturity-onset diabetes and cardiovascular diseases." Some symptoms of chromium deficiency are impaired glucose tolerance, impaired growth, decreased fertility and sperm count, and nerve damage.

Cleavers (Gallium aparine) Lymphatic tonic alterative; diuretic. Used for swollen glands, cystitis, ulcers and tumors, skin disorders, painful urination. (top)

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) Soothing expectorant; anti-spasmodic; anti-inflammatory; astringent. Used for irritating coughs, bronchitis, asthma, laryngitis, throat catarrh, external for sore and ulcers.

Comfrey Leaf (Symphytum officinalis) Speeds healing of sprains, strains, fractures and surface wounds. (top)

CoEnzyme Q-10 is an important vitamin-like nutrient that is of great interest to researchers studying heart disease, aging, cancer, obesity, athletic performance and other problems associated with its deficiency. CoQ-10 resembles vitamin E and vitamin K in chemical structure. It functions biochemically much like vitamin E in that it participates in antioxidant and free radical reactions. However, CoQ-10 has a special biochemical role of major importance, involving the production of energy in cells, including heart cells.
Coenzyme Q-10 is so ubiquitous that it was first named ubiquinone. Humans can make CoQ-10 out of the other Coenzymes Q-1 to Q-9, or we can absorb it from our food. However, we cannot manufacture CoQ-10 from simple nutrients or CoQ-10's building blocks. As we age, many of us lose our ability to efficiently make CoQ-10 out of the Coenzymes 1 to 9. To make matters worse, foods lose CoQ-10 with processing and storage.
CoQ-10 supplements are used by millions of persons around the world, but particularly in Japan, for heart disease, high blood pressure, immune system stimulation, life-extension and slowing the aging process, periodontal disease, peptic ulcers, and others. In Japan alone, there are 252 CoQ-10 preparations from 83 companies. Japanese and European physicians are quite aware of the role of this nutrient as an adjunct in treating heart disease.
Dr. Karl Folkers of the University of Texas at Austin is the "father" of CoQ-10 in the United States. Dr. Folkers also led the research team that discovered vitamin B-12 in 1948, and was the first to synthesize vitamin B-6. In 1973, Dr. Folkers was awarded the Welch Award by the American Chemical Society, and in 1986, he was given its highest award, the Priestley Medal. He has published a four volume set of books on CoQ-10. Topics of future research include lupus, AIDS, diabetes, periodontal disease, candida, Parkinson's, ALS and muscular dystrophy. (top)

Coriander Seed (Coriandrum sativum) Carminative, eases intestinal griping and diarrhea, especially in children. Appetite stimulant, increases secretion of digestive juices.

Corn Silk (Zea mays) Soothing diuretic, for renal and urinary irritation; used for bedwetting, cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis. (top)

Couch Grass (Agropyron repens) Demulcent; anti-microbial; antilithic; for cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis, kidney stones and gravel.

Cow Parsnip Root (Heracleum lanatum) Anti-nauseant; stimulant; hypotensive; emmenagogue; anti-spasmodic; carminative. Analgesic for sore teeth and gums. (top)

Cramp Bark (Viburnum opulus) Relaxes muscle tension and spasms, ovarian pain and uterine cramps. Used to prevent threatened miscarriage.

Cranberries (Vaccinium oxycoccus) are rich in minerals, including iodine, C, A, B vitamins and organic acids, especially Quinic acid, the precursor to hippuric acid. Hippuric acid increases the acidity of the urine and decreases the alkali, urea and uric acid levels, yet it does not cause acidosis. By lowering the pH, cranberry creates a less favorable environment for bacteria, appearing to prevent bacteria from attaching to the lining of the bladder and the urethra. Cranberries have been used medically for the treatment and prevention of urinary tract infections, such as bladder and kidney inflammation, painful urination and kidney stones. (top)

Creatine Monohydrate supplements can create more ATP, the molecule that releases the energy for all of our movement, without needing carbohydrates, fats, or oxygen to recharge the ATP. This makes it a source of super fast energy because it does not need to undergo a complicated process to produce energy. It can also lead to the absorption of hydrogen ions released into muscles from lactic acid, which cuts-back the "burn" and reduces exercise fatigue. (top)

Cysteine (NAC), or N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine, is an amino acid that acts as an antioxidant and is a component of glutathione, a critical antioxidant. NAC is a more stable form of the amino acid cysteine (which is very unstable and oxidizes readily). Along with glycine and glutamic acid, NAC makes the tripeptide glutathione. Research shows that supplementing with cysteine is dramatically more cost-effective at increasing levels of glutathione than is taking glutathione itself! Additional important points about NAC include:

  • Safe; no known toxicity.
  • Less prone to auto-oxidation than cysteine and more biologically active.
  • Antioxidant that quenches free radicals and would slow down the aging processes due to free radical production.
  • Anti-mucous in the lungs.
  • Used to treat excess doses of acetaminophen.
  • Replenishes glutathione depleted by AIDS virus.
  • Various beneficial effects in AIDS, including reducing the number of opportunistic infections.
  • Has shown anti-HIV activity in vitro.
  • Cell-protective effect when dapsone (which is cytotoxic) is used to treat Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) in AIDS.