Dear Stephen,
Just as you prefer whole herbs to tinctures, I prefer whole foods to supplements. I’d like to follow your Collagenous Tissue Support Protocol but most of what you recommend are supplements. Can you recommend herbs that could be substituted for those of us who want to stick to whole foods and herbs? For example, a friend recently sent me Persimmon Leaf tea, said to be very high in vitamin C. Would that be an acceptable substitute for the vitamin C in your collagen protocol? Or are there other herbs that I could make infusions of for the vitamin / mineral supplementation you recommend, like Stinging Nettles? Many thanks!

Stephen’s response:
Probably the best substitute for vitamin C is pine needle tea. There are a lot of herbs high in vitamin C but the isolated product will work better for a lot of reasons, primarily because you suffer from a specific long term condition such as lyme. It is the best way to increase levels quickly.

That said, nettles are perhaps the best thing to take if you want a plant for this kind of support. Wild oats will also help in a number of areas. A strong infusion of nettle, steeped overnight in hot water, at least a quart of water to 2 ounces herb, and consumed the next day is probably the best way to approach this.

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