What You Didn’t Know About Over-the-Counter Supplements

Winter’s cold-weather leaves us sniffling, sneezing, nutrient-deprived and a bit blue, so heading for the supplement aisle in search of the perfect vitamin, supplement or medicine is a fairly common approach. One of the biggest mistakes made during the cold-weather season is running to the nearest drug store without doing your research first!

Each year, Americans spend billions of dollars on non-prescription medications to treat everything from headaches to indigestion. These drugs may deliver immediate relief, but sometimes are created with ingredients that can do more harm than good to your body.

Before running out to the drugstore or reaching into your medicine cabinet, make sure you’re providing your body with the healthiest supplements possible. Here are some facts about over-the-counter medications you should keep in mind to ward off that winter illness for good:

1. Speedy recovery isn’t always the healthiest – Over-the-counter supplements can be a great asset for on-coming illness – they’re a convenient, easy to obtain solution that will make you feel better instantaneously. However, masking the pain is only doing just that – and sometimes, over-the-counters use ingredients that aren’t even healthy for our bodies! Read labels, understand the nutrients you specifically need and look for the right supplement that way. It will pay off in the end.

2. Not all supplements are formulated equal – When searching the supplement aisle, look for formulas that have clinically-researched vitamins and ingredients, and always read warning or side-effect labels. Sticking to food-based, natural products is always best – that way, you know that you’re only providing your body with healthy ingredients and there are often side benefits instead of side effects. Some of the conventional products may cause potentially troubling side effects. For example, some antihistamines can make you drowsy, and some decongestants can increase blood pressure, which make them a poor choice for those with heart disease or high blood pressure.

3. Taking a whole body approach is always best – I recommend formulas that are designed to address the body as a whole, rather than simply masking symptoms. Some go-to ingredients I recommend for battling common winter symptoms and boosting immunity are: vitamins A, B-12, C, D, E, zinc and other immunity boosting nutrients like ginger, andrographis, xanthium, berberine and elderberry. Spirulina is another power-packed ingredient I’d recommend, which we add into most Rainbow Light products.

4. Multivitamins deserve more credit – Although winter illnesses can sometimes be inevitable, the best way to keep your immunity boosted year-round is to make a conscious effort to take a multivitamin once per day. A good multivitamin delivers a power-packed blend of vitamins, minerals and other ingredients needed to keep your body strong and able to ward off illness. I recommend sticking to natural, food-based multivitamins to ensure you’re ingesting only the best ingredients. I also recommend taking multivitamins that are specific to your health and growth – Rainbow Light creates specific vitamins for men, women and children/teens. That way, your body is getting the correct balance of nutrients to best support your optimal wellness.

5. Supplement Fact labels are just as important as Nutrition Labels – When comparing supplements, think of their “supplement facts” labels like you would a nutrition label at the grocery store. The right combination of essential nutrients, time-honored botanicals, superfoods and digestive ingredients like enzymes and probiotics will give you the most effective, healthy support without adding potentially toxic or harmful ingredients into your body.


With over 30 years of experience in the health space and as a licensed herbalist at Rainbow Light, Dr. Hobbs has immense experience in the specialties of vitamins, holistic health medicine, natural products, organic, wellness and diet/weight loss and has worked closely with clients to help them achieve optimal health. Following a “whole, simple and nutritious” diet approach, Dr. Hobbs actively motivates clients to participate in personally designed health plans while educating clients on the immense benefits of a clean diet outlook. Hobbs has authored 25 books, including Herbal Remedies for Dummies and Women’s Herbs, Women’s Health. He shares his knowledge of herbal medicine with consumers and educators all over the world through lectures, and utilized his expertise in this field to found the Institute for Natural Products Research. He also serves as a consultant to the herb industry.