If you are a fan of Grey’s Anatomy, you may remember the time Meredith Grey had a bad hangover and tried to insert a “banana bag” into her vein to help with her hangover. The popular term “banana bag” refers to intravenous nutrient therapy (also referred to as modified Myers’ cocktail)).
IV nutrient therapy was first used by Dr. John Myers, who used a cocktail combination of different nutrients to treat a variety of symptoms.
After his death in the 80s, Dr. Alan Gaby made a modified concoction to treat Dr. Myer’s former patients and his own. Since then, IV nutrient therapy has been widely used by alternative and traditional medicine providers for a wide range of problems.
A modified Myers’ cocktail consists of the following nutrients1:
- 2-5 mL of Magnesium
- 1-3 mL of Calcium
- 1 mL of Vitamin B12
- 1 mL of Vitamin B6
- 1 mL of Vitamin B5
- 1 mL of Vitamin B complex
- 4-20 mL of Vitamin C
So, how and why does IV nutrient therapy work? First of all, an intravenous administration (administering through your veins) is critical because it is a much more effective administration method compared to taking the same amount of nutrients orally or injecting them into the muscle. While taking magnesium orally may not increase the concentration of magnesium in your serum (protein-rich liquid in blood), IV administration can double or triple the concentration.2
Magnesium has been implicated in treating and preventing pain through blocking NMDA receptors.3
It also relaxes smooth muscles in the lungs and vessels. In addition, a high concentration of Vitamin C has been shown to have antihistamine and antiviral effects.4, 5
Here are a few conditions that have been successfully treated or managed with IV nutrient therapy.
- Asthma: Even as little as single injections have shown to calm down acute asthma attacks often within minutes. Weekly or biweekly IV injections are recommended for maintenance. Clinical studies of IV magnesium on acute asthma attacks has been shown to be an effective treatment.6
- Migraine: IV nutrient injections can result in migraine relief or improvement in minutes. Magnesium seems to be also the beneficial nutrient in migraines as clinical trials have shown significant reduction of pain or complete relief.7
- Fatigue: Unexpected fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome patients may benefit from IV nutrient injections. Results in increased energy can last a few days up to months. Magnesium and Vitamin B12 has been implicated in relieving fatigue.1
- Fibromyalgia: A few clinical studies have shown the benefits of relieving pain for fibromyalgia patients through IV nutrient therapy. Patients noticed increased energy 24-48 hours after and a significant reduction in pain levels.8 Fibromyalgia patients who has not responded to conventional methods may especially benefit from the therapy. IV nutrient therapy is primarily recommended as a symptom and pain management method as it does not provide complete resolution.
- Hyperthyroidism: Injections of magnesium, B6, and B12 has been indicated to counteract hyperthyroidism symptoms, and reduce the size of the thyroid gland.1 However, IV nutrient therapy does not reduce thyroid hormone levels and should not be used alone without medical treatment for hyperthyroidism.
Other conditions that IV nutrient therapy may be helpful in managing symptoms include depression, cardiovascular disease, upper respiratory tract infections, seasonal allergic rhinitis, narcotic withdrawal, and chronic urticaria. Anecdotal evidence for improvement from chronic torticolitis, tension headaches, acute dysmenorrhea, and acute muscle spasms also exist. It is critical to note that IV nutrient therapy’s role focuses on relieving and managing symptoms, not curing them.
They should also be only administered within the guidance and consistent monitoring of a knowledgeable and experienced physician.
Phoenix Men’s Health Center has been safely administering IV nutrient therapy to patients for years. If you are interested in receiving IV nutrient therapy for your condition, or wish to speak to a physician about it, please call us at 602-908-5422 or click here to make an appointment.
- Gaby, Alan R. Intravenous Nutrient Therapy: the” Myers’ Cocktail.”Alternative Medicine Review. 2002; 389-403.
- Okayama, H., Aikawa, T., Okayama, M, et al. Bronchodilator effect of intravenous magnesium sulfate in bronchial asthma. Journal of American Medical Association. 1978; 257: 1076-1078
- Feria M, Abad F, Sanchez A, Abreu P. Magnesium sulphate injected subcutaneously suppresses autonomy in peripherally deafferented rats. Pain 1993; 53: 287–93
- Harakeh, S., Jariwalla, R., Pauling, L. Suppression of human immunodeficiency virus replication by ascorbate in chronically and acutely infected cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 1990. 87: 7245-7249
- Uchida, K., Mitsubishi, M., Kawakishi, S. Monooxygenation of N-acetylhistamine medicated by L-ascorbate. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1989. 991: 377-379
- Skobeloff E., Spivey, W., McNamara, R., Greenspon, L. Intravenous magnesium sulfate for the treatment of acute asthma in the emergency department. Journal of American Medical Association. 1989. 262: 1210-1213
- Mauskop, A., Althea, B., Cracco, R., Althea, B. Intravenous magnesium sulphate relieves migraine attacks in patients with low serum ionized magnesium levels: a pilot study. Clinical Science. 1995. 89:633-636
- Massey, P. Reduction of fibromyalgia symptoms through intravenous nutrient therapy: results of a pilot clinical trial. Alternative Therapies. 2007. 13(3): 32-34