By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s a therapy that can be an all natural way to boost energy, zap migraines, relieve stress, improve sleep and that’s not all.
It was first known as the hangover cure now intravenous or IV vitamin therapy is treating more serious conditions like Crohn’s disease.
Michael DiDomenico has struggled with Crohn’s disease for years.
“This helped to keep me out of the hospital,” said DiDomenico.
For 46-year-old Grace Brown, IV vitamin therapy has made her workouts better and has relieved her stress from work.
“It gave me increased energy and I slept better and just overall had a better sense of well-being, really,” say Brown.
Brown, who is a Philadelphia medical representative says she was surprised at how quickly she started feeling better after regular sessions at Restore IV in East Falls where micro-nutrients are now being used along with liquid vitamins.
Jason Hartman, an osteopathic medicine physician at Restore IV, says they use different combinations of medications, vitamins and minerals that are customized to each patient who is first given a general health screening.
“These are water-soluble vitamins so they are still excreted through the kidney but they are getting directly absorbed into the bloodstream,” explains Dr. Hartman. “You don’t have to go through the process of absorption through the gut to get there.”
Dr. Hartman says the intravenous therapy includes B vitamins to help the nervous system and brain.
There is also vitamin C which is an antioxidant that can boost the immune system.
Magnesium which is for muscle relaxation and recovery is also part of the IV vitamin therapy.
But what about critics who say there is no scientific proof this works or that IV vitamins are even safe?
“One is, we don’t know how 50 percent of our pharmaceutical medications work,” says Dr. Hartman. “But there is a lot of evidence that vitamins play a significant role in physiology.”
DiDomenico receives the 15 minute IV vitamin therapy once a week and he says it’s helping with side effects from Crohn’s disease.
“I started working out again which I probably haven’t done in like five years,” he said. “There is definitely an increase in energy and just general well-being.”
The IV vitamin therapy costs between $130 a session up to $199 and it’s not usually covered by insurance.