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Сurrent consumer trends show that herbal products are gaining popularity in pharmacies, which is why herbal medicine is becoming more popular. Herbal products are safe and effective, but special care should be taken when using them since they possess side effects like any other pharmacological product. These are the points you should consider before investing your money in herbal products:
Herbal products should be regulated:
There are two types of herbal products found on the market: botanicals and dietary supplements. Ensure that FDA approves them. Botanical products, like drugs, are subject to FDA regulation. After they get this approval, their manufacturers must follow specific rules when making these products; otherwise, they would be considered adulterated or misbranded. These products should contain the ingredients listed on their labels and should not contain harmful residues like pesticides. Dietary supplements don’t require FDA approval before marketing them in the US since they are only for nutrition. They may be rich in vitamins or minerals, which can help you improve your health condition, and be full of caffeine and other stimulants that may lead to unpleasant side effects if taken without a doctor’s permission.
About 10-15 percent of herbal products are adulterated with heavy metals or prescription medications,” For each medicinal herb, there is an entry in the Poisonous Plant Database that provides essential information about its harmful effects. It would help if you looked for them before using any herbal product since they provide the necessary information for proper use.
Natural or herbal doesn’t always mean safe:
Most physicians see this trend as a sign of our decline in reverence for science and medicine, but these products did not gain popularity anywhere. They have a long history behind them, although some of their ingredients were recently discovered. Of course, natural ingredients are supposed to be safe for human use, but some are dangerous if they are not used properly. Some herbal products contain steroids, hormones, or even pharmaceuticals that can cause serious problems when misused.
“Herbal supplements are usually considered safe, but their safety has not been established in properly designed studies with long follow-up,” says David G. Bailey, an epidemiologist at Stanford University School of Medicine, who led a study on the dangers of taking dietary supplements. “The best approach is to assume that there could be adverse effects, particularly since many of these compounds have pharmacological actions.”
Shall we avoid herbal products:
- Herbal products can have risks because many supplements contain active ingredients that have substantial effects on the body. For example, some herbal products can interfere with prescription medicines or reduce their effectiveness. If you are taking any medication, it is better to ask your doctor before taking any herbal product if these products could interact with the drug.
- Herbal supplements should be kept away from children since they can pose a risk for them as well. Many supplements contain ingredients that are not appropriate for children’s use, and some of them even have effects on hormonal balance, which is very dangerous for young boys and girls.
- Herbal products are not suitable for allergic people to the main ingredients used in these products since they might cause unpleasant symptoms or even pose serious health risks if taken accidentally. Some people find about allergies only after using an herbal product.
- Pregnant women are not recommended for using herbal products since their safety hasn’t been established. You should be especially careful with these women because some herbs might cause bleeding or contractions, which is very dangerous for the baby.
- “Before taking any herbal supplement, you need to read labels carefully and talk to your doctor about any health conditions you have.”
- If you plan to stop using a particular herb, do it gradually instead of immediately stopping its use. Sometimes people stop taking an herb too fast without reducing its doses at first. It means that there would be no gradual decrease in the concentration of this ingredient so that withdrawal symptoms can appear, which can be very unpleasant.
- Some side effects may follow when stopping the use of an herbal product, but they are usually mild, so don’t be too worried about them. For example, you may experience nausea or vomiting, headaches, diarrhea, and so on.
This is why it would be better to talk about your expectations with your doctor before starting on any herbal supplements.
Do not self-medicate:
Never! Self-medicating is dangerous since it can lead to severe complications which you may need medical help for their treatment. Herbal products are capable of causing side effects, so avoid using them unless it has been prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist who knows about your medical history.
What are essential things to keep in mind before buying herbal products?
- Name of the ingredients:
Sometimes herbal products contain more than one ingredient, so make sure to check the label. Ingredients are listed in descending order from the highest concentration to the lowest level, which means that the first ingredient has the highest concentration, and you should avoid using supplements with high doses of medications and synthetic chemicals. Be careful if a product contains ingredients that you usually take as prescription drugs too. Some people don’t realize that they may experience some side effects because of accepting herbal products together with these medicines, so it would be better to consult your doctor about this issue.
- Dosing instructions:
Herbal products come as tablets, capsules, powders, or liquids, so pay attention to dosing instructions on labels too. You can inform how much of this product you should take to avoid overdosing and side effects.
- Safety instructions:
Be sure that you need a herbal product before taking it because not all supplements are suitable for everyone. This way, you will ensure that your health wouldn’t be endangered by using an herbal supplement. To stay safe, follow safety instructions on labels carefully. Also, look for warnings about specific interactions with other medications, which is very important if you use prescription drugs. Some products may interfere with prescription medicines, so read labels carefully!
How to know if the herbal supplements are effective?
- Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or some other health care provider about their effectiveness. You can’t be 100% sure that these supplements are efficient because they haven’t been scientifically proved yet.
- Be careful with testimonials about the effectiveness of herbal products because some people may claim that something is safe and efficient when it has a good reputation only because of the placebo effect.
- It would help if you remembered what scientists discovered before you start trusting word-of-mouth recommendations from your friends about the efficacy of certain herbal products too.
- Check the website of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and look for safety concerns. Be sure that the herbal product you’re looking for is FDA-approved. It would also be nice if some scientific studies proved that this supplement works as expected by manufacturers.
How to keep track of effectiveness?
- Here comes the question of whether it makes sense at all to spend money on ineffective supplements or not? Well, it depends on each person’s choice, but if you want to make sure that this herbal supplement has positive results, check the ingredients list first and make sure that these compounds would positively affect your health, according to medical science.
- Some people prefer avoiding herbal products, but many others don’t mind spending money on supplements to make themselves feel better and healthier by improving their metabolism, digestion system and protecting themselves from infections. I can go on like this for hours about the benefits of taking herbal products.
- It is always better to be safe than sorry, so if you’re looking for a natural way to treat your health problems, it would be nice if you try one or two supplements before making up your mind that all herbal remedies aren’t efficient at all! That’s why it is very important to pay attention to the ingredients list, dose instructions, check safety warnings, and the FDA’s website not to be tricked into buying ineffective products.
- It would help if you also remembered that the effectiveness of herbal products heavily depends on your organism, so it would be better to discuss with your doctor the possible risks and benefits of taking specific herbal supplements. He would advise you on what herbal remedies are safe for you or not, depending on your health condition.
- So these were some tips on how to make sure that you’re buying an effective supplement!
- You should pay attention to organic ingredients to maintain or improve your overall health without any side effects. Suppose this product contains 100% natural ingredients. In that case, it is healthy, but if there are chemicals in the composition, it could cause allergies, problems with the digestion system, and other side effects which may affect your health rather than improving it!
What are the best herbs to look for in herbal supplements?
Many great herbs can help you improve your health, but it would be good to focus on the most popular ones.
Turmeric is a powerful herb that can help eliminate osteoarthritis, neurological problems caused by neurodegenerative diseases, and it’s also very efficient against obesity because it stimulates metabolism!
Ginger: ginger can be used as a natural remedy for nausea, diarrhea, and menstrual cramps. It may even lower blood sugar levels if you have diabetes!
Garlic: Garlic has antioxidant properties, which make this compound a great solution against cardiovascular diseases. In case you have a high cholesterol level or hypertension, garlic would help to improve your overall health within a few weeks! And yes, garlic may cause bad breath, so don’t overeat it 😉
Milk Thistle: This herb helps to treat liver disease because it prevents the deterioration of liver cells! It can also improve your overall health if you suffer from allergies or other inflammatory conditions.
Kava: This herb is used to treat anxiety. It works by blocking the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain because many people who have anxiety disorders have lower levels of GABA.
Maca: maca may help with sexual problems, depression, fatigue, stress. It can even improve your mood! The best thing about maca is that it doesn’t cause any side effects, typical for antidepressant drugs.
Ashwagandha: This herb stimulates the immunity system, so it’s great when you’re recovering from a cold or flu. Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory benefits because it protects against free radicals, which are known to cause cancer.
Chamomile: Chamomile is a great herb that can be used as a natural remedy for anxiety, stress, irritable bowel syndrome, and digestive problems because it stimulates the digestion process!
I already told you about how some herbal supplements may affect your health in the article above, so I strongly recommend reading this one carefully if you want to treat any condition.
All herbs mentioned in this article are efficient in improving your health, but scientific treatments like homeopathy work similarly.
- Homeopathic treatments are based on the principle of “like cures like,” which means that a substance that triggers the symptoms of a disease in healthy people can be used to cure this same disease! That’s why homeopathic remedies are only available with your doctor’s prescription because they’re not considered as herbal supplements, and they may cause side effects even if it contains natural ingredients.
- Homeopathic treatment is excellent for treating chronic diseases. Still, you shouldn’t try any homeopathic remedy without talking to your doctor, especially if you have high blood pressure, heart problems, or other health conditions.
- Homeopathic treatments are safe for every person and age group, but it’s important to follow dosing instructions carefully.
- If you want to learn more about homeopathy, I recommend visiting Healthline; they have a great article about how homeopathy works, which is worth reading.
- Natural ingredients may cause allergies like any other chemical components, but homeopathic treatment does not cause any allergic reactions.
If you want to learn more about homeopathy, you can book an appointment with the homeopathic doctor. You can also read an article about homeopathy on OHO Homeopathy!