Have you ever noticed how your neighborhood drugstore has many sections dedicated to vitamins and herbal supplements? According to studies, more than half of Americans consume nutritional supplements of some kind. You would not be the only person to ponder what these herbal or natural products are and whether they are secure or efficient. Moreover, you could be uncertain of the best person to contact for information.
What Exactly Are Natural or Herbal Products?
Products marketed as “natural” or “herbal” often contain extracts from plants or food, such as leaves, stems, bark, or flowers, which are said to have medicinal properties. It’s crucial to keep in mind that “natural” does not always equate to “safe.”
There is no assurance of the safety or efficacy of herbal supplements or vitamins because they are not subject to FDA regulation. Nonetheless, these items have the same potential adverse effects, drug-drug interactions, and health-related consequences as prescription pharmaceuticals. In actuality, several herbal remedies link to severe diseases, allergies, hypertension, and even organ damage.
It is crucial that you inform your doctor and pharmacist that you are using any of these medications. We can be your greatest source for information about these products and how much (if any) is suitable for your medical situation because pharmacists have considerable education and experience in medication use.
Factors to Keep in Mind While Using Substitute Products
- Do not use a herbal medicine or dietary supplement for the same condition if you are taking a prescription drug without first consulting your doctor.
- Take the dosage only as directed by the label.
- Choose only items with labels that state:
- Dosage guidance
- A lot or expiration number (avoid products that are over 1 year old)
- Name, place of business, and phone number of the manufacturer.
Discussion on Is Natural is Always Safe
Scientific debates have revolved around the safety of healing plants. While proponents of the “natural are safe” worldview persisted, other authors had already provided evidence as to why this was untrue in the case of phytotherapy.
The majority of contributions in this area focus on herbal-drug interactions. Also, it emphasizes evidence-based toxicity involving the inherent toxicity of plant elements. Yet, the current paper’s definition of “natural” as a process impacted by the plant’s immediate habitat served as the basis for these safety concerns.
Environmental effects and manufacturing processes are important natural factors that affect whether medicinal plants are safe. All authors agree, however, that some well-known medical plant materials do involve dangerous compounds. These categories into phytotoxins, phytosterols, and bioaccumulative toxicants.
The phrase “it’s been used for hundreds/thousands of years, it must be safe” frequently appears in discussions on herbal remedies. This is regrettably not always the case. These adverse events can readily overlook if the herbal elements result in chronic disease or uncommon but substantial negative effects. The investigations serve as a timely reminder that “natural” is not the same as “safe.” And that traditional practitioners can detect substantial toxicity in herbal remedies even after using them for hundreds of years.