Since herbal supplements became very popular, the number of herbal health stores gradually increased. These shops sell products that claim to be excellent skin conditioners, beauty improvement products, culinary ingredients, fitness supplements, weight loss solutions and health remedies.
However, consumers should understand that not all claims are truthful especially with regards to curative capability. While it is true that most herbs are natural products and free from chemical contents, the ability to cure diseases has never been proven.
You will need to get expert medical advice before buying herbal products that are being hyped as containing medicinal value. For the meantime, fresh and dried herbs can be used solely to enhance the taste of your meals or as components of household solutions.
The FDA and Herbal Products
The Food and Drug Administration or FDA classifies herbal products only as dietary supplements. They are not subject to the same benchmarks as prescription and non-prescription medication manufactured by pharmaceutical firms. In other words, these herbal companies are not required to provide evidence for the value and safety of herbal products that they distribute in the market. Producers of herbal products are only mandated to provide truthful information regarding the quantity, contents, directions in using and the manufacturer’s profile. The FDA also demands a listing of serving size; ingredients that have something to do with dietary and non-dietary aspects; scientific description and terminology of the plant; and, serving size.
This regulatory agency prescribed a special category to control herbal supplements. Dietary supplements have their own set of guidelines. Incidentally, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act refer to a dietary supplement as a product that is consumed orally, tablet, capsule or liquid form. The purpose is to support the diet and contains a label stating needed facts on the front part of its container.
Effects of Herbal Supplements
Herbal health stores sell supplements but before you even think of making purchases, it is advisable to consult a physician because of possible harmful side effects to adult’s especially pregnant mothers. Active ingredients of botanicals may be detrimental to the health of unborn babies.
As responsible consumers, you must know that even if products have been categorized as natural, it does not imply that these are already safe and nourishing for adults and children. You need to do considerable research on such products, their benefits and downsides. Take note of warnings issued by medical professionals and contraindications that can happen if the herbs are taken for an extended period. Consuming herbal products in huge amounts may lead to negative effects.
Drug interactions may also come about if an herb is ingested. Combining herbal products with another prescription drug may be dangerous since this can get in the way with the activity of the herb or drug and produce a decrease of the drug.