Herbal supplements? Wow! They can boost your immune system, slow down the ageing process, and give you a glowing beautiful skin. And since they are herbal, they are natural and absolutely safe for consumption.
That’s what majority of you think about the herbal supplements. Right?
But is there anything you don’t know about these supplements? Is there anything which the promoters of herbal supplements hide from you?
Let us first know what is herbal supplement?
A herbal supplement is a product derived from plants and used for the treatment of various illnesses like cold, flu, skin problems etc. They can be taken in the form of a pill, ingested as a herbal tea, or applied in gel forms to the skin.
Though herbal supplements are derived from natural plants and plants have been used for treating diseases since ages, but they are neither subjected to the same degree of herbal research nor regulated as medicinal drugs.
Some shocking facts about herbal supplements
Herbal supplements look exactly the same as prescribed or over-the-counter medicines, but their regulation is not the same. Here are the few facts that make one ponder over the safety of these supplements:
- Manufacturers and distributors of herbal supplements are required to follow good manufacturing practices to ensure that these products meet quality standards but are not approved by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) before coming in the market.
- FDA can intervene and monitor their safety only after the supplements are in the market and when any consumer reports an adverse event after consumption.
- Law doesn’t require manufactures to seek approval from FDA about the claims done about the supplements.
- Label approval is not required for importing or distributing these supplements.
Therefore, in the absence of strict regulations regarding herbal supplements, it is difficult to guarantee their safety for everyone.
Moreover, natural doesn’t mean safe! These supplements are strong enough to have effects on one’s mood, cholesterol levels etc. This means that they can also have other effects on the body, sometimes even adverse. Plus, if you are taking other medications, these supplements can interact with them making them ineffective or posing a risk to your health.
So, does that mean you shouldn’t take any herbal supplement?
No! But take the following precautions before buying any herbal supplement:
- Consult with your doctor – before taking any herbal supplement, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, younger than 18 or older than 65 years or suffering from any chronic illness.
- Educate yourself – about the herbs before you take them. And the best source for this education is your doctor. Discuss with him about any interactions with medications you’re taking, their effect on the liver, kidneys, and other body organs. Do not rely on internet, as there is plethora of misguidance.
- Choose a brand that has independent quality control testing – Check the product for USP, NSF, and Consumer Lab labels. In this way, you can be assured that the product has gone through rigorous testing and meets the desired safety and quality standards.
- Check alerts and advisories – Check the websites of FDA and the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). They have a list of herbal supplements that have been proved to cause serious adverse effects.
So, herbal supplements match the prescription drugs; not only in their appearance but also in the powerful effects on the body. Always use them with caution! Don’t get carried away by the label “Natural”. That’s why Cognibrain utilizes this technique via its proficient herbal research scientists to offer first-rate and professional herbal research services in hi-tech herbal testing laboratory.