Herbal Supplements

While the FDA might engage in over-protectiveness at times as far as some consumers are concerned, they are really there to ensure people don’t get poisoned and to limit the damage they can do to themselves. There are lots of herbal remedies out there, for example; many supplements derived from natural sources.

Desperate consumers who have tried everything to overcome pain or lose weight are sometimes too keen to believe claims about these products. They aren’t always good for consumers or there needs to be more education about them before a trusting consumer base is permitted to purchase them.

Trusting Consumers

That’s the problem: shoppers believe that if they can buy a product, it must be safe. They imagine their government is in control of everything, that every vendor is ethical or regulated, and that no one could sell something dangerous online.

That isn’t so, and it’s also the case that herbal remedies are sold by local, private vendors and alternative practitioners. Shoppers have to exercise extreme caution and learn for themselves about potential interactions with pre-existing conditions, medications and supplements they are already taking, and learn how to shop for safe sources of what can also be very useful remedies for assorted health issues. Not every purchase is internet-based and some remedies are sold in mainstream stores.

Shopping Safely

Know your body; the sorts of foods and herbs that you can’t tolerate. For instance, just because something that makes you break out in a rash is touted as a remedy for another condition doesn’t mean it will suddenly be okay to consume. Ginger is still ginger no matter what it’s being used in or for. If spicy things are hard on your stomach when taken as food, they will still disturb your GI tract when consumed as herbal supplements.

Food and drugs must be manufactured to certain safety standards which are published on the labels of products. In other words, they are made and packaged in regulated facilities. A baggie full of green stuff isn’t safe; it could come from anywhere.

Who knows how it was handled or whether the vendor recycled this bag which once held other herbs, peanuts, or detergent? Did he have a cold when processing the supplement and, if so, did he wear a mask? Was his packaging/processing room supplied with a HEPA air filter and was he working with medical-grade tools and containers?

When a firm follows GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices), they are urged to apply for regulated status which proves as much. Although there is a cost involved, it is then legally possible to list this status on bottles of a product. Consumers should be looking for this detail plus a batch number, best-before date, and ingredients.

Research

Check to see if any research is associated with the product you are about to use in the format you want to use it. Often, a plant-based product is supported by anecdotes and tradition but there is no clinical evidence that it does any good.

Science doesn’t prove everything, but you shouldn’t believe everything you hear either. Besides, environmental changes have altered some plants so they aren’t as effective or are tainted by pollutants and pesticides. Harvesting methods might nullify some active components of the plant too.

You might also discover worrying results which suggest that an herb should be consumed with caution or avoided. St. John’s Wort, a depression remedy, is the most common example, which is reportedly responsible for causing problems with other medications. The other worry where herbs are concerned is that individuals will turn to nature but forget to seek advice and medical help when they need it, choosing St. John’s Wort et al. to treat a condition without professional consultation.

Types of Herbal Supplements

Plants, seeds, and roots have been lauded for their effects on every type of disorder whether internal, dermatological, or mental. They are used worldwide to treat depression, anxiety, and pregnancy-related pain.

People take herbs to initiate labor or to hold it off for a time; to reduce menstrual bleeding and PMS. There are herbs for appetite suppression and to increase appetite. If you suffer from breathing problems or a heart murmur, drink a mixture or suck on a leaf and you might feel better.

Most supplements are processed into more palatable forms than nature intended for delivery that is easier to regulate and often doesn’t taste like anything. Swallow a tablet containing ground plant material which would have made you gag had you gotten a whiff of the odor or a hint of its flavor. It’s easier to get the right dosage, too, when herbs are reduced to pills.

Some are delivered as teas such as ginger and peppermint for gastric relief and Echinacea for colds. Antioxidants can be supplied by pills, chewable capsules, or in drinks derived from berries, tree fruits, tea leaves, etc.

One useful way to locate the best brands and types of herbs is to locate reviews online. Read what people have said recently about a tea, tablet, or a homegrown herbal remedy.