Are Herbal Products Safe?
The use of herbs and herbal products is very well-known and has been widely accepted since the ancient times until these days. In fact, there are certain reports stating that the sales of herbal products in the United States alone have elevated sharply in the recent years, so is the herbal healing industry. Approximately billion was then spent just in health food stores and in 1996 for herbs, including tablets, capsules, herbal extracts, and herbal teas.
With that notable acceptance of herbal products, many people even practice self medication with some herbal formulations for some therapeutic purposes. And according to the recent report, only 85 percent of the total populations had a regular doctor. This is probably for the fact that many people thought that herbal products are innately safe and effective due to its being “natural” or “herbal”.
It is important to know that such notion is not at all times true. In fact, herbs contain hundreds of components and greatly some of those can cause some complications directly, while others can interact badly with the over-the-counter prescriptions and medications. So are herbal products totally safe?
Herbal products are just form of dietary supplements or medicines that are not governed under the federal drug laws. In fact, the United States even lacks a regulatory system for herbal products that are now widely marketed as dietary supplements or foods. Another support for this is the fact that the safety and effectiveness of herbal products do not have to be shown prior to the marketing of these herbal products. And greatly no lawful principles have been applied to the harvesting, processing, and packaging of the herbal products. With this information, it is no wonder then that there are some great possibilities of poor quality, adulteration, and contamination. So it is important then to place varying efforts when evaluating them.
It is also considerable that herbal products are now made available in many forms and dosages, and notably some of the standardized products are now starting to appear. Speaking of such kind of preparation, it is interesting to know that an herbal extract, for instance, is considered standardized when a certain insured level of a particular constituent or a group of constituents from the herb itself is greatly evident in the final product. Many experts have noted that such level is typically shown as a percentage of the weight of the extract, in particular.
Since there is a great doubt for the safety and effectiveness of the herbal products, perhaps one of the great moves to take is really to consult with a doctor regarding the matter for some careful analysis and guidance. This is in fact the key for a much better medication and results.