Use Herbal Remedies Safely If individuals want to try herbal remedies, there are steps they can take to make sure that they are using them safely. People have used herbs to treat a variety of health conditions for centuries.
Just like traditional medicines, herbal medicines have effects on the body, which could be potentially harmful when used incorrectly.
Herbal medicines and supplements may interact with the OTC or prescription medicines that you are taking in a way that is harmful.
Herbal supplements can interact with common medicines or produce potent effects. Herbal therapies may interact with other medications you might be taking, and may produce side effects that you may not expect.
Taking herbal supplements can make the other medications you are taking work better, or less well, or it may raise your risk for bad side effects.
For example, taking a combination of herbal supplements or using supplements with prescription drugs can have harmful, even life-threatening, results.
Herbal products may present an unexpected risk since many supplements contain active ingredients that exert powerful effects on the body.
The active ingredients in many herbal medicines are not easily known, and there have been reports of contamination.
Herbal supplements typically do not have as much scientific oversight, nor are they as tightly regulated, as medications.
The FDA does not regulate herbal remedies as rigorously as medications, and some herbal remedies do not have much science backing up their use.
Although some people do find herbs useful, their use is generally based on traditional usage, rather than on scientific studies, in many cases.
Herbal remedies are not new: Plants have been used medicinally for thousands of years. A product made of plants that is used exclusively for internal purposes is called an herbal supplement.
Products made from herbs, or plants, and used for the treatment of diseases or to maintain health are called herbal products, botanical products, or plant-based medicines.
Herbal medicine involves medicinal uses of plants for treating diseases and for improving overall health and well-being. Herbal medicine is one of the most commonly used complementary and alternative therapies for those suffering from cancer.
Talk with your healthcare provider about your symptoms and discuss herbs before using.
It is important to inform your health care professional about any herbs or supplements that you take. It is as important to verify that an herb is safe to use as it is to use medication.
Use High-Quality Products When looking for herbal remedies, select brands that use third-party testing to make sure that their facilities and products are of high quality and free of contaminants.
Doctors need to keep an eye out for negative effects and drug interactions associated with herbal remedies, and should ask all patients about their use of these products. Any medicine (herbal or otherwise) should be taken under the care of a competent, trained practitioner.
Herbal medications are seldom tested with high-quality studies, and there is usually no definitive evidence for any beneficial effects.
The labels of homegrown herbs in stores seldom disclose how plants were grown, much less how much time ingredients were exposed to light and heat during storage in plastic containers.
Even novice gardeners can make simple homemade remedies like teas and salves using Brede sens list of nine best medicinal herbs for easy growing.