Friday, December 9, 2011

Herbal Supplements : What To Know Before You Buy

Herbal Supplements

Herbal Supplements : What To Know Before You Buy
Herbal supplements aren’t right for everyone. Get the facts before you buy. Echinacea to prevent cold. Ginkgo to improve memory. Flaxseed to lower cholesterol. The list of herbal remedies goes on and on. Herbal supplements, sometimes called botanicals, aren’t new. Plants have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. However, herbal supplements haven’t been subjected to the same scientific scrutiny and aren’t as strictly regulated as medications. For example makers of herbal supplements don’t have to get approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before putting their products on the market.
Yet some herbal supplements – including products labeled as “natural” – have drug like effect that can be dangerous. So it’s important to do your homework and investigate potential benefits and side effects of herbal supplements before you buy. And be sure to talk with your doctor, especially if you take medications, have chronic health problems, or are pregnant  or breast-feeding. 
·         Are herbal supplements safe?
Herbal supplements are regulated by the FDA, but not as drugs or as foods. They fall under a category called dietary supplements.
·         How do you know what’s in an herbal supplement?
The FDA requires that the following information be included on the labels of all herbal supplements:
-          The name of the herbal supplement
-          The name and address of manufacturer or distributor
-          A complete list of ingredients – either in the Supplements Facts panel or listed beneath it
-          Dosage size, amount and active ingredient
If you don’t understand something on an herbal supplement’s label, ask your doctor of pharmacist for an explanation.
SOURCE : Nature and Health



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