The Dangers of Herbal Supplements

Many plants have curative properties so it's no wonder that herbal medicines have been used for hundreds of years. Before today, plant parts would be gathered and ground in a poultice to be administered to a person with an ailment. Now you can get herbal extracts in the form of syrups and capsules. There doesn't seem to be any harm in modernizing ancient natural medicine-but can we become sure that is entirely safe? The answer is that no, herbal supplements cannot be guaranteed to be safe for everybody. 

There are herbal products that will prove to be too strong for some people, while there are some that can trigger severe allergies. These are just some of the risks that we face when we take herbal supplements, because they aren't as tightly regulated as normal medicine and moreover, herbal supplements do not have to pass Food and Drug Administration standards in order to be released to the market. People don't need prescriptions for them, so it's very easy to get your hand on practically any herbal supplement that you want.

Herbal supplements fall under a category called dietary supplements. As such, the manufacturers are allowed to claim benefits from taking their products as long as it is backed by research and they place a tag on their products that the claims are not verified by the FDA. They are safe in the sense that the FDA is mandated to monitor the products' safety while on the market, but bar any serious complaints, they will continue to be sold in the market. In order to be sure about the safety of taking a product, talk to your doctor first before taking any herbal remedy. You may need to disclose lifestyle habits as well as existing medications that you are taking since some chemical interaction with herbal formulations may have dangerous health consequences.

All herbals must contain product information that includes a list of all the ingredients used for it. The best thing to do is to go through this list and take note especially of the active ingredients. If there is something that you do not know, ask your pharmacist or do some research on the ingredient before making your purchase. On the label you will also find the benefit claims for the particular herbal supplement. While the manufacturers must back their claims with research, the FDA does not require them to submit evidence of the research. So it is best to be a wise consumer and do your own investigative work on any herbal supplement that you intend on taking, as some unscrupulous suppliers may be exaggerating their claims or covering up risks for better marketing. It is always better to err on the side of caution. 

There are certain instances when people are advised against taking herbal remedies altogether or when they must absolutely seek the advice of their doctor before taking them. These are for people who are under prescription medication (and even some OTC medicines), women who are pregnant or currently breast feeding, people who are about to have surgery (some supplements may reduce the effectiveness of anesthesia) and for younger (than 18) or older (than 65) people.

If you do decide to take herbal supplements you should do so with care. First of all, you should follow the manufacturer's instructions and resist the urge to overdose. You should also check the expiration date to make sure that you are not taking expired medication. Also, it is better not to take herbal supplements that are made outside of the US, for safety reasons. Moreover, best to stick with proven and tested products with no history of serious complaints and avoid products that are still in their experimental phase.

by Allison Miller


  1. The best results will come to you, if you combine thyroid herbs supplements with a well-balanced diet that is nutritionally optimal and low in fat. Your body should be well hydrated, too, because water is among the best metabolism boosters. Shoot for drinking at least eight glasses a day.

  2. Your post is really informational.

    Thanks for posting your insights and experiences.
    Anybody looking for Anti Aging Herbal Treatment.


Free Blogger Templates by Isnaini Dot Com. Powered by Blogger and Supported by Ralepi.Com - Suzuki Motorcycle