What to Know About Herbal Supplements

Nearly 60 million Americans take herbal supplements for health reasons. While many herbal products have a long history of treating a wide range of conditions, there are relatively few well-designed, controlled trials that back up their claims with scientific proof. Moreover, herbal supplements intended to maintain health but not treat disease are not considered to be drugs by the FDA, which means that botanicals are only loosely regulated and not subjected to the rigorous testing that traditional medications must undergo. While some people may perceive herbal supplements as being “natural” and inherently less harmful than “chemicals,” some supplements contain biologically active compounds that can cause serious adverse effects on their own or when mixed with other drugs.

Herbal supplements are not right for everyone. Because many supplements contain active ingredients that have strong effects in the body, these products can pose unexpected risks. If you don’t understand something on an herbal supplement label, ask your doctor or Med-Fast pharmacist for an explanation. At Med-Fast Pharmacy we are up-to-date on the latest available products and would be pleased to discuss the options with you. Check out our Mason Vitamin line, with monthly sales and great prices!

HINT: Potency may vary greatly among the many forms of herbal products depending on whether they are tablets, capsules, liquid or solid extracts, powders, fresh or dried, tinctures, lotions or gels.