You may have read about all the benefits of certain herbs—many herbal supplements may tout certain benefits to your health. But it’s important to remember that herbal supplements are not regulated like medications are here in the United States, which means you may not be getting what you think you’re getting.
Unlike medications, which are monitored and regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), herbal supplements offered at the local drug store or supermarket are not regulated by any government agency. In fact, you never know what you’re really paying for. Some companies use herbs grown in environmentally toxic areas, or they may package their products with dirt and weeds. Some are grown with pesticides and so instead of helping you, they could be hurting you.
Also, when it comes to herbs, you need to realize that you still need to be careful how much you take. Just because herbs are natural doesn’t mean you can’t overdose on them or that they can’t react to other medications that you are taking on a regular basis. Herbs still cause chemical changes in your body. If you’re taking any other prescription medications, it is important that you tell your doctor everything you are taking, even if it is just an herbal supplement—your health and well-being could be at stake!
When you’re taking herbal supplements, remember these few things: buy from reputable herbal supplement companies, don’t take a bunch of different herb supplements together, and share with your primary doctor the herbal supplements you are taking to ensure there are no medical interactions that could be negative to your health. These tips will help you get the maximum impact from the herbs you’re taking and will help keep you safe.