There are thousands of herbal dietary supplements in the market today, all derived from natural sources, labeled as “natural” or “herbal”. However, despite such labeling, many people question the safety and effectiveness of herbal dietary supplements. One thing to remember is that such labeling does not necessarily mean that the herbal dietary supplement is totally safe and effective. Like some pharmaceuticals, they must also be used with caution.
Most herbal dietary supplements contain certain contents that may prove harmful under some conditions. They can have real potency and pharmacological effects that can lead to harmful reactions in people. Plus, many herbal dietary supplements are responsible for causing interactions with over-the-counter prescriptions and medications.
Another important consideration is that there is only limited regulation when it comes to herbal dietary supplements. Since the Food and Drug Administration passed an act for dietary supplements, it generally limited the FDA’s control over health products that are labeled as a dietary supplement. The act then says that the manufacturers don’t have to provide proofs on the safety and effectiveness of a certain product before they sell it. Herbal dietary supplements are not subject to the same principles applied to prescription drugs or even over the counter health food.
Because there is no guarantee for its safety and efficiency, one of the best moves to take is to consult a doctor before planning to consume any herbal dietary supplement. It is necessary because only few controlled clinical trials and studies have been done on them. However, often times the name of the supplement is not really enough. The ingredients included in the supplement must also be presented for evaluation and test to decide whether the product is safe and right for you.