Plants and botanicals are important sources of ingredients for some products that are widely used in many parts of the world to maintain health or treat diseases. Those products are known as phytomedicines or more popularly herbal medicines. Among them, some are recommended for internal use only which we call herbal supplements.
There is a notable difference between herbal medicines and many over-the-counter or prescription drugs that also use plant products. Prescription medicines contain only a certain amount of purified ingredients extracted from the plants, and FDA regulates those drugs.
Most herbal supplements contain the whole parts or the entire plants and are not really regulated by the FDA or any other reliable authority. So, make sure you know whatever matters before taking the supplements that may come in different forms, such as pills, powders, tinctures, lotions, gels, creams, or liquids.
Essential Tips to Remember Before Taking Herbal Supplements
Several studies suggest that herbal supplements may leave strong side effects on those who rely on conventional medicines following a routine. Some people resort to self-diagnosis which is not recommended at all, especially if you aren’t sure you have the expertise.
Talking to a doctor should be your first step before choosing a herbal supplement. But there are still some recommendations to follow, should you need to take these supplements as part of your daily healthcare.
Gathering Information to Educate Yourself
You don’t need to be an expert, but you can always take your time to learn about the different herbs that are widely used by supplement manufacturers. Sometimes, finding such information might be difficult and you want to contact a doctor and/ or the manufacturers.
Following the Instructions on the Label
One of the mistakes that many people taking supplements make is showing indifference to understand what the label instructions say. You must take only the prescribed dosage. At the same time, you have to make sure that you really are an ideal candidate to take herbal supplements.
Working with a Healthcare Professional
Keeping in touch with a naturopathic doctor or care professional always pays off, especially when you intend to take supplements on a regular basis.
Keeping the Potential Side Effects in Mind
If you start showing certain symptoms, such as headache, dizziness, nausea, upset stomach, or anything seriously unusual, you should stop taking the dosage and ask your physician for further advice.
Staying Alert for Various Allergic Reactions
If you already are a patient of allergy, you should have the right arrangement to follow in case an emergency situation arrives. Some herbal supplements can cause allergic reactions only to end in you having trouble breathing.
Knowing about the Company
It’s recommended you gather some information about the company providing you these supplements. Not all companies follow the same procedures which means that herbal supplements from one company might be different from another.
But how do you know which manufacturers to trust. Here’s the right way to approach. Try to find answers to these questions yourself:
Is the company committed to do and continue its research work as part of its product manufacturing process?
Remember that some companies simply rely on others’ research findings rather than investing in their own research and development facilities.
Does the company make claims that are not easy to prove or based on mere hypotheses?
A reputable herbal supplement company provides information about the formula and standardization, possible side effects, all ingredients being used, proper directions to use, and required precautions. Life’s Fortune Vitamins from HM Herbs can be an ideal example.
Is the information on the product label understandable and easy to read?
Not every piece of information on the label needs to be understood, but everything on the label must be clear and important notes should be illustrated.
Can you send messages or call the company?
A legitimate company should provide details, such as a toll-free phone number, a valid email address, location details, and the URL to their official website so that consumers can easily contact them to enquire about the products.
Herbal supplements might be harmful to your health to some extent if you don’t follow the instructions while taking them. However, no life-threatening incidents have been linked to these products since they’re only made from plants.