Thursday, January 03, 2008

Natural Does Not Necessarily Mean Safe

Most people assume that just because it’s natural, it is safe. But that’s not always the case I herbal medicines. Most people take herbs for various indications. However, two thirds of people who use herbal supplements take them without the benefit of any scientific proof, according to a recent study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings medical journal. Consumers maybe just wasting their money and risking their health by taking these supplements indiscriminately. It is a known fact that herbal medicines do not undergo the same rigorous testing and labeling process as over the counter and prescription medicine. Some of these substances to include those labeled as natural do posses drug like effects hence, potentially dangerous.

Popular herbal ingredients like Gingko biloba, a popular memory pill can interact with blood thinners such as warfarin and aspirin increasing bleeding time. St. John’s Wort has been shown to reduce depression but has been associated with some serious drug interactions. Research on dietary herbal supplements has shown some benefits but may also pose serious side effects. But the most serious threat is that patients may be drawn away from taking prescription drugs that have been validated scientifically to benefit disease conditions.



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