Thursday, January 03, 2008

Six Useful Guidelines In Buying Health Supplements

Herbal medicines are very popular these days, but great caution must also be undertaken due to some of the ingredients in fact be harmful to our body or may interact with the prescription medicines we are taking. Here are six useful guides in buying herbal supplements.

1.) Whenever possible, look for standardized herbal supplements. It should posses the United States Pharmacopeia’s seal of manufacturing standards. These standards include a guarantee for it’s cleanliness and freedom from contaminants such as lead, mercurials or other drugs.

2.) Buy only single herb products. It should contain how much of the herb is contained per dose. Avoid products with multiple ingredients with unknown properties and numerous effects.

3.) Be on the watch for too many claims of benefit. No drug can be a panacea for a multitude of conditions.

4.) Avoid taking herbal supplements if you are already taking an over-the-counter and or a prescription drug for fear of drug interactions. If a proven drug is available for your medical condition, there is no reason for you to take a herbal supplement since the former has an established record of safety and effectiveness.

5.) In the event that you are to undergo surgery, avoid herbal medicines since it may decrease effectiveness of anesthetic agents, cause undue bleeding and provoke hypertension.

6.) Avoid such supplements if you are younger than 18 or older than 65 years. Older individuals metabolize differently and herbal medicines have not been tested for safety and efficacy among children.



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