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growing concern with herbal supplements?

Posted by Doris C. Complimentary & Alternative Medicine

With the rising popularity of using and consuming anything herbal or organic is the proliferation of fake herbal supplements that threaten to endanger lives. If that’s the case, then why are herbal supplements given drug administration approvals? One way of ensuring the safety of the people is to have all candidate drugs, food, drinks, and dietary supplements registered with the proper authority. Otherwise, they would pose more risk with these things being sold in the black market for a hefty sum.

We could ensure the quality and safety of herbal supplements if they get proper classification with the food and drug administration. Moreover, people may be able to file the proper complaints in the event a worsening of health condition is proven to be linked to the use of a particular herbal supplement.

- Doris

Answers (3)
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The problem with registering things with the "Authorities" is that those authorities then make only the wealthy companies wealthier.

This is what has happened in Europe. Supplements have to be registered, but they have to pay a hefty sum to get registered. Only major companies can do that, not little companies who are often the ones that provide the best quality. The big companies are often the pharmaseutical companies or primarily profit making companie.

It isn't an easy issue, but I say let's keep herbs safe from the "authorities" and choose products that have good reputations, which you can easily find on the internet.

If there is no money in it the FDA will not develop studies to approve it. Herbs can't be pattented and the drug companies would lose money fixing symptoms instead of having herbs fix the problems. The other problem with herbal remedies is that many people think that becuse they are natural they can take more and more of them to help them, everything has it's level of balance and there are few dosage guides out there for these things. Anytime people self medicate there will be goofy people out there that over do it. And lastly sometimes people have allergies, sensitivities or even interactions with medications that they are taking that cause problems, few people check to see if an herb can be used safely with other medications.

There is progress. FDA "Good Manufacturing Practices" are now in force, helping to at least make sure that the production of these products is sound and safe and traceable. Hopefully, this will weed out those fly-by-nighters who whip up their potions in who knows what kind of facility.

As with anything you put in your body--prescription drugs, OTC remedies or supplements--the consumer should research as much as possible to assure him/herself that they are taking something with valid science and safety testing supporting it. 

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