Herbal health has always been a part of man’s life. Since ancient times, man has turned to nature and its rich array of herbs to cure any discomforts, from the mild to the severe. Countless healers have relied on these herbs, attributing powers that render them either divine or sacred. Now with modern science on the rise, it is rather not surprising that herbal health, instead of being overwhelmed by scientific evidence, or lack thereof, has continued to thrive in these modern times.
Herbal health products are among the fastest selling products in the food and drug market today. Everything from nutritional supplements to weight loss pills and vitamins to herbal cures for all sorts of aches is being displayed in both drugstores and health food stores. The reason for this is partly the belief that because herbal health products are natural, they are safe to use. The other reason might be because they are generally available at marked down prices.
But are herbal health products really safe to use? This is the basic question that everyone’s been asking.
Herbal Health Products: How safe are they?
It is understandable that something natural is quickly dubbed as safe. But this is not necessarily and not always true. Do not think that herbal health products are safer than other medicines for the simple reason that they come from plants. There are several species of plants that are considered poisonous.
The milk thistle for instance is a common health product renowned for its therapeutic effects on liver problems. But what we don’t know is that it actually contains poison in some of its parts. In fact, this plant is banned from pastures and other grazing lands because their flowers are poisonous to cattle. Another example is the mushroom. As all of us must know, some mushrooms are considered poisonous, and the worst thing about it is that the poisonous variety of the mushroom is not much different from the edible ones.
So although plants may be dubbed as natural and herbal health products might be natural, still, they can’t be considered natural to the human body. In addition, herbal health products do not have to be tested in order to start selling them, unlike prescription medicines. Many herbal health products being sold today haven’t been tested properly to see whether they work well or are safe to use. Plus, not all herbal health products are pure. They might contain other ingredients, such as plant pollen, which, if ingested, could you sick.
Are there any side effects?
Herbal health products aren’t tested to make sure that they’re safe, so they may cause problems. Some isolated cases of adverse side effects are associated with some herbs. For instance, the herbal health product Ginkgo Biloba is said to cause bleeding. Also, St. John’s wort, another popular herb, can cause upset of the stomach. It can also bring about a tired feeling, dizziness, confusion, or dry mouth.