Tips for Choosing Herbal Products
- Always inform your physician about any herbs or supplements you presently take. Herbs often interact with prescription medications, resulting in unwanted, sometimes serious, side effects. A recent report concluded that while 15 million Americans taking prescription medication also take herbs, only 60 percent mentioned it to their physicians.
- Look for products that offer standardized preparations. This means that every bottle, every pill, always contains the exact same amount of products. Purchasing bargain or lesser-known brands that do not carry the assurance of standardization means you could end up with little or no product or, worse, substances you didn't intend on taking.
- Take the time to gather any available research on the herbs you plan to take. While it is preferable to buy from companies that do their own research, you don't want to use their research as your sole source of information.
There are several good books on the market that clearly explain the potential benefits and drawbacks of various supplements, and although there isn't a huge body of scientific evidence available, quite a bit is know about the most popular substances such as gingko biloba, St. John's Wort and ginseng.
This appeared in ACE FitnessMatters, ACE's official magazine.
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