02 April 2009

If you think health products and supplements are safer than medicines because they occur in nature or come from plants, well, you are wrong! Many plants are poisonous! Most component of herbal products and supplements are produce from nature, they are from plants, but the thing is , they not natural for the human body.

Unlike prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, herbal products and supplements don’t have to be tested to prove they work well and are safe before they’re sold. Also, they may not be pure. They might contain other ingredients, such as plant pollen, that could make you sick. Sometimes they contain drugs that aren’t listed on the label, such as steroids or estrogens. Some of these products may even contain toxic (poisonous) substances, such as arsenic, mercury, lead and pesticides.

A case found in Indonesia in 2006, pregnant woman died after drink jamu, traditional drink make from combination of many herbs. Doctors said she was overdose of corticosteroid. She don’t want to drink medicine that prescribe by doctor but drink jamu, cause she though that jamu is herbal, more nature for the her.

Many herbal products can cause side effects and cause other problems and it’s not listed in the box above. For examples :
  1. Glucosamine products may contain sodium. If you’re on a low-sodium diet, talk to your doctor before taking glucosamine.
  2. People who are allergic to shellfish may also be allergic to glucosamine. If you have a shellfish allergy, check with your doctor before taking glucosamine.
  3. Don’t drink alcohol if you take kava products. Kava can increase the effects of alcohol.
  4. The phytoestrogen black cohosh contains salicylates, so avoid it if you are sensitive to aspirin or other salicylates.
Hundreds of herbal products and supplements are available. They are advertised to treat just about any symptom. However, trustworthy evidence usually doesn’t exist to support these advertising claims.

Some of the most popular herbal products and supplements include chondroitin sulfate, echinacea, ephedra (also called ma huang), garlic, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, glucosamine, kava, melatonin, phytoestrogens (such as black cohosh, dong quai and soy), saw palmetto and St. John’s wort.

Herbal products and supplements may not be safe if you have certain health problems. You also may be at increased risk of problems from these products if you are elderly. Talk to your doctor before taking herbal products if you have any of these health problems: Blood clotting problems, Cancer, Diabetes, An enlarged prostate gland, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, Heart disease, High blood pressure, Immune system problems, Psychiatric problems, Parkinson’s disease, Liver problems, Stroke, Thyroid problems. you shouldn’t take more than the recommended dose of any herbal health product or supplement. The problems that these products can cause are much more likely to occur if you take too much or take them for too long.


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