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Are herbal health products and supplements safe? Herbs aren't always much safer than the ingredients in non-prescription (OTC) and prescription medications even if they originate from nature. In fact, numerous prescription medicines are chemicals that were discovered in nature and cleansed. Although organic health items and supplements are advertised as "natural," their components aren't necessarily natural to the human body.

They can also trigger unpleasant health impacts (also called negative results). Scientists have studied the benefits and risks of some herbal health products and supplements. Others need to be studied more. Are organic health products and supplements controlled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)? The FDA does not require proof of their security and efficiency to detect, prevent, deal with, or remedy health conditions.

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It's up to the manufacturer to be sure that an organic health item or supplement is safe prior to it is offered. The FDA can take organic health products or supplements off the marketplace if they are found to be hazardous (for example, if they trigger serious adverse effects) or are found to include components that aren't noted on the label (for instance, harmful substances).

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The FDA requires the following details on labels: Name of the product or supplement. Call and the address of the manufacturer or distributor. Complete list of ingredients. Quantity of product or supplement in the container or package. Avoid taking or using any herbal health product or supplement that does not list this information.

You can look up supplements by trademark name, active ingredient, or maker. How can I utilize herbal health products or supplements safely? Do not take any organic health items or supplements without speaking to your family physician initially. If you do utilize an organic health product or supplement, read the instructions on the label to find out just how much to take and how often to take it.

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If you have any concerns about just how much to take, ask your physician. The National Center for Complementary and Alternativen Medicine (NCCAM) and the Workplace of Dietary Supplements are good sources of details about herbal health items and supplements. How can I safely store herbal health products and supplements? Store all organic health products and supplements up and away, out of reach and sight of children.