Using Alternative Herbal Supplements Safely

Herbal products are the perfect choice for individuals who want to avoid using expensive synthetic pharmaceuticals with their documented side-effects. It is true that synthetic medicine is carefully formulated for maximum effect in treating symptoms, but we can never deny that there might be certain reactions in our bodies when taking them.

The Safe Alternative Solution To Health Problems

Being an affordable medical solution, herbal supplements can be found in large quantities in the market. Many health conscious consumers today are opting for an herbal or at least more natural approach to health than those normally prescribed by medical practitioners. Doctors and other medical specialists today are even suggesting alternative herbal medicines for a speedy recovery and boosting a person’s immune system for a more permanent health improvement.

These products make use of 100% natural ingredients and none of the (often herbal isolate) components used in synthetic medications distributed today. (unless it says ‘standardized’) But despite the safety that herbal medicines promise everyone, it is quite possible to experience issue with it if we are not careful. While herbs are “natural”, they contain elements that are powerful and effective. They also interact with pharmaceuticals that we need to stay aware of.

Standardized vs Whole Herb

From the Now brand website…

One important decision is whether to use whole herbs or standardized herbal extracts. This can be tricky, because even the experts are split on this issue. Therefore, it is best to know the facts about the difference between the two so that you can make an informed decision.

Whole Herbs

A whole herb is just what it says: the whole herb, usually dried and encapsulated or processed and preserved in alcohol or another solvent. Whole herbs contain all of the constituents of the plant and have been used for hundreds of years by many cultures. In fact, modern medicine originated with the use of whole herbs. The medicinal properties of herbs have been learned through empirical observation and the information has been passed down through successive generations of healers. Although the effects of herbs have not always been formally and scientifically researched, whole herbs have a long track record validating their safety and efficacy.

Standardized Herbal Extract

A standardized herbal extract is an herb extract that has one or more components present in a specific, guaranteed amount, usually expressed as a percentage. The intention behind the standardization of herbs is to guarantee that the consumer is getting a product in which the chemistry is consistent from batch to batch. This practice has developed out of the drug model of herbal medicine, in which modern scientists have attempted to identify the components of a plant that have definite pharmacological activity in the body. Unfortunately, while scientists can isolate many constituents from an herb and discover how particular chemicals may act in the body, they inadvertently remove or overlook components that may contribute to the activity of the whole herb. Consequently, standardization may concentrate one constituent at the expense of other potentially important ones, while changing the natural balance of the herb’s components.

Standardization, therefore, is based on the idea that isolated compounds are responsible for the action of an herb. Almost no medicinal herbs, however, are known for just a single function. In fact, plants contain a complex blend of phyto-chemicals, and as naturally concentrated foods have the unique ability to address a multiplicity of problems simultaneously. The full medicinal value of herbs is most likely due to their internal complexity and to the interactions of the different components within the body rather than to one of its specific components. Furthermore, many of the constituents within an herb are as yet unknown, and internal chemical interactions within and among herbs are even more poorly understood. Therefore, it is doubtful that this type of standardized herbal extract can exhibit the same full spectrum of use as the whole herb. However, science has proven the efficacy of some of these concentrated extracts regarding specific biological actions, so they can be very useful even if they don’t work exactly like the whole herbs. [1]

Safety First – Get The Right Product For Your Health Problem

Don’t just buy any herbal product in the market without properly consulting a professional regarding its efficacy for YOU. Also, we can never be too sure how the herbal ingredients would react in our body’s composition so it is best to let your doctor or any medical practitioner check you out first to avoid potential allergic reactions.

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Keep in mind that pretending to your doctor about your illness so you can make use of this affordable health solution is not safe. You might leave some important details out that would prove to be a problem later on when you proceed to take the medicine in regular doses. Always be honest during the consultation with your doctor for them to arrive at an accurate diagnosis whether the herbal product is the one for you or not.

Check The Company That Made The Herbal Product

Even if you have a name of the herbal product to use, it would be best to take matters into your own hands and do your research well to avoid complications during use. You can look for information about herbal medicine on the internet, specifically about the company that created it and consumers who used it to address their health problems.

While you’re at it, you might want to check out the ingredients used in the herbal product, as well as the proper formulation to ensure that you won’t suffer from overdose when you take it. Absolutely do an internet search for consumer comments and suggestions about the herbal supplement to determine whether it’s safe for you to use or not.

Follow The Proper Dosage

Many would think that herbal products are 100% safe to use and would often take more than the prescribed dosage in order to speed up the effects. This is a misconception that often leads to more complications than getting rid of your health problem. Before using your herbal product, it is very important to read the label for the correct dosage. You can also ask your doctor for some advice if you don’t trust the indications on the herbal product.

As with the old medical adage, following the right process of healing will result in a speedy recovery; and making up your own prescription and instruction has the potential to bring less than effective results. Just follow the instructions in taking your alternative herbal medicine to get the best treatment for your declining health.


  1. Kosowski, Amy M.S., LDN Whole Herbs vs. Standardized Herbal Extracts: Which is Better?
  2. Accessed April 2, 2019

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"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease" ~ Thomas Jefferson

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