Herbal Supplements: Are they safe? Do they work?

We live in a current environment where “medicine” can be toxic, habit forming and filled with undesired side effects. This is especially prominent when it comes to the treatment of chronic illness and has sparked a huge demand for more natural, plant based medicines. The market has responded to this demand in both positive and negative business practices.

The effectiveness and even the mere safety of many mass produced products are under serious question.

In the United States, herbal supplements do not fall under the regulation oversight of the FDA, so many supplement manufactures have taken advantage and sell consumers sub-par products. Many of these products contain poor potencies and pesticide or heavy metal- contaminated ingredients. This means the effectiveness and even the mere safety of many mass produced products are under serious question. It is very important to do your research and to only purchase products from reputable retailers who greatly scrutinize their suppliers and to avoid discount products sold at large national chain stores.

With the lax regulations, false claims and “snake oil” productions have infested the natural supplement world. We live in the information age, which has benefits and drawbacks. Unfortunately, information is very easily manipulated for financial gain. When doing a search for natural or herbal treatments for specific health concerns, make sure the data comes from reputable sources and to avoid relying on information given by only the manufacturer. Check and read resource articles attached to the health benefit claims and make sure that they are from an independent source. If possible, research peer-reviewed journals. It’s also a good rule of thumb to avoid all products sold under a pyramid marketing model.  

Natural treatment is not simply the consumption of an herbal product, but also behavioral modification to steer you towards a balanced and health-centric lifestyle.

For those who are serious about addressing their health concerns more completely, seeing a trained herbal professional is by far the most effective option. Simply going to a reputable health food store and inquiring about products and treatments, may still miss the mark when it come to positive results. Granted, a dedicated health food store is a superior option over going to a large retail store, however the staff is limited to only informing you about the products they sell. For the best benefits and accurate treatment, differential diagnosis by a trained herbalist is highly recommended.

Although a higher expense, working with a trained herbalist has multiple benefits. First off, good practitioner will evaluate your overall health and not just your chief complaint. This is the foundation of holistic medicine and why, when done properly, can be far superior to conventional, pharmaceutical-based medicine. The fundamental approach to holistic medicine is to address the root cause of illness and imbalance which, in turn, brings about a resolution to the health issues. The evaluation of overall health must also encompass lifestyle, diet, physical activity, stresses and stress mitigation practices, habits, and mental health. Natural treatment is not simply the consumption of an herbal product, but also behavioral modification to steer you towards a balanced and health-centric lifestyle. By choosing the option of working with a trained professional, your treatment will be customized and crafted to fit your very personal needs. Your progress with be closely followed and treatments are modified as you progress forward.

Natural herbal supplement treatment of illness has tremendous positive benefits, but comes with some cautions and risks. Just remember to do good research, only from reputable sources, and don’t be shy when it comes to asking for professional help. The power and benefits of using natural, plant-based herbal medication is almost limitless and has helped in the healing of millions over the ages. When pursued properly, using herbal medication will have life changing results.

At Xian Herbs LLC and Colorado Restorative Acupuncture, we continue to work to supply you with quality information to help assist you in your journey to optimize health. Feel free to contact us with any questions about herbal medications.

In the continued spirit of health centricity, we understand that finding high quality natural health providers can be challenging especially in rural areas, so we are now offering Virtual Comprehensive Herbal Consultations within the continental US. After you complete an extensive digital questionnaire, we will set up a 30-40 minute FaceTime consultation to evaluate both your health concerns and your overall wellness using traditional Chinese medical diagnostics. After a differential diagnosis is performed, we with formulate, craft, and ship a personalized, traditional Chinese herbal encapsulated formula directly to you. All ingredients used are of the highest and cleanest quality available. Your case will be closely monitored, with a follow-up every two weeks, to ensure that your treatment is meeting your health needs and to modify that treatment as needed. You may also schedule a free phone consultation by pressing the BOOK NOW” button on our website, to see if this service is best for you and your health concerns.

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