By Karin Krisher
Herbals, or botanicals, fall into the FDA’s “dietary supplements” category. Hundreds of natural herbs have been popular for medicinal-like use in Eastern cultures for centuries. But today, their integration into common supplement formulas can be a concern for your patients. Why?
Herbal products are the beginnings to many modern day medicines. They do have contraindications. And that gives them some concerning characteristics. Despite the fact that DaVinci makes use of some herbs in a few of our supplement formulas, we always ensure safety through truth in labeling. We’re acutely aware that herbs aren’t for everyone, and we make sure our customers are aware of this fact, too.
How Can I Decide Which Herbal Products Are OK To Take?
We recommend speaking with a doctor about all herbs and any supplement regimen. The Mayo Clinic notes that some herbs can exacerbate some high-risk conditions. For example, if a patient is taking either prescription or over the counter medications, herbs can have serious interactions. This caveat is especially true when the medications involve blood thinners or blood pressure medications.
Another concern is pregnancy and lactation. Supplements that might be safe for adult use aren’t necessarily the same for a breast-feeding infant. Further, if a patient is having surgery, herbal supplements can affect the surgery’s success.
The World Health Organization estimates that 80 percent of people use plants to produce certain bodily effects. DaVinci, as a supplement manufacturer, uses them to support the body’s normal health. But when that health is affected by other factors (like medication, lactation, surgery, food and plant sensitivities, etc.) it’s incredibly important to consider the herb’s intended use and potential effects.
Some common herbs for nutritional supplement use include garlic, devil’s claw, ginseng, gingko biloba, ginger, hawthorn, milk thistle and St. John’s wort. These are consumers’ and manufacturers’ most simple choices because of extensive amounts of nutritional research on each. Their supportive effects are also well-known: Garlic supports cholesterol levels within normal ranges, devil’s claw supports joint comfort, ginger supports stomach comfort, etc.*
If you or your patients are considering herbal products for supplemental use, it’s a good idea to do some research and have a conversation. DaVinci encourages thorough research and planning for every supplement regimen; it’s especially important with herbs.
Have you tried herbal products or looked into them? What was the result? Tell us your story on our Facebook page!