Herbal Dietary Supplements

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Herbal Dietary Supplements

Modern medical science has led to the development of highly effective medicines and other interventions to address short-term illnesses and manage symptoms of disease. However, medical science has also begun to investigate how natural herbs can play a role in a person's health. For centuries, herbs have been used in conjunction with folk medicine and natural alternative remedies. In some cases, scientists have begun to establish real benefits for many herbs. Traditionally, herbal medicine involved using actual parts of herbs in their pure form or dried. Today, supplementation is much easier, as herbs are now available in forms that are easy to take. Called dietary supplements, these herbal products include capsules, tablets, soft gels, liquids and teas that can be used to get the benefits of herbs. Herbal dietary supplements can be made up of one herb or a combination of herbs that offer similar benefits. You'll find many different types in the Walgreens herbs department. You'll also find vitamin supplements.

Be Smart About Supplementation

It's a common misconception that herbal medicines are always safer than traditional medications. But herbs can come with long lists of side effects. Even though herbs come from parts of plants like leaves, stems and roots, they contain chemicals that are naturally produced by the plants. These natural chemicals can produce side effects in the same way that the chemicals in medications might. In some cases, research has been limited. In addition, the herbs may cause symptoms of certain medical conditions to worsen. They also could interfere with how medications work by limiting their effectiveness or dangerously increasing their effects. Still, despite potential risks, you can often safely supplement your diet with herbal products. The key is to involve your physician in your decision to use complementary natural practices. No herb can substitute for a doctor's care. Herbal dietary supplements should never be used in place of a prescribed medicine unless you have discussed it with the medical professional who oversees your care. Your doctor can advise you as to whether or not any herbal dietary supplement is right for you and provide you with advice about how much you should take and for how long you should use the product. Once you have received your doctor's recommendations and safety assurance, you're sure to find the perfect supplement product to complete your complementary treatment plan at Walgreens.

This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of purity, strength, or safety of the products. As a result, effects may vary. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking a supplement as supplements may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your physician before taking a supplement. Consult a healthcare provider if you experience side effects.