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Herbal Supplements Good or Bad Choice for Healthy Living

Essay by   •  July 12, 2012  •  Essay  •  883 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,099 Views

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"Herbal Supplements Good or Bad Choice for Healthy Living"

HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS DEFINED

Most people use prescription drugs to treat deficiencies in their bodies but others have been turning to natural products for treatment. Herbal Supplements are categorized as dietary supplements that contain natural products such as herbs or plants and are used for therapeutic purposes. In 1994 US Congress defined herbal supplements as a natural product other than tobacco that may contain vitamins, minerals, or amino acids. Herbal supplements may be consumed in tablet, capsule, powder, softgel, gelcap, or liquid form. It is also required that herbal supplements be labeled as such. Most herbal supplements products had have dozens and some even have hundreds of ingredients and many of these ingredients are unknown.

HERBAL VS. TRADITIONAL MEDICATION

Recently the debate has been raised about the better option when comparing herbal and traditional medication. Many doctors and other medical professional are strongly against the use of herbal medication as a treatment for deficiencies in the body. It is true that many prescription drugs do have naturally occurring ingredients. The issues that doctors see with herbal medicine can be traced to two key attributes efficacy, and side effects. Most traditional medicine go through vigorous testing which can cost the producer up to 100 million dollar whereas herbal medication testing is almost a fifth of this figure at the most. The limited testing could be deadly if the wrong ingredients were in these supplements. An ingredient may not be harmful to one individual but could kill another. Also since herbal medication is over-the-counter there is no doctor required for users to purchase the products. Since there is no doctor requirement side effects of wrongly used herbal products can be very harmful. Doctors perform evaluations when they choose to give individuals prescription drugs they spend many years learning what is best for the human body and consulting the doctor before using prescription or herbal supplements in the safest alternative. Because these supplements are naturally occurring, herbal supplements that natural supplements have a chance of being a better alternative than prescription drugs but not as the system stands today. More infancies needs to be placed on testing these natural products for long term and short term side effects before the user starts relying on these supplements for a healthy alternative to prescription drugs. As the system stands today I believe because of the strict testing performed on prescription drugs; prescription drugs are the better alternative.

HOW ARE HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS MADE

One common process for creating herbal supplements can be broken down into three different steps the first tincturing and grinding, second

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