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Safety Guidelines for Medicinal Herbs and Herbal Supplements

Safety Guidelines for Medicinal Herbs and Herbal Supplements
Herbs, and their extracts, have been used for thousands of years for their medicinal properties. Many traditional uses are based on superstition, or spiritual basis, with no clinical trials or research to support the results. Some traditional medicinal herb use is based on trial and error, and is supported by real-world, results based evidence. Traditional medicine is based strongly in herbal remedies, whether supported by real-world results or spiritual basis.

Western medicine is beginning to look at the use of herbal remedies as alternatives to synthetic drugs as well. Most modern pharmaceuticals have a historical base in herbal medicine, and many are derived from herbal extracts, at least initially.

Many people elect to use herbal supplements in their overall health routine. Some people choose herbal remedies over prescription drug therapies because of the perceived safety of these remedies. While these treatments are natural, they are not always safe. It is important to approach a new herbal treatment or supplement routine the same way you approach any treatment, with caution and good research.

General Safety Guidelines
First, it is important to remember that herbal remedies are medicine. They must be approached like any other medicine. Each person will react to an herbal medicine a little differently. Some people may have allergic reactions to certain herbs, ranging from mild to severe anaphylactic reactions. Herbal medicines should be stored in a safe, secure location just like all other medications. Herbal medicines may interact with other drugs, or may have specific side effects that exacerbate certain conditions, and therefore should be disclosed to your doctor or other medical personnel, just like any drug medication.