|General Herbal Information|
Information Concerning Herbal Supplements
|Almost overnight, herbal remedies have become a major factor in American health care." That's the first sentence in the new volume, Physician Desk Reference for Herbal Medicines. Individuals should approach taking herbal supplements as if they are prescription medications or over-the-counter-medications. Although most herbal supplements are completely safe when taking as directed there are some supplements that can interact with medications, produce adverse effects and/or be detrimental to individuals with certain medical conditions. The following represents some general information concerning herbal supplements:|
Compliance - the most important factor in the success of any herbal program is compliance, defined as the willingness to follow a prescribed course of treatment. Research indicates approximately 80% of herbal supplements that fail to meet the expectations of consumers are secondary to noncompliance. In order to help ensure compliance have your supplements in a convenient location. One of of the primary reasons why individuals do not take their supplements on schedule is the supplements are not stored where individuals will remember to take them. In order promote compliance and avoid possible embarrassment try breaking down your supplements into daily doses and place them in pill container. There are all types of pill containers on the market that promote convenience as well as compliance. Today, pill containers have dated compartments that assist individuals in keeping track of their doses, the pill containers also promote privacy (most men are not going to leave a bottle with Male Libido Enhancement Supplement label sitting on the desk in their office). Then pill container can be carried in your pocket, purse, briefcase, etc. where you will have easy access to the supplements. Two common places where individuals often store their supplements is in their car or bathroom. This is not a good practice, the continued heat during summer months can deactivate the ingredients of those supplements left in a car, supplements left in the bathroom are subject to the humidity from the shower that can decrease the self life.. In addition, if an individual forgets to take the prescribed dose the chances of that individual stopping what he/she is doing during the day to go back to the vehicle or bathroom is slim to none. Remember convenience promote compliance!
Patience - individuals must be patient concerning their expected herbal supplement results. Many herbal supplements need to be consumed up to 2-3 months before their benefits are recognized. Do not expect a miracle in the first two weeks of taking the product. Continue taking the herbal supplement for at least three months, each individual's body reacts differently to the use of herbal supplements.
Prescribed Dose - individuals should make a conscientious effort to adhere to the prescribed dose of herbal supplements. One common misconception is the idea that "if two capsules is beneficial then six capsules should be extraordinary." Abuse of the prescribed dosing can result in significant increase in adverse side effects. Many herbal supplements although free from significant side effects at the recommended dose can be very detrimental if the prescribed dosing is a abused.
Consumption of water - individuals should always accompany each dose of herbal supplements with at least 8oz of water. Water aides in the digestion of the supplements and is important for overall nutrition. Water is essential for muscle function, waste excretion, energy production, delivery of nutrients, temperature regulation, etc. Individuals should consume a half an ounce of water for each pound of body weight. Therefore, an 180 lb man should consume 12 eight-ounce glasses of water while a 130 lb female should consume the traditional prescribed eight glasses. Please note: Although the consumption of moderate doses of water is beneficial excessive water intake is not required for positive results with Physicians' Select Supplements. Many other supplement companies require individuals to consume large quantities of water to produce a positive effect e.g. breast enhancement, muscle building, weight loss products, etc.
Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and carbonated beverages - clinical trials have shown that alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages have a negative effect on many herbal supplements (particularly the breast enhancement herbal supplements). Individuals should make a conscientious to avoid these substances while taking any herbal supplements. Refrain from ingesting these substance at least one hour prior and one hour after taking a supplement. Decreasing the amount of caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and carbonated beverages will also promote a healthier lifestyle.
Do not self diagnose - individuals should not attempt to self diagnose themselves or put off needed medical treatment in hopes that a self prescribed herbal supplement will treat their condition. Prior to taking any herbal supplements for treating any specific medical condition i.e. diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disorders, liver/kidney disease, cancer, etc. consult with your local physician. Individuals should be weary of men/women that proclaim themselves has "herbal doctors," "master herbalist," "natural doctor," "natural medicine specialist," etc. especially if they do not recommend seeing a medical doctor.
Specific consideration - individuals with specific medical conditions should exercise caution prior to using herbal supplements. Many individuals have the misconception that because herbal supplements are not prescription medications they are safe to take even with preexisting medical conditions.
Individuals with specific medical conditions including but not limited to the following should discuss taking any herbal supplement with their physician, pharmacist and/or qualified health professional:
reactions - report any unexpected side effects i.e. nausea and
vomiting, abdominal cramping, bruising, changes in heart rate, visual
aberrations, rashes, hives, or other allergic reactions to your local
physician and the distributor of the herbal supplements. If you have a
serious adverse reaction seek immediate medical attention. Do not be misinformed
by the term "natural". Just because an herbal supplement mentions
that the product is made from all "natural" ingredients does
not mean that the product is free from adverse side effects. There are
many "natural" plants that are toxic if ingested. If you are
having a severe reaction call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room.
The following is a list of herbs that are known to interact with certain prescription and/or over the counter medications:
Please note: The above information is intended to supplement,
not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist,
or other healthcare professional. The information should not be construed
to indicate that the use of the product is appropriate, safe, or effective
for each individuals use. Individuals should consult their healthcare
professional prior taking any new product.