For various reasons, it is difficult to consume all the nutrients required by the human body on a daily basis. Supplements, whether in the form of capsules, tablets, pills, or liquid, are designed to complement our diet. Among dietary supplements are “botanicals” also referred to as “Herbal Supplements”.
Each kind of botanicals are meant to serve some particular purpose but are herbal supplements safe? Although they are gotten from plants, here are a few things that you need to know:
1. Claims: The first thing you need to understand is that the nutritional deficiencies botanicals address are mostly claims. In truth, they may have done some research and exercised due diligence, but the fact remains that their claims are not evaluated by the FDA. As a result, you cannot say for sure that such botanicals fulfil their claims.
2. Lack of FDA Approval: A lack of this is the reason for the first point on the list. There is no regulation binding on the manufacturers of herbal supplements to get approval from the FDA. Situations like this encourage quacks to come into the business and offer claims that are far from the truth. Here is a look into the herbal supplement industry.
3. Monitoring of Botanicals by the FDA: While the manufacturers of botanicals do not require the approval of the FDA to enter the market, it does not stop this regulatory body from keeping close tabs on them. Once the FDA learns that a particular herbal supplement is unhealthy to the public, they take action against whoever distributes or manufactures the product. So, if the herbal supplement that you intend to use has been in the market for a reasonable period of time, there is a good chance that it is okay. At this point, it will be necessary to state that the FDA does not guarantee the safety of use of any herbal supplement.
4. Quality Standards: Manufacturers of botanicals are required to remain consistent as they process their products. This is to ensure that herbal supplements meet quality standards with the required ingredients processed in appropriate amounts. Ensuring that quality standards are kept helps to prevent the use of wrong ingredients as well as eradicate the chances of contaminants being included in the herbal supplements.
Herbal supplements are never classified as safe for use by the FDA but they still insist on the manufacturers meeting quality standards. Always look out for the name of the herbal supplement, its list of ingredients, serving size in addition to the name and address given by the distributor or manufacturer.