If you’re using herbs or considering using them, it’s important to:
- Consult your healthcare provider. Herbal supplements may be effective in alleviating the symptoms of a serious condition while allowing its underlying cause to go untreated. Herbs may also interfere with more conventional and effective treatments.
- Educate yourself. Good sources are The PDR for Herbal Medicines, a comprehensive resource; and a Department of Agriculture and National Institutes of Health web site (http://ods.od.nih.gov/Health_Information/IBIDS.aspx) that contains research citations and abstracts plus links to other helpful sites.
- Buy from a reputable manufacturer. Using national and recognizable brand names increases your odds of getting a correct and consistent dosage. Avoid any products that don’t provide dosing instructions.
- Stop taking them if you become pregnant or are breastfeeding, and never give herbal supplements to children.