Things to Consider When Choosing Herbal Supplements

Herbal Nutritional Supplements have become very popular as people try to improve their health and take a more active role in their own health care. As the benefits of herbal nutritional supplements are continually cited in news stories and articles, their use will likely continue to increase.

There has been a lot of news about the benefits of green tea, discussing its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Because of this green tea pills have been one of the many herbal nutritional supplements gaining popularity in recent years. Valerian has become popular for people wanting to sleep better at night. Echinacea is popular in the heart of cold and flu season. And Black Cohosh to help women going through menopause.

But with so many herbal nutritional supplements out there how do you know what to look for or what to choose. For starters it's good to educate yourself about the supplements you're thinking about adding to your diet before heading out to buy them. It's also good to talk to your doctor about your thoughts on adding herbal nutritional supplements to your daily routine as well.

It helps that new regulations are being implimented for nutritional supplements, but it still might be hard to be sure you are selecting a quality supplement. These new regulations are meant to enhance safety by making sure manufacturers comply with specific manufacturing procedures that will guarantee the supplements include exactly what their labels claim they do and that the supplements won't contain contaminants.

When considering herbal nutritional supplements look for ones that are standardized. Standardized supplements have been tested for uniformity to guarantee each supplement provides a specific amount of the active components. Also check to see if the product is certified, meaning it has to meet certain manufacturing standards. Groups that certify herbal supplements include the US Pharmacopeia, and Good Housekeeping.

As a general rule of thumb it's best to buy products that only contain a single herb. Products containing a blend won't always list the dose of each separate herb per capsule or tablet. It's always important to know the dose you are taking.

Watch out for potential false claims. Herbal nutritional supplements have helped a lot of people, but no single supplement can deal with a broad range of health issues. If the claims sound too good to be true trust your instinct.

Because herbal nutritional supplements are easy to purchase at a wide variety of stores, and don't require a doctor's note, many people underestimate them. Herbs can be more powerful than some may think; they may cause side effects for some, and just like over the counter medicine you shouldn't exceed the dosage recommended on the label.

It's also important to note that herbal supplements can have side effects when mixed with other medicines - either prescription or over the counter medicines. This is why it is important to talk to your doctor before taking herbal supplements. Some doctors aren't comfortable talking about this or don't agree with this type of supplementation.

If you don't feel comfortable talking to your doctor about this look for a pharmacist or other specialist who is informed about herbal supplements. Someone who would know about potential side effects or contraindications.

Nutritional supplements have helped many people; it's just important to understand what you're taking and the possible effects before you start taking it.