Herbal supplements and botanicals have become increasingly popular as many individuals begin to look for alternatives to prescription drugs. While many prescription drugs come to the marketplace after having been only used for a few months by a small number of people, most of the negative as well as the positive effects on the body. Before taking any new herbal supplement, it is important to do your fair share of research. Instead of reading the articles that promote the supplement as a wonder drug, instead focus on the more negative articles that warn of the side effects and counterindicator´s for that supplement. For instance, anyone with a heart condition that involves irregular heartbeats would not want to take St John´s wort even though it does wonders for depression and mood disorders.
Another very important tip for using botanicals as supplements is to understand the form of the herbal supplement you have and what the recommended dosage is. Because these chemicals are not controlled by the FDA, the dosage and different forms of each supplement varies wildly. For instance, Peppermint is a great natural supplement that when used to make a cup of tea, will greatly aid in digestion. However, the same chemical is often sold in extract form, and even a small dose in extract form can be toxic to the body. Always make sure to understand not only the supplement you have, but the form you bought it in and consume the botanical as directed by the manufacturer of that form of the supplement.
The duration and speed of effect is another factor that must be understood by the consumer. Some botanicals are fastacting and have an immediate effect on the body. Others require a small amount to be consumed every day and take months until the desired effect is observed. It is important to understand these factors when you being taking the supplement. If you require immediate results, you may be forced to use a prescription drug rather than waiting for a herbal supplement to take effect.
Finally, it is imparative to tell your doctor which supplements you are taking. As stated above, herbal supplements and botanicals are chemicals and they will interact with any other prescription drug you may be taking. Always have a list of all supplements you take when you visit the doctor and be honest about which ones you will or won´t stop taking. There are many cases in medicine where too much of a good thing can hurt you, and this is especially true when you start mixing chemicals inside your body.