An analysis of two particularly controversial products
Herbal remedies, along with vitamins and various other types of dietary supplements, have long been popular with the customers of health food stores. But now they are part of a boom in alternative remedies and are widely available in supermarkets and pharmacies. In recent months, there has been an incredible surge in the sheer volume of scientific studies that have discussed the effectiveness of such herbal products. Medical scientists consider such findings promising but preliminary; additional research must definitely be explored. However, herbal supplement manufacturers are using such studies to boost the credibility of traditional herbal remedies. There are currently no government regulations to specify the purity, dosage or effectiveness of these products. Many consumers are opting to try them, assuming that the "natural" products with a long history of use will undoubtedly be safe.
As herbal remedies continue to gain in popularity, reports by consumers of serious complications are also increasing. In one statistical report it was stated that 500 incidents were reported to the Food and Drug Administration last year alone. Leading the list of dangerous and ineffective ingredients are ephedra (or Ma Huang) and Chromium. Ephedra alone has accounted for more than half of the complaints in the past three years and has been associated with more than three dozen deaths. Thus the validity and the efficacy of these claims will need to be addressed.
What are the claims of "Natural" Healing?
It is obvious that our bodies are remarkable machines. However, the claim is that natural remedies aid the body's immune system toward tot...
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Okie, Susan. "Looking for Mr. GoodPill; Americans Have Fallen in Love With Herbal Supplements--But Do They Work? Are They Safe?" The Washington Post, Nov. 25, 1997.
Reading, S.A. "Chromium Picolinate". Journal of Florida Medical Association. Jan;83(1): 29-31, 1996.
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