There is a wide variety of herbal supplements being manufactured and sold in the market, each of them with their own claims. Some herbal supplements claim to help boost energy, improve memory, increase blood circulation, improve digestion, help repair liver damage, and so on. Because of these claims, many people are attracted to buying herbal supplements. But how do you make sure you get the best herbal supplements? Read on to find out.
What are herbal supplements?
Herbal supplements contain plant or botanical extracts with active ingredients that affect how the body functions. Before buying herbal supplements, you should know how all their ingredients affect your body and how they interact with any other medications you are taking. The best herbal supplements for you depend on what you need and what you want to achieve, but whatever you choose, it should have little or no side effects. Below are some guidelines for choosing the best supplements for you.
1. Check the label
The best herbal supplements provide clear and complete information regarding its ingredients, recommended dosage, etc. All important information should be clearly indicated in the label. A clear label helps you understand what is inside the packaging.
The best herbal supplements usually put these on their label: the name of the herbal supplement, the net quantity of the contents (i.e. 60 capsules), a disclaimer (“This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”), a Supplement Facts Panel (that includes the serving size, amount, and active ingredient), other ingredients for which no daily values have been established, and the name and address of the packer, distributor, or manufacturer.
2. Buy single-ingredient products
The best herbal supplements show how much of the herb each dosage contains. Opt to buy single-herb products because products that are mixtures of several herbs tend to be vague on the proportions of each herb. Also, there may be little or no significant studies on how these herbs might interact with each other.
3. Beware of outstanding claims
The best herbal supplements are truthful and do not claim to be an absolute cure or treatment for any condition. Beware of claims that are too good to be true, especially those that claim to address a wide spectrum of health concerns.
4. Choose standardized herbal supplements
The best herbal supplements have a seal from a reputable company or organization, certifying its safety. This includes the U.S. Pharmacopeia’s “USP Dietary Supplement Verified” seal, ConsumerLab.com, Good Housekeeping, and NSF International.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have the authority to approve herbal supplements before their manufacture and sale. It is therefore wise to go with a manufacturer that strictly adheres to GMP standards. This ensures that the herbal supplements contain what their labels claim and that the product has no known contaminants.
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