Having briefly worked in marketing for a major pharmaceutical company, I can assure you there are no evil people seeking to destroy humanity by selling dangerous products for no other reason than to make money. The company I was involved with manufactured calcium channel blockers - I assisted in writing the NDA - and what they dis was withold the information that in their confidential studies (which I reviewed for the NDA application) approximately 18 percent of patients with high blood pressure had their problem resolved by taking calcium and D3 supplements. As for herbals, I was also involved with a 120 acre farm producing herbs for medicinal purposes. We were lucky in that the land had never ever been used with pesticide, however that is not the case in most of the world. The herbs absorb toxins and pesticides as they grow. We used what is called super-critical carbon dioxide to remove the herbal extract, which is 100 percent non-toxic (and incidentally, might be banned under new global warming agreements). We used some labs for quality control and one hundred percent of the herbal samples we obtained (from outside sources) contained either pesticide residue or the extracts contained residue of toxic carcinogenic solvents. The term "farmer grown" or "organic" on a product doesn't mean diddly-squat. The other issue involved the fact that genetically herbals contain varying amounts of medicinal product. In out case we would take an herbal product and then sample the harvest in greenhouses, select those showing the highest lab results in medicinal, and plant those seeds and do the same the next year gradually increasing the yield of medicinal over ten years. Although one of our herbs was marketed with herbs from other sources it contained twenty times the amount of medicine. So an herb ain't necessarily an herb. There are no federal (U.S.) standards to compare and contrast herbs. Then we thought about concentrating the medicinal....whoa nelly...butt on with the FDA and what are called "good manufacturing practices" and "manufacturing license" and "clinical trials". Unfortunately, nobody involved with us had won the lotto, so that went out the window. So the answer to your question is maybe yes and maybe no. You really don;t know what you are purchasing when you buy herbs.,
It may be true that you don't know what you're getting when you buy herbs - but most medical doctors (physicians) don't know very much about nutrition or herbal remedies as they are taught how to prescribe the right drug for the right disease. A homeopathic practitioner knows more about treating the whole person. If there were holistic doctors in our area, I would prefer going to one of them rather than a medical doctor.
I am a great fan of naturopathic medicine, as well as the use of nutrition and traditional remedies as the solution to many medical problems. The question asked, though, specifically related itself to herbs. The FDA has been a problem in this area through over-regulation in some areas and insufficient regulation in others. For example, even though some of the herbs we grew contained significant additional amounts of medicinal substances there are FDA imposed advertising claims constraints. Purchasing herbs is a game of Russian-Roulette. If you do find an herb that you find helpful, consider starting your own small organic garden. Take care to obtain seeds from a very reputable source. A university involved in botony research would be a good place to start.
well fda misregulates/mismanages. those guys are far from perfect. you don't have to take risk. like another else, common sense applies.
don't use some herb nobody knows about. say something sciences lack research on but still say its normally safe, and when pharmaceuticals fails you, you can give that a shot. really beats doing zip when western science fails.
i remember a speech from this doctor saying something like this drug heals your heart but hurts your lung and vice versa. that really sounds dumb to heal one area and hurt another.
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