Notices
Results 1 to 5 of 5
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By Paleoichneum

Thread: herbal suppliments

  1. #1 herbal suppliments 
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    27°20'06.53"N 82°32'48.35"W
    Posts
    176
    Recently I have seen and read many articles that multi-vitamins are a total waste of money. Is the same true with herbal suppliments? I take milk thistle to keep my liver in good shape and, I know there are several herbal suppliments available for a variety of health maintanance reasons. Are these effective or another expensive urine placibo?


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope Paleoichneum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Washington State, USA
    Posts
    4,972
    A large majority of the herbal supplements on the market have never actually been double blind tested, and the benefits claimed are based off word of mouth or very small sample sizes.


    wegs likes this.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    1,444
    The US FDA steers clear of herbal supplements other than, I think, declaring them to be food supplements.

    However, Germany has its BfArM (Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte = Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices), their equivalent to the FDA, which respects "traditional medicinal products" for the sake of openmindedness regarding pharmacotherapy. The BfArm's Commission C advises the BfArM on so-called "anthroposophic" medicinal products, its Commission D advises on homeopathic medicinal products, and its Commission E advises on herbal medicinal products.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    who sees through things
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    UK now, US before
    Posts
    269
    Keeseguy, have you had your liver function tested before and after you started taking milk thistle? It would be interesting to see if the numbers change. Of course, if they do change, it could be for a completely unrelated reason, but still interesting.

    Herbal supplements can have medicinal effects. The issue is that they are not regulated the way prescription or OTC drugs are.

    Like any substance that acts as a medicine, they have side effects. Whether or not the side effects are worth the benefits depends on the situation. No different than prescription or OTC drugs.

    Vitamins are completely different. Vitamins are substances that healthy people normally have in their body just by virtue of eating normal foods. When you take vitamins, you aren't introducing a foreign substance in the body. You are adding more of something the body is normally supposed to have. It's the same when you take prescribed hormones, like insulin or thyroxine. You're not taking a foreign substance, you're adding something that is normally found in the body anyway.

    Most medicines and herbal supplements, though are foreign substances. Personally, I try to avoid them. An exception might be an antibiotic for a serious infection that my immune system can't handle on its own.

    You can go on Google scholar and look for research studies on the efficacy of different herbs. If you can find ones where you can read the whole article for free (try PLOS - Public Library of Science) you can check the research methods. There are tools on the web that allow you to calculate whether a sample size is relevant. There is a known problem with pharmaceutical companies not publishing studies that show inconclusive effects. There is also a known problem with pharmaceutical companies publishing their own studies and paying scientists from independent institutions to put their names on it, so there is no evidence of potential bias. It's certainly possible that herbal supplement companies do these things, too.
    Last edited by Alec Bing; January 1st, 2014 at 06:34 AM.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    You can go on Google scholar and look for research studies on the efficacy of different herbs.
    Most importantly, once you've got hold of information that certain plant materials do have worthwhile effects on metabolism, you have to do a lot more work.

    You have to find out what the manufacturer of the preparation you're interested in does in the way of quality control of the plant materials it takes in as ingredients. Most often it's only one particular plant within a group of that has the particular effect or there's one that stands out from all the others as having the most potent/ beneficial effect. All of this is irrelevant if the manufacturer willingly accepts any old bundle of green stuff that looks enough like the desired plant to pass a casual inspection.

    Casual inspection isn't enough. Plant materials should be tested by chemical or other appropriate means to ensure that the resulting product will contain a guaranteed minimum of the wanted ingredients - many such plants should be harvested at certain stages of seasonal growth. Whether the particular plant needs picking before or after flowering or before/ after first frost or before or after new spring growth - just as most other fruits and vegetables and herbs and flavourings have specific or best target times for harvest.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. Herbal Healing
    By Artemis in forum Health & Medicine
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: August 20th, 2009, 03:09 PM
  2. Risk free trial on Japan herbal supplement YHK
    By tokoyo7788 in forum Health & Medicine
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: November 3rd, 2008, 01:25 AM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •