It is in our nature, as humans to seek out products and services that will improve our physical and mental health. We all see the advertisements for products claiming to be 100 percent natural. We automatically assume the word "natural" means healthy and beneficial. Marketing specialists know that consumers are less likely to question the safety of "natural" products. Therefore, it is important to understand that "natural" is not necessarily safe.
FDA and Dietary Supplements
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate and oversee the production and distribution of dietary supplements and prescription medication equally. Dietary supplements and food fall into the same category. Manufacturers are not compelled to list contraindications on the labels. As long as they list the ingredients, they fall within the FDA guidelines.
Too many people think that 100 percent natural is safe. For example; arsenic, mercury, lead, oleander and tomato vines are all toxic. Yet, they are 100 percent naturally occurring substances. However, it is doubtful that anyone would take these as a daily dietary supplement.
The point is that natural products can be harmful. They can also be non-beneficial. Echinacea, the purple coneflower is known to have antibiotic properties, but when taken as a daily supplement, it is not effective. Just like prescription antibiotics, if taken on a regular basis, the body becomes immune to their infection fighting properties.
Do your Research
Some herbs do react with other herbs or prescription medication. Additionally, ingesting too much of some herbs may create health problems. Always talk to your doctor and do your research before reaching for the 100 percent natural products.