Natural herbal supplements
Many natural herbal supplements are being marketed widely in every health food outlet, drug store, supermarket and gas station. They promise everything from enhanced physical/mental/sexual performance to alleviating the common cold and other ailments. While many can be helpful if used properly, marketers' claims are not always accurate and may be misleading and even sometimes dangerous.
Potencies can vary wildly from almost no active components to much higher concentrations than are appropriate, due to the lack of regulation of these substances in the USA. One brand may have the strength of a sugar pill, while another may produce too strong an effect.
In addition, some of these herbal medications are simply dangerous by definition and suggested use, such as the stimulant Ephedra (or, "Ma Huang"), which is closely related to the amphetamines and is marketed for boosting energy, enhancing weight loss, improving mental/physical performance and elevating metabolism.
Others are simply alternative natural sources of caffeine,
such as Guarana, which is no more effective a stimulant than Maxwell House or Lipton.
Many informative reference publications are available at almost any public library which will shed light on the benefits and drawbacks of any herbal supplement on the market. These sources are more dependable than marketing hype. Always arm yourself with knowledge when dealing with merchandisers whose claims put utopia in a capsule. And remember, if a supplement makes you feel better, that doesn't mean its good for you.
Let the buyer beware.
Last edited by LittleBigMan; 03-31-01 at 09:30 PM.