What alternative health

practitioners might not tell you



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"... the herbal product industry is just another drug industry, one selling products that are poorly regulated and likely don't work for their claimed indications...The deception inherent to the herbal product industry, in my opinion, is the notion that herbs are something other than drugs. This is closely tied to the naturalistic fallacy: the idea that a substance that is "natural" (a poorly defined concept) is somehow magically safe and effective...As with many things, the marketing of herbal products is largely based on ideology and a compelling narrative rather than actual science and evidence. For the most part consumers are left to their own devices to sort out which products are likely to be useful...keep in mind that if an herbal product contains a useful active ingredient, it would likely be identified, purified, and properly studied. The best result is likely to come from taking a precisely measured amount of a specific active ingredient with known pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics as well as drug-drug interactions. Herbs are not only drugs, they are a mixture of various drugs of unknown dose, activity, and interactions, often with evidence that they do not work. It takes effective marketing to convince the public this is somehow better than taking highly purified and studied pharmaceuticals." Steven Novella, MD, The Committee For Skeptical Inquiry (March/April 2013)