Herbal Medication Use Continues to Grow in U.S.

By: Marcus Washington
By: Marcus Washington

July 8, 2005

Each year, more and more Americans are turning to herbal medications over prescription drugs. This switch has a lot to do with how effective and safe they can be.

Herbal medication has a huge following and by the looks of things, it's more than a trend.

"Oh I think it's absolutely healthier for the body, said Susan Dunlap, Nutrition Specialist. She added that it is important to consult a physician or nutritionist before using any herbal therapy. "It's important to know how the drug actually functions cause you want to have something that isn't going to against an herb and vice versa."

With the popularity of natural remedies also come scams, especially on the Internet. That is why it's important to know who you're buying your medication from.

Dunlap said, "Without having somebody there [who] has actually had a chance to visit the companies, checked them out, seeing their quality control, it's risky."

This is a risk that can put your life in danger. Just because a medication is herbal, doesn't mean it can't harm you.

"It's important to be able to talk to somebody who knows the products, [who] can ask the questions to see if there might be a problem with something else that they're doing," explained Dunlap.

Even though the number of Americans using herbal therapy is increasing, the U.S. still lags behind the rest of the world.

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