Herbs are natural and harmless, that’s what the general population believes.  This misleading concept has made people think that it is perfectly alright to take herbal supplements without the knowledge and supervision of medical professionals.

Contrary to popular belief, administering herbs or herbal supplements without proper medical advice and supervision can have some adverse effects on an individual.  Although most herbs are safe by medical standards, an understanding of their correct use and how they work is very important in order to get their maximum healing potential.

Another thing you need to know about herbs is it must not be used to take the place of a doctor-prescribed medication without the consent and prior approval of the concerned physician.  You don’t have to take that risk to avoid possible consequences to your health.

According to experts, certain herbs, when used along with other conventional medicines can lose the medication’s healing effect.  There are also certain types of herbs which, when taken along with some medication, change the make up and reaction of the medicine in the body.  When this happens, you’ve got a problem, not an added value for your health and money.

Along this line, it is indeed very important to seek professional medical advice before considering the use of herbal supplements especially if it involves large dosages.  Here are a few pointers you should keep in mind before using herbs:

1. Caution should be taken before taking herbal preparations.  Bring the formulation to your doctor so that he can read the label and help you to understand what you are about to take.

2. Do not be easily carried away by unsubstantiated claims of some marketers that a particular herb can do miracles; they could have had it confirmed by the FDA for unquestionable credibility.

3. Buy herbs and herbal supplements only from reputable sources, but then again, always get prior advice from a licensed health professional who is authorized to prescribe herbs.

4. For the assurance of their own safety, pregnant women should avoid using herbs.  They can only use these under the approval and supervision of a licensed health professional.

Herbs are generally good and people use them for health reasons.  But since some of them have their downside, caution should be exercised so that we can enjoy the benefits of these healers that nature has given us.