A dietary herbal supplement is generally an herb available in a pill or liquid form, taken daily as part of an overall regimen to improve health. There are hundreds of different dietary herbal supplements available both in health food stores or regular pharmacies and grocery stores, all making various promises to improve specific aspects of one's health. Though a dietary herbal supplement may be a helpful addition to an otherwise healthy diet and lifestyle, it is important to carefully consider all the options.
In most cases, a dietary herbal supplement is not regulated by the government in any way. This means that the claims specified on the bottle may not be proven or even tested. Some may even contain additional ingredients or different herbs than are listed. For these reasons and others, it is important to thoroughly research any dietary herbal supplement independently, or ask a doctor for advice, before taking anything. Some supplements should only be taken for a brief period of time, and it is important to follow these directions to avoid causing liver damage or other potentially harmful side effects.
In addition, it is generally necessary to stop taking any dietary herbal supplements before having surgery of any kind. This is because the supplements can interfere with anesthesia as well as increase the risk of bleeding. Be sure to tell a doctor about any supplements being taken to ensure that they do not interact with any other medications as well. Dietary herbal supplements may be perfectly safe when researched properly and taken as directed.
There are many different types of dietary herbal supplements available. Some claim to improve physical appearance, such as by clearing blemishes on the skin or encouraging nail and hair growth. Others promise to boost energy or metabolism, improve mood, help with sleep, promote weight loss, or even help to treat medical conditions such as depression or arthritis, among many others. Some well-known dietary herbal supplements are aloe vera, green tea, hoodia, St. John's wort, and coenzyme Q10, just to name a few.
A dietary herbal supplement may be purchased in stores or online. While they can be beneficial, they are no substitutes for a healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein. It is important to exercise, drink enough water every day, and get enough sleep at night. Keep in mind as well that dietary herbal supplements often take longer to have an effect on the body or mind than a more traditional medication, such as an antidepressant.