These days it seems there are far too many claims that a particular herbal supplement can do many extraordinary things that not even doctors can figure out. The people selling these ‘miracle drugs’ attempt to impulse you straight to your pocket book…and succeed every day. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself from fraudulent claims and purchasing products that actually provide you the real ingredients of what you thought you were buying. There are two major organizations that have made it their job to validate the alternative supplements and allowing the placement of their stamp of approval on the approved products. These two organizations are the United States Pharmacopoeia and NSF International.
One piece of advice: never buy anything that claims to be an alternative treatment without first finding this stamp of approval. Why risk it? it is these organizations jobs to seek out and approve all the products that actually follow through with what they say. So if the stamp is not there, then it may very well mean that it has not been approved. That being said, there are many products out there seeking their approval but some have really managed to stand out as some of the more effective alternative medicines, thanks to the research done at universities such ad Harvard, Duke, and Stanford. These universities have been making it one of their main goals to research and find what herbal remedies really work and how. Several years of research have already been conducted and many alternative medicine practices have been deemed as effective.
Some of those effective alternative medicines include: acupuncture for pain, guided imagery (focusing on breathing and relaxation while taking the patient to another ‘place’), as well as glucosamine for joint pain. Also mentioned were alternative treatments for PMS using such supplements as calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B6 which all can have an impact on bloating and other strong effects of one’s period. For depression, it has been validated that St Johns Wort has evidence of it’s effectiveness for reducing the symptoms. However, those taking the supplement will more than likely not see any effect until after six to 8 weeks.
So when you hear the claims that a certain herb will cure those things which man has not been able to figure out after all the decades of research, maybe it would be a good idea to do a little of your own research. Find a valid practitioner who can assist you in finding the right alternative medicines and treatments which would be best for you. Valid practitioners are those who have actually studied alternative medicine and are included in the Consortium for Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine and who have a background in alternative medicine. If you do not seek professional advice, then make sure you look for the “USP” of “NSF” stamps of approval on the products before making your purchase.