posted on Nov, 3 2010 @ 03:21 AM
Firstly, I don't use herbal supplements, but I am OUTRAGED by this.
Secondly, please read through my entire post before jumping to conclusions about what I have to say.
However, the fact that this is happening is something I feel we are, in some way, partially responsible for. Too many in the medical industry, herbal
supplements are often not taken seriously - and we are to blame for this. It’s not too late though, and we CAN do something about this, but to do
so, we have to change how we approach natural supplements and discuss them to the rest of the world at large.
As many of you on ATS are probably aware, opinions, beliefs, and passions are unbelievably powerful in determining what any given person is willing to
believe. There is nothing wrong with that, however, passion does not win court cases or judges over without strong evidence to support claims. Being
too passionate can even work against groups, because they are unable to see beyond their beliefs and properly counter the opposition's arguments. To
effectively fight this threat, it is necessary to set aside emotional ties and opinions in order to protect what you care about.
To fight this, we have to show the government and courts that we are, as a people, able to safely and responsibly handle herbs like we would with
prescription medications without the government having to step in. We need to show that we are intelligent enough to discern false products from the
real thing, and are able to purchase herbs from respectable, safe businesses.
As an individual deeply involved in consumer medicine, I am confident that how we approach herbal medicine is part of the problem. While I understand
many strong supporters of herbal medicine may disagree with what I’m about to say, bear with me here and try to see things from this perspective for
Herbal supplements ARE drugs, they ARE medications, and they ARE no different from taking prescription medications. Just because they are naturally
occurring does NOT mean they are gentler on your body, more natural, healthier, or good for you. Herbal supplements have possible side effects, and
can hurt or help any individual depending on the person. Herbs can be dangerous, and can kill people if too much is taken – just like with
I have talked with many doctors about herbal supplements and how it affects their work, and the most common thing I hear is that their patients
don’t include herbal remedies in their list of medicines they are taking. This is a huge problem for doctors, whose license is endangered by their
patients not understanding the seriousness of taking herbal remedies. This problem is so widespread that the health industry has been pushing for
stronger regulation and control of herbs and natural supplements for a while now – supporting power gains in the FDA to make their job easier. This
is exactly what pharmaceutical companies want.
To keep our rights to alternative medicines, we need to give doctors and law enforcement proof that we can be intelligent consumers, and don’t need
the FDA and similar agencies to hand-feed us. We need to show responsibility and seriousness in our approach to herbs and their consumption. We need
to understand that just because the herbs we are consuming occur in nature; it does not mean they aren’t medications. Take penicillin for example
– it has revolutionized medicine and is naturally occurring. Everything we put into our body affects it for better or worse, regardless of its
While the “natural” image has done well for selling herbal supplements, it has created an image and attitude towards herbalism that is, in the
end, detrimental towards its own goals.
I could honestly write a massive paper on this topic, and have only really addressed the surface of one of the many issues surrounding alternative
medicine. I'm sorry if my post is confusing, as it is rushed, but I'm trying to provide the perspective held by those combating herbal medicine, and
how those who want to keep their rights to herbal medicines need to address the issue.