Natural health supplements are available in many forms, such as tea bags, capsules, tablets, liquids, and powders. Examples of common herbal health products and supplements include black cohosh, echinacea, garlic, ginkgo, saw palmetto, and St. John's Wort. Herbal supplements, sometimes referred to as botanicals, are a type of dietary supplement that contains one or more herbs.
Multivitamins, vitamin D, echinacea, and fish oil are some of the dietary supplements that can be found in stores or online. Maybe you're already taking a supplement or considering using one. Dietary supplements can be beneficial to health but can also pose risks. Therefore, it's important to talk to a healthcare professional to help you decide if a supplement is right for you. Dietary supplements are widely available in the United States in health food stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, the Internet, and by mail. People often take them for health-related reasons.
The most common dietary supplements include vitamins and minerals (such as vitamin C or a multivitamin complex), botanicals (herbs and plant products like St. John's Wort), and substances that come from a natural source (like omega-3 fatty acids). If you experience an adverse effect while taking a dietary supplement, stop using it immediately, seek medical attention or advice, and report the adverse event to the FDA. Always tell your doctor if you are using a dietary supplement or if you are thinking of combining a supplement with your standard medical treatment. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) was amended in 1994 by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (often referred to as DSHEA), which defined the “dietary supplement” and established the authority of the FDA with respect to such products.
The ODS seeks to strengthen knowledge and understanding of dietary supplements by evaluating scientific information, supporting research, sharing research results, and educating the public. Additionally, keep in mind that supplements should not replace the variety of foods that are important to a healthy diet. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't regulate dietary supplements the same way it regulates medications. The NCCIH and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provide tools to help you understand the basic concepts and terminology of scientific research so that you can make well-informed decisions about your health. For a list of possible serious reactions to watch out for and to learn how to report an adverse event, see the FDA website, How to Report a Problem with Dietary Supplements.
Dietary supplements can help you improve or maintain your overall health, and supplements can also help you meet your daily needs for essential nutrients. People have used the active ingredients in dietary supplements for thousands of years to aid health and treat diseases. It is not intended to replace the medical experience and advice of your healthcare provider(s). The amount of scientific evidence on dietary supplements varies widely; there is a lot of information about some and very little about others. The NCCIH Information Center provides information on the NCCIH and complementary and integrative approaches to health, including publications and searches in federal databases of scientific and medical literature.