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Herbal products may be more dangerous than you think

This will no doubt come as a surprise to many people but, according to WHO (the World Health Organization, not the Doctor) herbal products could be a threat to consumers’ health.

As explained in this article on Science Daily, WHO tested a variety of herbal alternative medicines and found that 59% of the products were contaminated (either with plant species that were NOT supposed to be present or with other fillers.) Furthermore, the plant extracts that were used could be toxic or have other side effects. So clearly, just because these products are “all natural” doesn’t automagically mean they are safe and effective. And if herbal medicines are contaminated it’s not unlikely that herbal cosmetics are as well!

This doesn’t mean that “synthetics” are safe from contamination either. As we discussed in our recent post petroleum jelly must be properly purified to remove carcinogenic contaminants. But when properly refined, petroleum jelly is a very effective ingredient that is completely safe to use.

So let’s stop the ridiculous argument that “all natural is good and all synthetic is bad.” Instead let’s focus on making sure that the ingredients in our products are safe and effective regardless of their source.

End of rant.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Janelle Moore December 5, 2013, 1:38 pm

    Wow! I’ve never thought about this before, but with all of the toxins and pesticides that are used on plants, it makes perfect sense. Definitely going to be rethinking things before I do anymore DIY recipes.

  • Rozy December 7, 2013, 2:17 pm

    tbh I can’t think of a bigger waste of my time than DIY cosmetics when are so many good products available at an affordable cost. It is not a surprise to me either that there is contamination. Medical drugs are more safe and effective. No question.

    I had a facebutt friend who is against drugs 100 percent of the time and only uses herbal treatments. She is against “Big Pharma”. Her views were so annoying I had to defriend her.

    While I am critical of big companies making their drugs extremely unaffordable and branding them (my Cybalta is pretty expensive and that is annoying) I am a big believer in socialized medicine. I believe medical care is a human right and should not be a field where profits go ahead of patient well-being. I do think people after a certain income level should pay reasonable fees and even have their own private clinics as to not over burden the public system.

    This stance is an ideological stance and is a far cry from believing that “drugs create more problems than they solve” and common products creating complex disorders like cancer. I also am annoyed by the alties on my facebook who say “modern medicine treats the symptoms and not the whole person”. Also “trust birth” because that will change one of the most dangerous things a human female can go through smh. 😎

    I think a drug being shown to treat symptoms is perfectly acceptable. As a sufferer of M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) I am really hoping there will a drug treatment one day for this disabling condition, to hell with endless research on what could possibly go wrong.

    The attacks on drug creators and manufacturers can have the consequence of really hurting people suffering from a myriad of conditions that have life altering symptoms that desperately need treating.

    I think the market for alternative crap whether it be crystals claiming to treat diseases, herbal concoctions, “natural” personal care products or whatever prey off people’s lack of understanding of basic science and wanting to feel in control “doctors create more problems than they solve, doctors are good for setting a broken arm but not much else”.

    Stop putting your pseudo-science driven fears ahead of disabled people’s right to treatment! Read more about M.E here: http://www.hfme.org/

  • Rozy December 7, 2013, 2:19 pm

    Oops that emoticon was supposed to be rolling eyes not sunglasses dude. Oh well.