Three Top Herbal Supplements And Their Benefits

Herbal supplements are becoming an important part of the everyday diets of many Americans. It is not surprising, considering that Americans are notorious for their unhealthy eating habits. Many believe that herbal supplementation can counteract some of the damage done during breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Still, others find that they have a hard time resisting the claims of the manufacturers who oftentimes tout their supplements to be groundbreaking in the prevention and cure of all kinds of diseases. Another group, however, has found that there are actual tangible benefits to taking certain supplements, and while they may not have reams of data to back up their claims, they know that they are benefiting from the supplements.

The three top herbal supplements show that they are more than just a few hard to pronounce ingredients and instead prove how they can benefit the body.

Ginseng is quite possibly the most famous herb purchased by Americans. Manufacturers of ginseng supplements claim that it will heighten a person’s ability to think and remember, increase immunity, prevent wild mood swings, prevent cancer, control diabetes, and overall increase a person’s energy and well being.

Sadly, there is not much research available that supports any or all of these claims. The problems encountered when looking for reliable studies center around the fact that different kinds of ginseng are used, that no double-blind placebo-controlled studies are done, and that energy increase is one of those benefits that are hard to prove. At this point, there is no proof of any of these claims other than the fact that people taking this supplement report an overall increased feeling of well being. If you are considering ginseng, as an added supplement for your diet, please be sure to discuss it with your physician first; ginseng has been found to have contraindications with people who may suffer diabetes. Additionally, if you have low blood sugar, your levels may plummet further, leaving you hypoglycemic. If you are taking aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs, there is also a chance that ginseng will counteract their effects.

Another supplement that has captured the American supplement market is Echinacea. It is a flowering plant that is credited with enhancing a person’s resistance to contracting the common cold by boosting the immune system. Additionally, it is supposed to be a useful supplement when attempting to get well from upper respiratory infections. Interestingly, both the stem and flowering parts as well s the root are used in the preparation of supplements. Unfortunately, clinical studies have failed to demonstrate conclusively that Echinacea will shorten the duration of a cold, and instead have proven that there is no validation to this claim. Prolonged exposure to Echinacea supplements has proven to be detrimental to liver functions and needs to be avoided. AIDS patients are especially warned against taking this supplement.

Last but not least are the garlic supplements. You have undoubtedly heard of the claims made by manufacturers that show that garlic is known to reduce blood pressure, fight infections, and reduce the bad cholesterol count. Additionally, there is talk that garlic is a powerful anticarcinogen. Once again, there are no reliable studies to back up these claims, but so far there has been no detrimental effect reported by those who regularly consume garlic supplements.

As you probably know, there are a large number of herbal supplements on the market, and it is anybody’s guess why these three rose to the top. Perhaps it is the marketing, or maybe it is the folklore that is attached to each one. After all, how many times has a well-meaning grandparent given you some Echinacea when you took ill from a cold, and how many times have you felt better after taking one or the other supplement yourself? Additionally, simply because these supplements do not fall under the oversight of the Food and Drug Administration, does not have to mean that they are not useful. Thus, it is in your best interest to discuss any herbal supplements you may wish to take, or are currently taking, with your physician. Make sure you mention which prescriptions you are currently taking, any allergies you may have, and the reason why you would like to try them.


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