Herbal Supplements Versus The Real Thing

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Corie Henson, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    When I was prescribed an herbal treatment for my kidney stones in 2006, we asked the urologist if we can use the real herb in place of the commercial version of sambong pills. And it is history that we had planted sambong so we can save money instead of buying the pills and at the same time get more efficacy. It is very effective for me and until now I am drinking sambong tea that we brew using the leaves of the sambong plant plus lemon grass to add flavor and at the same time fight cholesterol.

    Do you have a herbal kiosk there? Based on what I see, there is an array of herbal supplements - in packets, sachets and bottles - displayed in the kiosk which is big business. For one sickness like diabetes, there are countless of cures and preventive treatments. And it looks like all diseases and ailments are covered with the thousands of herbal supplement in that kiosk.

    It would have been great if those herbal supplements are true to their blurb. However, all of them have a label in the packaging that says - no approved therapeutic claims.
     
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  2. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Except for Vitamin D and C occasionally, I don't buy any herbal or any other vitamins. It's become big business
    And there are so many that I get dizzy just looking at all the different ones for just one problem.

    There's so much hype everywhere you look, even on the internet. You click on a story but it ends up being an ad for some weight loss miracle or face lift miracle or a cure for something.

    Once you order from them, you'll never stop getting billed every month no matter what you do, I've read of so many nightmare stories like that. They say you can cancel but just try, lol.
     
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  3. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Anyone tried supplements that have had a benefit ?
     
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  4. Mari North

    Mari North Very Well-Known Member
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    Well now, that's a loaded question there, @Patsy Faye ! Personally... well, if we're talking herbals and not vitamins and minerals, I sure haven't seen anything working. Some people swear by Melatonin (probably not technically an herbal? Not sure) but for me... nope. Took it, was so very excited about it, and then it was like "Oh DRAT, it's 2 a.m. and I popped awake like every other night (and that after taking it for a while to give it a fair chance.) Same story with other herbals I've tried for numerous issues... it was like taking M&Ms... which would have tasted a lot better.

    Now minerals I do think are good whether or not we see a difference, particularly calcium, Vit C and the B vitamins.
     
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  5. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I have a full bottle of melatonin in my drawer in my nightstand, probably should throw it out.

    I was only low on D so started taking that. I think I get plenty of the B vitamins from my food. C I take sometimes because I'm not a fruit eater but other foods contain it also.
     
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  6. Mari North

    Mari North Very Well-Known Member
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    I do in my desk drawer, too, Chrissy. I made a mistake and bought two bottles when I bought it and it didn't take more than the first bottle to see that it, at least to me, was going to be worthless. I've never taken D but it wouldn't be a bad idea. I got some GNC B-12 chews recently and although there's no way to tell if they're doing anything, I've enjoyed some of the chews. Tricky way to fool myself into thinking it's candy? You decide. hehe (Hint, I've even tried the chocolate and vanilla calcium chews.)
     
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  7. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    Melatonin is not an herb at all. It is a hormone that our body produces when it gets dark outside and it is time for us to go to sleep (according to nature). We produce more of it when we are young, and it is also found in mother's milk from cows and goats, as well as humans.
    As we get older, our melatonin production drops.
    Plus, we live with artificial lights, so we don't even make most of what melatonin we could still produce because it doesn't get dark when the sun goes down anymore.
    Like any other hormone, some people need more of melatonin to help them get sleepy than other people need.
    I started taking it when I was in my early 50's and started with a dose of 3 mg about a half hour before bed time.
    As I have aged, I slowly increased the dose as I felt like I needed more of it.
    It also helps to not watch dramatic or scary television programs, which make us release adrenalin, another hormone, and one which will keep us alert and awake.
    They also recommend using a yellow light source and not a bright white one, in the evening.

    Since the purpose of melatonin is to make you feel sleepy, it is not necesarily going to put you into a deep sleep like a sleeping pill would do.
    It just helps you to fall asleep easier; but if you are stressed and full of adrenalin, then it might not even do that since it would be competing with the other hormone.
    Melatonin is not just a hormone to make you sleepy, it is also an anti-aging hormone, and helps the other hormones to work better.
    There is a great book called "The Melatonin Miracle" , and it explains all of the benefits of taking this hormone when your body stops producing enough of it.
     
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  8. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I have a bottle of B-12 melt under your tongue ones but saw no benefit and I think my vitamin b levels are normal.

    I recall having that on a blood test.
     
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  9. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    @Yvonne Smith, I was trying it for sleep but it didn't work so I don't take it. I don't know what other benefits it has
    But I'll look.

    The other problem I see with it is that in some other countries you need a prescription for it, it's not OTC like it is here so I wonder why?
     
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  10. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    Here is just a short tutorial video that explains some of the more important reasons why our body needs a sufficient supply of melatonin.
    I did find a video by the doctor that wrote the Melatoin Miracle book (Dr. Walter Pierpaoli) ; but he is a little hard to understand; so I wanted to share this shorter one instead.

     
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  11. Mari North

    Mari North Very Well-Known Member
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    I was so hoping it would work for me... but it just didn't. It didn't make me sleepy, it didn't keep me sleeping, and... don't quote me on this, I may be thinking of something else, but I do believe it made me feel horrid the next day, like all droopy. I could only deal with it for about 20 days. I guess my body manufactures as much as it's going to get.

    Also, I didn't like the side effects and warnings I saw for it on WebMD... from depression (worsening depression), bleeding, increasing blood sugar and blood pressure, etc. I didn't want to end up with things a lot worse than sleeplessness.

    Oh, and it said in some cases it's been known to be safely taken for "up to 2 years"... I also didn't want to find something that worked and then have to stop taking it in less than two years because of the risks.
     
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  12. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Ok, I understand it's also antioxidant and we have less as we age but why is it only available by prescription in some countries?

    Is it guaranteed that by taking it you won't get cancer? I don't have a big fear of cancer but now watch my Pap smear come back abnormal. :) Since there have been so few cancers in my family maybe I'll get them all.

    It's not that I'm against taking these things but it just gets overwhelming with what they say you should be taking, so I take only what I know I'm low on...vitamin D.

    My daughter also tried melatonin and it did help her fall asleep but she quit because of a side effect but I can't remember what it was....maybe crazy dreams? Not sure but I'll ask her if she calls. She's the one that suggested I take it.

    She also takes D and a multi and magnesium and calcium and zinc. She's also not a fruit eater like me.
    My bottle is old so needs throwing out anyway....still need to research it more. I barely remember my D every day.
    I also have omega 3 but always forget to take it. I remember my prescription meds but not my vitamins.
     
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  13. Mari North

    Mari North Very Well-Known Member
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    Wowzers! I just checked with Mayo Clinic after reading the WebMD warnings... Mayo recommends very short term use if at all... "up to two months!" Yvonne, didn't your doctor ever have warnings for you? You've been using it for twenty years? It interacts with a number of medications including blood thinners, diabetes medication, and hypertension meds as well. Too scary for Mari. :eek:
     
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  14. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I don't take those meds but this is why I don't take all these extra things except what my dr ordered like the D.

    As I get more tests done, he may tell me to take something else but he knows my medical history and meds I take so any interactions would be avoided.
     
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  15. Mari North

    Mari North Very Well-Known Member
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    I've often been surprised at many of the claimed "harmless" herbals and supplements turning out to be bad for us when we actually research or ask a doc about it. There are reasons doctors (and dentists, come to think of it) always ask about herbal stuff you're taking, too... they know many of them interact badly with meds.

    Anyhow, sorry for derailing your question there, @Corie Henson ! Herbals are big business here like Chrissy said, but many doctors will tell you that the effectiveness is often a placebo effect at best and harmful to long-term health at worst.
     
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  16. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Yes, that's true. I know I see St. John's wart mentioned a lot with interactions. I've never taken it but think it's used for depression but that one has lots of warnings.

    Also even spices like cinnamon in large amounts can be harmful. Teens were doing the cinnamon challenge. Don't remember the details but I think they would eat a spoonful for either getting high or something but there were a few deaths.

    I'll have to look up the reason why they were doing it because I could be wrong but teens usually do these things to get high.
     
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  17. Martin Alonzo

    Martin Alonzo Very Well-Known Member
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    Herbs are nature’s drugs and of course the pharmaceutical will warn you, If you mix something natural with petroleum based drugs that the natural is the dangerous one?
    Minerals, vitamins, omega acids, and amino acids are essential nourishment which if it is not in your food r you cannot absorb it you might need to supplement.
    Unless the doctor is knowledgeable on nutrition he can miss read blood test for example if you had high calcium in your blood ignorant doctor would tell you to cut down on calcium which is exactly the wrong thing. You need more calcium because the calcium in your blood was taken out of your bones and teeth and not from your diet.
    To know if you are deficient in minerals best test are hair analyst and not blood tests.
     
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  18. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Even I know that high calcium in your blood doesn't mean to cut back on calcium. Drs really aren't as stupid as you make out, Martin. I really don't know what kind of drs you're around but that calcium statement is hard to believe. I'm not a dr and know that. I'm confident that what my dr told me about being low on D is accurate. There is a specific test just for D.

    Yes, it's common knowledge if you aren't getting enough vitamins and minerals from your food, you need to take vitamins.

    I don't understand your first sentence...
     
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  19. Mari North

    Mari North Very Well-Known Member
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    PS on the top... if you were talking about herbals in general and not melatonin specifically, Martin, just toss my reply.. I may have misunderstood to what you were referring.
    ========
    Maybe so, Martin, but doggone, if I see on WebMD, hear from a Mayo Clinic doc, and see numerous other warnings for something that's either given by prescription or BANNED everywhere except the US and Canada, I'm sure as heck not going to stick it into my body.

    It can raise blood pressure, blood sugar, cause heart problems, and several other issues a lot more serious than not being able to sleep. It can't be disputed, it's fact. Oh, and the doc I spoke with is an expert in nutrition and has a professorship in it, you betcha. ;)
     
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    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
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  20. Martin Alonzo

    Martin Alonzo Very Well-Known Member
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    Mari if you read I said that herbs are natures drugs that means they are drugs.
    If you check the track record of natural drugs and pharmaceutical drug there is no comparison for safety.
    Can herb be dangerous of course and should be treated so
    These were on WebMD or other medical sites as drug of choice
    Accutane on the market 27 years before they realized it was dangerous.
    Baycol on the market 3 years before they realized it was dangerous
    Bextra on the market 3.3 years before they realized it was dangerous
    Cylert on the market 30 years before they realized it was dangerous
    Darvon & Darvocet on the market 55 years before they realized it was dangerous.
    DBI [phenformin] on the market 19 years before they realized it was dangerous
    DES [Diethylstibestrol] on the market 31 years before they realized it was dangerous
    Ergamisol on the market 11 years before they realized it was dangerous
    Hismanal on the market 11 years before they realized it was dangerous
    Meridia on the market 13 years before they realized it was dangerous
    Mylotarg on the market 10 years before they realized it was dangerous
    Permax on the market 19 years before they realized it was dangerous
    Pondimin on the market 24 years before they realized it was dangerous
    PTZ & Metrazol on the market 48 years before they realized it was dangerous
    Quaalude on the market 23 years before they realized it was dangerous
    Seldane on the market 13 years before they realized it was dangerous
    Trasylol on the market 48 years before they realized it was dangerous
    Vioxx [Rofecoxib] on the market 5.3 years before they realized it was dangerous
    This drug alone killed or injured ¼ million people.
     
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  21. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    I also think that most of them, maybe 99% or more of those supplements being sold on the herbal kiosk are mere placebo. The label says it all - no approved therapeutic claim. That label is from the Food and Drug agency, the body that is supposed to be regulating the sales of food and drug hence I wonder why the commercials of those food supplements seem to be treatment?

    I have posted this already but let me just repeat. There is a tv commercial about an herbal supplement of bitter gourd (I forgot the exact name) that it can control diabetes. And the endorser was the popular singer named Gary V. Well, the singer's doctor is also the doctor of my niece. Dr. Fernando reprimanded Gary V for appearing in that commercial which is not true at all. The singer hastily cancelled his participation in that tv commercial. It is like saying that the bitter gourd supplement is not true to its claim about diabetes.
     
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  22. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    @Martin Alonzo , yes I'm not disputing there have been drugs that were recalled and although that looks like a lot but compared to how many drugs there are that's a very small list. Some were recalled in the the late 90's.

    I'm sure people who had family die aren't happy but it doesn't mean all drugs are bad and in some you have to weigh the benefits VS the side effects. That's up to you. No dr forces you take take something if you say the side effects are too bad.

    Maybe a vitamin or herbal supplement won't kill you but it also won't cure you or take away the pain or whatever the problem is.

    We are free to choose how we want to live and be treated for whatever we have. I know if I have cancer I'm going the traditional route but that's my choice.
     
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  23. Martin Alonzo

    Martin Alonzo Very Well-Known Member
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    Vitamins don't cure?
    Vitamin C cures scury
    Vitamin B1 cures Beri Beri
    Vitamin B3 cures Pellagra.
    Vitamin B 12 cures some types of dementia.
    Vitamin D will cure Rickets
    I won't bother listing the minerals.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  24. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Most people get enough in their diets why waste money buying it if you don't need it. Haven't heard of some of those diseases in ages.

    They are needed if you are deficient. I don't have any of those diseases.

    I already told you I take D because I'm deficient in it. There's nothing wrong in taking vitamins if you need them.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  25. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Patsy Faye Absolutely! Having had a bladder infection several times within about 6 months, I started taking Cranberry gel capsules. I believe it has been beneficial beyond doubt. No bladder infection in well over a year. I think the Cranberry has helped with function as well. (I hate to be specific, under these conditions, but...)

    Ten years ago, having difficulty urinating, still living on the farm in Missouri, a fact pertinent because I had choice of only one doctor, he said my Prostate gland was 50 to 75% larger than normal. He prescribed Flomax, which did seem to help, but still not normal. After a bout while on vacation of not being able to pee a single drop, my wife ran me over to the ER. Came back home with a catheter & bag strapped to my leg. Hated it. ER had told me have my doctor remove it after 10 days. I hemmed and hawed, took the danged thing out myself after 2 weeks. The difficulty urinating was gone! That was 5 years ago, and I am still able to "go" as normally as when I was young. I know BPH (Prostate enlargement) does not go away. My doctor shrugged when asked to explain this. I am happy with the situation! Frank
     
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