Should You Take Herbal Supplements? The doctor weighs

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MANILA – A lot of people have taken herbal supplements for their purported health benefits, but is it a good idea? Here’s what a doctor has to say.

Dr Emma Gaspar-Trinidad, chief of the cardiology section at Medical Center Manila, said she and others in the medical field do not generally support the use of herbal supplements and medicines.

However, she said she wouldn’t go so far as to stop her patients from using such products if they are healthy and feel they are beneficial to them.

“I would prefer my patients to tell me if they are using these herbal medicines. Because I would like to know if what they are taking has any interactions with the medicines I am prescribing,” she said during a recent virtual event organized by the Philippine Heart Association.

“So if they’re basically healthy they don’t have any medical issues, and they say they feel good taking these herbal drugs, I tell them, ‘It’s up to you. . You can take it if it makes you feel good. ‘”she continued.” But if they are already taking several drugs, then of course I tell them,’ We have to be careful because we don’t know the possible reactions. ‘”

“I don’t really discourage them, I encourage them to take it out and have a chat so they can make a good decision as to whether to continue or to interrupt.”

Gaspar-Trinidad acknowledged that herbal supplements have not yet been proven to be harmful, but there is also no study that has shown that they are beneficial for those who take them.

“If they are already complaining about the cost of the drugs and the number of drugs they have to take, this is a problem that can easily be resolved by withdrawing the drugs that have not been shown to be of real benefit for the specific condition that they are taking. have, ”she said.

Although she generally does not support the idea of ​​taking herbal capsules and other processed products, Gaspar-Trinidad encourages the use of “garden supplements” or fresh fruits and vegetables to improve health. overall health.

“The advantage of fresh vegetables, or any supplements you take in your garden, is that they don’t have any added preservatives, unlike those that come in capsule form,” she explained. . “You can still have reactions to the additives that are put there to preserve it. And even the capsule itself, sometimes you can have unwanted effects.”

“If you can have any garden supplements that you can take, I’d rather they take ampalaya, malunggay, okra, rather than taking it in a capsule,” she concluded.

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