‘Natural’ doesn’t always mean safe: review

‘Natural’ doesn’t always mean safe: review

Herbal medications remain popular among individuals with heart disease despite the fact that there is scant evidence suggesting herbal medications are effective or safe to treat such conditions, according to a new review.

Senior review author Dr. Graziano Onder warned that natural doesn’t always mean safe, and there is need to improve knowledge of herbal medications in order to sufficiently weigh the clinical implications of their use.

In a press release from the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Onder said, “Physicians should improve their knowledge of herbal medications in order to adequately weigh the clinical implications related to their use. Physicians should explain that natural does not always mean safe.”

Onder is an assistant professor in the department of geriatrics, neurosciences & orthopedics at Rome, Italy-based Catholic University of the Sacred Heart.

There is little evidence of herbal medications’ safety or effectiveness as such medications are sold in the United States without being tested in strict clinical trials. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) can declare that an herbal medication is unsafe only after it has already hurt somebody.

The review was detailed in the most recent (Feb. 27th) edition of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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