DIY Natural Health: Buyers Beware
I came across a great article today that was written by a fellow naturopathic doctor. The article is about being a savvy consumer in a market flooded with herbal products. But the natural health market is flooded with more than just herbal products. There are vitamins, supplements, homeopathics, recipes, articles, guides, ebooks, programs, and more everywhere you look. And while I love the enthusiasm for natural health, there are some inherent issues with this market. Namely, the people selling these products do not have the proper qualifications.
Have you ever searched for a natural remedy on Pinterest? If you have, then you know there are literally millions of pins about natural health. But have you ever actually looked at who is providing this information? The majority of the time, it is not anyone remotely qualified. As such, the information is usually not accurate either. So many times, I have seen people who are not herbalists making claims about herbs that are just wrong. Or people who are not doctors or nutritionists making claims about supplements that aren't accurate. Or people making claims about how their smoothie recipe can improve your health that cannot possibly be true. Some are just people passionate about natural health doing the best they can with limited information. Others are legitimately trying to take advantage of you.
So, I would like to caution all you consumers out there. Look at who is providing you with the information. To be the most cautious, I would only trust natural health information provided by a naturopathic doctor (one who attended an accredited school), a registered dietician, acupuncturist or registered herbalist. There are other medical professionals who may be trustworthy, but natural health information is not included in their basic education. They would need to seek out additional training. Again, to be the most cautious, I would want to know about their additional training. If it was a weekend seminar about herbal medicine, that isn't good enough in my opinion.
I do not want to besmirch anyone's intentions. Most people are just trying to be helpful. But as someone who has extensive training in many natural healing modalities, I know that most online resources about herbs and nutrients are limited and/or inaccurate. Please, be a savvy consumer and only follow online advice from legitimate sources.
Trustworthy Online Resources
The following are extensive resources for botanical medicine. Both come from trusted resources who have published textbooks for botanical medicine programs. In fact, I use both of their textbooks.
Caution: plants are medicine. As such, they need to be respected. I do not advise taking any herbal medicines without consulting with a qualified medical professional first.
- Dr. Sharol Tilgner, ND: Herbal Transitions Materia Medica
- Herbalist David Hoffman's Herbal Medicine Materia Medica
The following has thorough information in regards to the uses and functions of various vitamins and minerals. Again, I do not advise taking any supplements to treat specific health conditions without the supervision of a qualified medical professional.
I'm Dr. Carly and my mission is to create a health revolution. I believe that another prescription is not the answer. I believe in using natural therapies that go beyond the symptoms. And I believe that doctors should spend way more than 7 minutes with a patient.