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Herbal Supplements: Hype, Hoax, or Hidden Treasure - Assignment Example

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In the paper “Herbal Supplements: Hype, Hoax, or Hidden Treasure?” the author discusses the importance of keeping the effectiveness and dangers of herbal medicine in perspective. Herbal remedies are not subject to the same rigorous approval process that other drugs go through to get FDA approval. …
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Herbal Supplements: Hype, Hoax, or Hidden Treasure
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Download file to see previous pages With the impact of mass marketing and the opportunity to reap huge profits, herbal medicine is naturally prone to over-selling. Consumers who have an ailment, or are in a critical state, may suspend all good judgment with only the hope that the treatment will be effective. Yet, hidden among the over-sold supplements are those that are outright frauds that capitalize on patients' fears and desperation. Coexisting with these are some of the best-kept secrets of the medical world. Whether the herbal treatment is hype, a hoax, or a hidden treasure the consumer needs to be reminded of the ancient Roman adage ‘Caveat emptor’ or ‘Let the buyer beware’.
The importance of keeping the effectiveness and dangers of herbal medicine in perspective is fraught with difficulties. Herbal remedies are not subject to the same rigorous approval process that other drugs go through to get FDA approval. This has resulted in an underreporting of adverse effects, exaggeration of claims, and the inability of researchers to establish a cause and effect relationship that would be found in more intense and controlled research situations (Pittler, Schmidt, & Ernst, 2005, p.107). A patient that relies on an herbal treatment may be taking an ineffective supplement and may postpone or delay medical attention while the ailment gets more severe. Consumers may spend an unreasonable amount of money on an ineffective treatment when the cost could be better spent elsewhere. In more problematic cases the treatment may be harmful. In a case involving Dan Raber, who the Shawnee OK News-Star described as “…an unlicensed practitioner who allegedly treats cancer patients with a flesh-eating herbal paste that leaves them. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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