Why Doesn’t The Fda Approve Some Herbal Remedies But Approves Pharmaceuticals With Known Side Effects?

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Some herbal remedies are not approved for human consumption even though they have been used traditionally by humans for centuries with very little side effects. One of the herbs I’ve taken works better than a well know medication which has been know to cause bad side effects. Why won’t the FDA approve some things that have well documented histories of human use, but have no problem approving newly developed synthetics?

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12 Responses to “Why Doesn’t The Fda Approve Some Herbal Remedies But Approves Pharmaceuticals With Known Side Effects?”

  1. Soul Doctor says:

    I guess they have vowed not to approve anything which can possibly cure you, just the things which can make you dependent upon more chemicals so all you are good for is to keep on taking those drastic chemicals which they have the audacity of calling Medicine. What else do you expect from FDA(Fools, Dolts and A**holes) ? They can’t bite the hand which feeds them my friend, or can they. You can check on their authenticity by the number of paid goons who are giving all of you THUMBS DOWN to even answer against them on this friendly forum. correct me if I am wrong.
    Take Care and God Bless.

  2. Opus says:

    That’s what they do, approve man-made drugs. They really have very little to do with food.

  3. Carpanone Kid says:

    Follow the money.

  4. DannyK says:

    Because pharmaceuticals come with more money.

  5. chrisras says:

    It’s all about the benjamins.

  6. naturegi says:

    Wow… there’s a LOT of misinformation out there. There are a lot of conspiracy theorists out there that say it’s because the doctors here want to keep you a little sick so you’ll keep coming back, and some that say it’s only about the money and the government doesn’t really care about people…. but I’m just going to cover facts, not suspicions and theories.
    The actual reason that the FDA won’t approve them is because they don’t produce the same results in as many people as drugs do.
    The reason for that is because different people respond differently to different supplements…. and that’s really because supplements work to help the CAUSE of a problem, while drugs work to help the SYMPTOMS of a problem.
    If you wanted to take something for lowering Cholesterol (as an example), you could take a drug that will specifically lower your Cholesterol.
    On the other hand, you could try one of a few supplements that give nutritional benefits that may help the problem that’s causing your Cholesterol to be high. If the increase in Cholesterol is caused by something that the first one doesn’t help, it won’t help. If you don’t know the cause of the problem, it’s hard to find the natural supplement that would help it.
    …Here’s the kicker…. the way that drugs work is that they literally turn off some natural process in your body to reach a desired result. In the same example of Cholesterol, those drugs turn off the part of your body that makes Cholesterol. Now, in theory, that may sound like a good way to do it, but your body NEEDS some level of Cholesterol…. just turning that off creates a lot of problems.
    THAT is the reason that drugs have SOOOO many side effects, while supplements only have most side effects from allergic reactions and some medical conditions or drugs that may interact with it (which isn’t the supplement itself).
    Most other countries actually see the horrible side effects from drugs and the very minimal side effects from supplements, so they make supplements more common and educate their doctors. Their doctors in turn can look at the causes of problems and actually know what will help the problem from a natural source. Some might say that’s because those governments pay all the health care and want it to be cheaper…. but that’s another theory ;-)
    Oh, and all herbs on the market ARE approved for human consumption (if they weren’t, they couldn’t be sold)…. but the FDA doesn’t approve or deny them.

  7. c says:

    The FDA is completed and totally supported by the large pharmecuetical companies. They will never approve something that could potentially take money away from their biggest supporters. I could go on forever on this one but you could also do more research on the topic by visiting http://www.newtarget.com this site focuses on natural health and alternative healing. Mike Adams the owner of the site writes many articles on the FDA, check it out, he does not accept any money from any company he promotes he tests the products himself and then recommends it if he is comfortable with the product. Has free newsletters.

  8. oldtimek says:

    Herbs are very hard to keep the active ingreedant at a certial consistant level. In chemistry it can be done.

  9. crazymom says:

    There’s a lot of ridiculous and uninformed answers here. Oldtimekid is close.
    The reason the FDA doesn’t approve herbals is because Congress removed herbals from the FDA’s authority. They AREN’T ALLOWED to pass judgement on the efficacy of herbals. In return, the herbals are limited in what they are allowed to say. They cannot claim to treat any disease. (Unfortunately, nothing stops the poorly educated GNC clerk from making such claims.)
    Why would Congress do that? Because the supplement industry wanted it that way. They didn’t want to have to prove their claims (knowing full well that most of them would fail). Follow the money? YES. The supplement (and herbal) Industry money!

  10. duck_foo says:

    FDA does not approve some herbal remedies because FDA considers them “safe” and thus not needed an approval. Those herbs are listed in the FDA’s GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) list.

  11. barneycr says:

    I can’t believe how much misinformation there is out there about this subject. But before doing some research into this I didn’t know how this worked, either.
    All mainstream pharmaceuticals (“unnatural” drugs) have to be either approved or disapproved by the FDA. In order for a drug to be sold in the U. S., it has to have FDA approval. In order to gain such approval, the drug must undergo a stringent trial process. This trial process must prove that the drug is relatively safe, that it is effective, and that it contains only the ingredients it claims to contain. The process is so strict that most drugs become available in the United States years after they have become available in Europe, where the standards are not as high.
    Herbal remedies, supplements, and other “natural” medicines, on the other hand, do not have to be shown to be effective, safe, or to contain particular ingredients in order to be sold in the U. S. Because of a giant loophole in the food and drug laws, herbals and natural remedies are considered a “food” rather than a “drug”. So, even though the herbal companies market their products as medicines, they are treated as foods.
    So, to answer your question. The FDA doesn’t approve any herbal remedy because, as a food, it doesn’t need to be approved, any more than a new flavor of pizza sauce needs FDA approval. It approves pharmaceuticals because they fall under the heading “drugs”. The only time the FDA will step in to regulate an herbal is when it is obvious that the herbal is dangerous. While a pharmaceutical may be pulled from the shelf if it is proven to be very dangerous, the same level of toxicity in an herbal may not be enough to pull it, because the FDA is reluctant to meddle in foods. In actuality, if the FDA was responsible for approving herbals, fewer would probably be available, as anything really dangerous, anything that could show no proof of eficacy, or anything that did not contain the ingredients it claimed, would be banned. Fortunately for herbal users, the FDA doesn’t check up on herbal products.
    For more information on the subject of herbal remedies, the law, and politics, try this excellent book by Dan Hurley (who is an columnist with the New York Times, not a pharmaceutical employee): Natural Causes: death, lies, and politics in America’s vitamin and herbal supplement industry.

  12. June Bugg says:

    Not all herbs are safe. Foxglove, Datura, Rauwolfia are all used in modern medicine as prescribed drugs. If taken by the uninitiated, they can harm.
    Also, some of the prepared alternative medicines may contain heavy metals, which are toxic.

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