HAVN Life believes in people and their potential. We envision a world where everyone is operating at peak mental performance, free from the stresses and imbalances that hold us back. Although the field of medicine has rapidly evolved, many people still struggle to stay healthy and combat chronic conditions. We don’t have cures for everything, and as the pandemic has taught us, there’s always the potential for new diseases to emerge.
Natural health products are naturally occurring substances including whole or parts of vitamins, minerals, herbs or other plants, and amino acids (individual building blocks of protein). Natural health products come in many forms: capsules, liquids, pills, or tablets. They’re found in health food stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, and online.
In this blog, we’ll discuss a few reasons to take natural health products so you can understand their potential to prevent illnesses and enhance performance-related health.
We’ve been doing this for a while!
As you may have read in previous blogs, nature has provided us with plants, herbs and fungi that we’ve used for millennia to treat specific conditions, from infections, to wounds and fevers. Herbal medicine can ease pain, treat constipation, or act as relaxants or stimulants.
Natural health products cannot make a specific medical claim, but must have some research to support claims they address a nutrient deficiency or support health. Federal authorities can take action against companies that make false or unsupported claims to sell supplements.
Look for products with a Natural Product Number (NPN) or Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM) on the label, which means your federal health authority has approved them. You can also look for seals of approval from organizations that test supplements, such as the U.S. Pharmacopeia, ConsumerLab or NSF International.
We may not get all of our nutrients in food
While eating a healthy, whole food diet is the best way to get the nutrients you need, some people may still not get enough vitamins and minerals from food, and doctors may recommend supplements to provide these missing nutrients. Instead of seeking synthetic products, you could supplement with natural health products.
More supplements are not necessarily better. It could be harmful to take too many supplements, or those with a very high concentration of a nutrient.
Natural vs synthetic
Research on natural health products shows that they may have the same effects as conventional medicines. Our bodies can react differently to synthetic health products, and we don’t know how well our body absorbs synthetic nutrients.
Today, there is a renewed interest in natural health products, although there is still no guarantee that they will work or are safe for you. Herbs, plants, and fungi may work better for some people than others.
While there’s no clear evidence that synthetic products work, some groups may benefit from supplementing with them where a natural solution is not available: seniors, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, vegans and vegetarians, and those with nutritional deficiencies.
What to know when trying natural health products
Natural health products may have no effect; they can also be potentially harmful. Like conventional medicines, they may cause side effects, trigger allergic reactions, or interact with medicines or other natural products you might take, which could worsen health conditions.
Besides following dosing instructions on labels, we recommend talking to your doctor, pharmacist, or dietitian, especially if you want to take a natural health product along with a conventional medicine. It could be unsafe to abandon a conventional medical treatment and replace it with a natural health product, especially for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Before buying, research studies that have been done on the herb, plant, or fungus you plan to consume, and read product reviews if possible. You should be able to contact the natural health product manufacturer to ask about their production standards and find out what research they've done to confirm the supplement's benefits and what side effects they’ve reported from their product. Manufacturers aren't required to test their products for safety and effectiveness.
Despite the success of individual herbs, plants, or fungi that have been documented over time, the long-term effects of most natural health products on the market are unknown. If a product isn’t meeting your goals, stop taking it.HAVN Life’s natural health products support memory, focus, energy, and overall cognitive function to help you achieve peak performance in your daily life. Stay in touch with us to let us know how they work for you.