Navigating herbal supplement options

A family medicine physician weighs in on the herbal supplement craze

Ease joint pain, shorten the duration of a head cold, sleep better and restore energy — all remedies touted by dietary supplements you see on television, in ads or on store shelves. The choices can be overwhelming! Rachel Busse, M.D., a family medicine physician with Norton Community Medical Associates – Highlands who specializes in integrative therapies, helps make sense of herbal supplements and how to choose what to take.

“When looking for a supplement, you want to choose a high-quality product,” Dr. Busse said. “Dietary supplements are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); however, the FDA treats these products like foods rather than medications. The makers of supplements don’t have to show their products are safe or effective before selling them on the market.”

Another important factor when supplement shopping is not to rely on the labeled ingredients. The use of the term “all-natural” on a product could mean additional additives not disclosed on the product list.

“As a physician, I am always concerned with how an herbal supplement may interact with other medications my patient is taking,” Dr. Busse said. “I recommend discussing supplements with your healthcare provider to make certain if there are any potential interactions.”

Dr. Busse is facilitating a free seminar regarding the use of herbal supplements as part of the Mind, Body, and Spirit educational series at Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital in St. Matthews.

“We will discuss some common vitamins and supplements which can be used for general health,” Dr. Busse said. “And we will focus on specific supplements to use for certain conditions. There are a number of evidence-based options for symptoms such as headaches, allergies, anxiety and more.”

The seminar will also focus on how certain foods can give an extra boost to some vitamins and minerals.

Mind, Body, and Spirit: Herbal Supplements
Thursday, March 19
6 to 7:30 p.m.
Marshall Women’s Health & Education Center
Norton Medical Plaza 3 – St. Matthews, Suite 108
4123 Dutchmans Lane
Louisville, Kentucky

Register by calling (502) 629-1234.


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