Are Natural Supplements and Remedies Dangerous?

When choosing between traditional or natural treatments, how should we decide?
When choosing between traditional or natural treatments, how should we decide?

It’s amazing how the “quack busters” and conventional media love to attack dietary supplements and other non-traditional remedies. 

This — from the folks who have no problem showing us commercials with beautiful people floating through a tropical paradise, while a soft male voice drones in the background about the serious side effects of taking the products they’re selling!

Finally the voice warns: “Death has occurred among those using this medicine.”

miracle-cures-453x453Big Pharma has no problem with:

  • Flu shots that, according to the Centers for Disease Control, are less than 25 percent effective
  • Antidepressants that are no better than 50 percent effective
  • Statin drugs that are notorious for a host of side effects, including depletion of CoQ10, a nutrient that’s essential for heart health


Why is Big Pharma bent on citing questionable studies of natural supplements – studies based on testing inferior products, with inaccurate dosing, and usage testing for conditions the natural remedies weren’t even designed for?

The answer, of course, is that Big Pharma has a “Big Money” stake in persuading us that natural remedies are unsafe.

The claims of Big Pharma sound perfectly reasonable, until we consider the millions of people, now and in past centuries, who’ve benefited from natural remedies, without suffering from any of the alleged risks.


You bet! Taking too much of almost anything can cause serious problems. At least one person famously died during a water-drinking contest!

What are some specific risks?

People may have allergies or sensitivities to the botanicals in a supplement. Or their bodies may have biochemical idiosyncrasies that interfere with the proper processing of the otherwise harmless ingredients.

So – yes – there are risks.

And it’s not as if all supplements are created equal.

  • Not all parts of a plant have equal therapeutic value. For example, the roots often serve a different therapeutic purpose than the leaves and flowers. And not all supplement makers understand this.
  • A plant medicine may become far more potent and effective when combined with other, complementary plant substances.
  • It’s not as if the purity of every natural supplement is what it should be. Studies of supplements sold in health food stores have found huge discrepancies in the stated versus actual ingredients and their potencies. Proper methods of extraction, preservation, and formulation are essential to the efficacy of botanical therapeutic substances.

This is why, at Pacific Naturopathic, we carry only supplements from reputable manufacturers.

2549249290_c5b3b46f41_o-EditThe Big Pharma companies make billions. It’s why they’re so heavily invested in persuading us that natural remedies are useless or risky.

The Pharma companies spend millions on advertising and testing. Meanwhile, the natural supplement sellers offer time-tested traditional remedies that have shown little or no evidence of harm, at reasonable prices.

An unfortunate result of Big Pharma’s profit-driven business model is that many of our patients distrust the pharmaceuticals that could actually do them some good.

And they’re understandably confused when they hear that the natural supplements that are helping them are somehow useless or harmful.

connieWhat practical message should we take from the state of Big Pharma and the natural supplement sellers today?

A common-sense stance is that there’s a place for each. And, as in all things, let the buyer beware – or, better yet, let us all be “educated and aware.”

At Pacific Naturopathic, we have deep knowledge of the benefits and risks of natural and pharmaceutical remedies, based on our thirty-plus years of experience.

We’re here to help you make wise health choices.

— In Good Health, Dr. Connie


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