How To Choose Cost Effective Supplements

by Cynthia McMurray

There is no doubt natural supplements, vitamins and herbs are less expensive than prescription medications, but even these more natural alternatives can quickly become expensive when you start taking more than one at one time.

One of the reasons people turn to natural medicine is because of its holistic approach to health and wellness. Natural medicine looks to treat the whole body and not simply the symptoms of a specific disease. Proponents of natural health believe the body will naturally seek to restore internal balance, healing itself when faced with illness or disease, a state known as homeostasis. Natural remedies are therefore used more as a means to support this process than an actual cure for symptoms that result from a diseased state. Each remedy serves a specific purpose whether it be to boost immunity or to support the organs for example, so it is common when someone is facing an illness that they are prescribed more than one remedy. The problem however, is that while each of these remedies may in fact be useful and even highly effective, when you must take them each 2-3 times a day, it can become not only overwhelming, but also expensive. It is at this point, that many people simply opt to go back to a medication that is geared to relieving symptoms. Despite the risk and the inevitable side effects most medications come with, they are usually easier to deal with than having to remember to take numerous supplements several times a day.

For those who don’t give up and continue to look to the natural approach, some will opt for combination supplements. These products offer remedies that contain numerous ingredients geared to treating a much broader range of issues. While in theory, these supplements may be easier to take simply because you no longer need to take an array of different pills to achieve the same result, the problem then becomes the efficacy of the product itself.

Clinical studies are typically done to determine not only the actual effectiveness of an herb for example, but also the most effective dosage. The therapeutic properties of each herb will be examined, and the specific medicinal chemicals analyzed to determine the safest manner in which to take (or not take as the case may be) the remedy. So, when you buy a product, hopefully it contains the exact ratio of therapeutic ingredients so the remedy works as it should. While you would think this would be the case of all natural supplements, the truth is, it is still a very unregulated industry so in many cases, there are no real laws that state a product must contain the ideal ratio of medicinal ingredients. This is especially true in the case of “all in one” remedies.

When herbs are combined, they can either help or hinder each other. While each herb may have specific therapeutic properties, when they are combined with other herbs, these same chemical properties can be enhanced or in some cases, cause adverse reactions. It becomes even more important therefore in cases of combined remedies, that the herbs used have not only been tested individually, but that they have also been tested together. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, which is why you will often hear about products that have been suddenly pulled from the shelves because people have had severe reactions.

There is no question the most cost effective way to take natural supplements is in these combined formulas. Taking this type of remedy can significantly reduce the overall cost of treatment. The trick however, is to find a product that has also been clinically tested to work synergistically within the body. Each herb and or nutrient must be tested to determine its effectiveness and safety when used in that specific formula. So, before you purchase a combination product, do a little research yourself to see if the company has also done their research. In the end, it can save you money and ultimately make the difference in whether or not the product will be effective.

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