A Smartphone Guide to Herbal Supplements
Not sure which herbal supplement to buy – or whether to buy at all? There’s a free app for that.
To help consumers navigate information about popular herbs and herbal supplements, the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has developed HerbList™ – an app for research-based information about the safety and effectiveness of herbal products. It is launched through the National Library of Medicine’s app pages.
HerbList helps consumers, patients, healthcare providers, and other users to quickly access information about the science of popular herbs and herbal supplements including kava, acai, ginkgo, turmeric, and more than 50 others marketed for health purposes.
Users can access information on potential safety problems, side effects, and herb-drug interactions with additional links to resources for more information. They can also mark favorite herbs for quick recall and offline accessibility.
HerbList provides only scientific, research-driven information to provide consumers and health care practitioners with unbiased information to make informed decisions about supplement use.
“Providing an app for users is part of NCCIH’s effort to inform consumers and health care providers within the complementary and integrative health space,” David Shurtleff, Ph.D., acting director of NCCIH, said in a news release. “People are considering herbs and herbal supplements for various reasons, and it is important that they are aware of what the research says about safety and effectiveness.”
The app was built using NCCIH’s Herbs at a Glance webpage, a series of brief fact sheets that provide basic information about specific herbs or botanicals—common names, what the science says, potential side effects and cautions, and resources for more information.
About the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH): NCCIH’s mission is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and integrative health approaches and their roles in improving health and health care. For additional information, call NCCIH’s Clearinghouse toll free at 1-888-644-6226.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.