Herbal and Alternative Remedies

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Herbal remedies come from plants. If possible, choose a remedy which has been standardized, i.e. the contents are approximately the same in each bottle or tablet you buy. Plant remedies are not always safer than ordinary medicines. All of them can have side-effects and interact with other medicines. Supplements include vitamins, minerals and animal and plant products, such as cod liver oil. They can also have side-effects and interact with other medicines. Some people take supplements, like vitamin C in high doses, but this can damage the liver or kidneys. Many supplements have a recommended daily intake (RDI), or allowance (RDA). Do not go beyond this dose without talking to an experienced health professional.

CAMs and mental health problems:

Many CAMs have been used for mental health problems, but there is little good evidence to support their use. Some of these treatments may work, but most have not been thoroughly tested. The studies have often been too small to give a clear answer. We know most about the treatments for depression, anxiety and insomnia. Despite the lack of evidence, people all over the world take CAMs, and many report that they find them helpful. Ultimately, whether taking CAMs is a good idea depends on individual circumstances. We recommend that you talk to your GP or mental health team first.
If you are considering taking CAMs, you should seek specialist advice if:
• you are

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