Nature's Bounty herbs and other all-natural dietary supplements typically give the impression of being natural and safe. However, something to keep in mind before you purchase herbal supplements is that the ingredients can have a strong reaction in your body, causing unwanted side effects and interacting with medications you take. Before using Nature's Bounty herbs to address your health concerns, talk to your doctor first about the potential safety and effectiveness of your product.
About the Company
Nature's Bounty, based in Bohemia, New York, manufactures multivitamins and single vitamins, amino acids, fish oil, minerals, specialty supplements and herbal supplements that target a variety of health needs. According to the manufacturer, Nature's Bounty uses quality ingredients that conform to the manufacturer's internal Quality Assurance Standards and Good Manufacturing Practices, or GMPs. GMPs are established in federal regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ensure that supplements are manufactured in a consistent manner, making consumers aware of the identity, purity, composition and strength of dietary supplements they purchase. Additionally, the manufacturer states that its supplements are laboratory tested to make sure that all products are unadulterated and free of harmful bacteria.
Nature's Bounty Herbs
Nature's Bounty manufactures 21 herbal products, which include valerian root, saw palmetto, St. John's wort, milk thistle, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, bilberry, turmeric curcumin and black cohosh, among others. According to the manufacturer, its herbs are "used to assist the body's fight against various health conditions, as well as to promote general well-being." By law, herbal supplements can make certain claims, says the Mayo Clinic; Nature's Bounty can purport that its herbs help with nutritional deficits, support your general health or that they're linked to certain functions in your body, as long as the company has research to support the claim and that claim is accompanied by a disclaimer. Nature's Bounty does include this disclaimer on its website, which is as follows: "These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease."
Herbal Supplement Safety
Never assume the because an herbal supplement is natural, it's safe for you to take. The Mayo Clinic indicates that herbal supplements such as those manufactured by Nature's Bounty may contain active ingredient that interfere with prescription medications and cause dangerous side effects. For example, women with hormone-sensitive medical conditions such as breast, ovarian and uterine cancer, should avoid using black cohosh, says the University of Maryland Medical Center. You should not take valerian if you take sedative drugs, such as barbituates, anticonvulsants, tricyclic medications and drugs to treat insomnia. Saw palmetto can also interact with various drugs, such as those used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, as well as oral contraceptives and blood-thinning medications.
If you have a pre-existing health condition, this may preclude safe use of herbal supplements. Don't take Nature's Bounty herbs or any other herbal supplement without first getting your doctor's consent if you also take prescription or nonprescription medications, are pregnant or nursing or if you're about to have surgery, advises the Mayo Clinic. Also, avoid taking herbal supplements if you're younger than 18 and older than 65 — according to the clinic, very few herbal supplements have been tested on children, and as you age, your metabolism changes.
Before purchasing Nature's Bounty herbs, keep in mind that these products are considered dietary supplements, not drugs. They do not undergo the same rigorous approval process as do prescription medications, nor do they need prior approval from the FDA before they are released to the consumer market. The Mayo Clinic urges you to thoroughly research herbal supplements prior to purchase. A simple search using the National Institutes of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements Database can help you understand the effects of various herbs in Nature's Bounty, as well as the strength of the research behind them.
Lisa Sefcik has been writing professionally since 1987. Her subject matter includes pet care, travel, consumer reviews, classical music and entertainment. She's worked as a policy analyst, news reporter and freelance writer/columnist for Cox Publications and numerous national print publications. Sefcik holds a paralegal certification as well as degrees in journalism and piano performance from the University of Texas at Austin.