Food supplements and herbal medicines

Eberhardie, Christine (2005) Food supplements and herbal medicines. Nursing Standard, 20(3), pp. 52-56. ISSN (print) 0029-6570


Over-the-counter food supplements and herbal medicines are a growth industry in the UK and are now regulated under European Union (EU) directives 2002/46/EC, 2004/24/EC and 2004/27/EC (European Parliament and Council of the European Union 2002, 2004a, 2004b). In practice, the use of food supplements and herbal medicines should be considered in association with the individual's diet, medical history and prescribed treatments, especially drug therapy, since interactions with drugs can be dangerous and even fatal in some cases. As members of the interprofessional team, nurses can play a key role in identifying problems through careful assessment and prevention by health education.

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