Who should be providing information: WHERE SHOULD CONSUMERS GO FOR ADVICE CONCERNING THE USE OF HERBAL MEDICINE?(1)

Who should be providing information:1

Decades ago, when little was known about the efficacy and safety of herbal products, it would have been difficult for health care providers to offer much in the way of useful, evidence-based information on the topic. Herbs were mainly available in health food stores where staff were available to share information gathered through years of experience with the products. Many of these stores had pamphlets and books on various herbal topics that provided additional information. flovent inhaler

Today, many herbal products are purchased in pharmacies. It is logical, then, for consumers to expect pharmacists to be able to provide information about products sold in their stores. Some pharmacists do not feel adequately prepared for this role , mainly because they recognize the potential impact of herbal medicines on the health of their patients if these products are not used responsibly. Most Canadian pharmacy schools are incorporating some degree of herbal medicine education into their curricula, and there are numerous herbal medicine continuing education programs that are geared toward pharmacists. Pharmacists have access to a number of quality, scientifically based herbal references. As well, many professional pharmaceutical journals feature monthly columns on popular herbal medicines.

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