Herbal Supplements in Nursing Practice

Diseases  treatment and management by the use of Herbal supplements made from plants

The practice of using herbal supplements in nursing dates back thousands of years. Today, there is a renewal in the use of herbal supplements among American consumers. However, herbal supplements are not for everyone. In fact, some herbal products may cause problems with people’s treatments for chronic ailments. Because they are not subject to scrutiny by the FDA or other governing agencies, the use of herbal supplements is controversial.

Herbal supplements are products made from plants for use in the treatment and management of certain diseases and medical conditions. Many prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines are also made from plant derivatives. These products contain only purified ingredients and, unlike herbal supplements, are closely regulated by the FDA. Herbal supplements may contain entire plants or plant parts. Herbal supplements come in all forms: dried, chopped, powdered, capsule, or liquid, and can be used in various ways. Please address the followings:

1.     Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of dietary supplements.

2.     Discuss the position of the FDA and other governmental agencies on over the counter herbal supplements. Support your post with at least 2 evidenced-based guidelines published within the last 5 years.




Herbal Supplements in Nursing Practice




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Herbal Supplements in Nursing Practice

Diseases Treatment and Management by the Use of Herbal Supplements Made from Plants

“The highest ideal of cure is the speedy gentle, and enduring restoration of health by the most trustworthy and least harmful way.” (Samuel Hahnemann). Herbal supplements are Products made from botanicals or plants, used to quire diseases or maintain health (Chugh et al., 2018). Herbal supplements are essential for metabolism, supporting cellular growth and energy expenditure. They prevent fatigue, and they are essential in boosting cognitive functions. The use of medicinal plants has witnessed an upsurge because of a general perception of being economical, effective and safe relative to allopathic medications. However, converging evidence suggests unwanted allergic reactions to herbal preparations and fatal toxic reactions in the body, signifying the need for extensive toxicity assessments (Faisal et al., 2019), moreover, some adverse reactions can stem from the contamination of herbal drugs due to the lack of standardization and quality control. Contamination of metals, microorganisms, and false identification can also end up causing toxicity and allergic reactions, which demand the dire need for pharmacovigilance to promote the safe use of herbal preparations, in this essay, I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of dietary supplements and finally, look at the position of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on over-the-counter herbal supplements.

The Advantages of Dietary supplements

Herbal products, such as dietary supplements, have become increasingly important worldwide for their health benefits and economic consideration. Dietary supplements can improve and maintain one’s health and can be used to meet one’s dairy requirements of essential nutrients. Calcium and vitamin D can build strong bones (Bhattarai et al., 2020). Bones are made up of minerals and proteins, which are essential in conferring properties to bone. Vitamin, an essential element in the formation of bones, can be obtained either from the sunlight, mainly during the morning hours or from the intake of food rich in vitamin D, such as fatty fish. Folic acid is an essential dietary supplement that is advantageous. Folic acid intake is efficient as it prevents congenital disabilities (Field & Stover, 2018). Fish oil dietary supplements are also commonly used as they are highly advantageous (Weinberg et al., 2021). It is estimated that 19 million people consume fish oil dietary supplements in the United States. They are used to lower triglycerides, prevent CVD risks, and treat heart disease. Knowing the advantages of dietary supplements is vital as one can prevent some health problems due to the lack of such supplements or problems requiring dietary supplements for treatments.

The Disadvantages of Dietary Supplements

Dietary supplements are not only highly advantageous but also disadvantageous. Dietary supplements lead to health complications such as rashes, shortness of breath, diarrhea, severe joint or muscle pain, slurred speech and blood in the urine (Ling, 2019). Taking many dietary supplements can be of many costs, for example, taking a lot of vitamin A can lead to headaches and liver damage, bones may become weak, leading to health problems known as rickets, and can also cause congenital disabilities to be an abnormality. Taking excess iron can result in various side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, which can also damage the liver (Entezari et al., 2022). Since these supplements have active ingredients, they can also bring some health problems, which include elevated blood pressure, increased rate of heartbeat, and headache, and also can lead to digestion problems as they affect the liver, which produces a digestive juice called bile juice which is responsible for the digestion of proteins. Knowing the disadvantages of dietary supplements is vital as one can understand the complications of these dietary supplements.

The Position of the Food and Drug Administration Over-the-Counter Herbal Supplements

The food and Drug Administration classifies herbal preparation as food supplements. The strict drug approval procedure does not govern recent herbal supplements and products, and no premarket approval is required. The FDA prohibits manufacturers and distributors from marketing adulterated or misbranded products but does not define the safe practice rigorously. Scientific evidence on herbal supplements is limited (Krau & Williams, 2021). Herbal supplements have been said to be in conjunction with adverse reactions and herbal-drug interactions. Information and precautions for 20 joint herbal supplements, including St. John’s wort, ginseng, Echinacea, and ginkgo, are reviewed. Resources for consumers and healthcare professionals are highlighted. The role of the FDA in regulating dietary supplements is to inspect manufacturing establishments, look at the new ingredients for dietary, investigate complaints and monitor the marketplace of dietary supplements. FDA has no authority to approve dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness or even approve their labelling before the supplements are taken to the public. Knowing the potion of the FDA is an essential aspect for a dietary producer as it keeps one on track.

The Position of the Federal Trade Commission on Over-the-Counter Herbal Supplements

The Federal Trade Commission is the best-suited agency in the united states to provide well-calibrated and well-timed government protections for technology consumers in modern society, yet it remains remarkably under-appreciated. The FTC has taken selective enforcement against at least seven mHealth app providers (Wagner, 2020). The Federal Trade Commission regulates advertising associated with dietary supplements, acting for consumers in cases of deception. Dietary supplements are regulated as foods, not drugs, by the US Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission (Klein & Schweikart, 2022). The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) “both serve to protect consumers by ensuring safe, effective products and accurate marketing to consumers. The FTC act has no requirement for pre-market approval of health claims in advertising food, dietary supplement and any other product. Gaining knowledge on the potion of the FTC and the products that the agencies regulate would be helpful as one can be safe from the repercussions of going against the agency.


Herbal supplements are Products made from botanicals or plants, used to quire diseases or maintain health. Herbal supplements are essential for metabolism, supporting cellular growth and energy expenditure. They prevent fatigue, and they are essential in boosting cognitive functions. Dietary supplements have advantages like calcium and vitamin D help in bone formation, and others, like fatty fish, help prevent heart disease. Despite dietary supplements’ benefits, there are also side effects like nausea and vomiting. The Food and Drug Administration governs herbal products used as a particular category of foods. The Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission are government agencies that monitor public health while regulating dietary supplements.








Chugh, N. A., Bali, S., & Koul, A. (2018). Integration of botanicals in contemporary medicine: road blocks, checkpoints and go-ahead signals. Integrative medicine research7(2), 109-125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.imr.2018.03.005

, R., Shinwari, L., Aziz, I., & Khalil, A. T. (2019). Therapeutic and adverse effects of commonly used medicinal plants: Standardization and quality assurance: Adverse effects of commonly used herbs. Proceedings of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences: B. Life and Environmental Sciences56(3), 1-9.

Bhattarai, H. K., Shrestha, S., Rokka, K., & Shakya, R. (2020). Vitamin D, calcium, parathyroid hormone, and sex steroids in bone health and effects of aging. Journal of osteoporosis2020. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/9324505

Field, M. S., & Stover, P. J. (2018). Safety of folic acid. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences1414(1), 59-71. https://doi.org/10.1111/nyas.13499

Weinberg, R. L., Brook, R. D., Rubenfire, M., & Eagle, K. A. (2021). Cardiovascular impact of nutritional supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids: JACC focus seminar. Journal of the American College of Cardiology77(5), 593-608. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2020.11.060

Ling, H. W. (2019). Can biomaterial surgical implants influence the body’s health. Acta Scientific Medical Sciences3, 62-71.

Entezari, S., Haghi, S. M., Norouzkhani, N., Sahebnazar, B., Vosoughian, F., Akbarzadeh, D., … & Deravi, N. (2022). Iron chelators in treatment of iron overload. Journal of Toxicology2022. https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/4911205

Krau, S. D., & Williams, C. T. (2021). Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Part II: Herbal Supplements and Vitamins. Nurs. Clin. N. Am56, 1-156. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0029-6465(20)30100-6

Wagner, J. K. (2020). The federal trade commission and consumer protections for mobile health apps. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics48(1_suppl), 103-114.

Klein, J. J., & Schweikart, S. J. (2022). Does Regulating Dietary Supplements as Food in a World of Social Media Influencers Promote Public Safety. AMA Journal of Ethics24(5), 396-401.

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