April 9, 2021
By Frederick Cheng, R.Ph., and Christine Cheng, R.Ph.
Not all things “natural” are good for you, and definitely not all “natural” health products are safe. Even one wrong product selection could land you in hospital and leave you with serious consequences, since natural products do contain at least one active chemical entity (excluding homeopathics). This includes vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, probiotics, herbal remedies, traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines, etc. How can you tell what is safe and logical to try and what it not?
First and foremost, always speak to a LICENSED PROFESSIONAL who takes a passion and commitment to an “INTEGRATIVE” practice of combining western prescription medicine with traditional natural remedies. Ideally, this is a REGISTERED PHARMACIST, or LICENSED MEDICAL DOCTOR, and, as usual, you should work with someone who has gone through some dedicated training (eg. “Natural Product Advisor” certification) and is actively keeping up with current recommendations. Only these professionals can appropriately assess your situation and offer genuinely safe and effective advice on natural product use.
Now is the best time, during the pandemic, to reach out and speak with your local integrative community pharmacy to establish communication and a relationship with a dedicated pharmacist team. A licensed pharmacy is regulated by the College of Pharmacists of BC, and must only stock products that are authorized by Health Canada and deemed safe for the indicated use. 12% of Canadians have reported experiencing unwanted effects from a natural product. The Government of Canada has a Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate which assesses the safety and efficacy of natural health items in Canada and assigns NATURAL PRODUCT NUMBERS (“NPN”) to qualifying, legitimate remedies. If you use a product without this NPN on it, you risk subjecting your body to manufacturing problems, unproven claims, lack of research, interaction with prescription drugs or other natural health products, and unwanted side-effects. You may also be masking a more serious underlying cause. A licensed pharmacy should only carry products bearing an NPN; non-regulated retailers and businesses do not always have this requirement.
Come talk to the integrative pharmacist teams at Cloverdale Pharmasave and Pharmasave Steveston Village. We have the trusted, honest professionals, product selection, and passion to help all our clients, both yourself and your furry friends.
Christine and Fred Cheng are a passionate, charismatic sister-brother pharmacist team at their unique, family-operated Pharmasave stores in Cloverdale and Steveston, B.C. They specialize in natural remedies and compounding for both human and veterinarian use. Check them out on Instagram and Facebook! Everything mentioned in their article is available InStore.
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