Home / How to tell if a product is effective

  • The product label can tell you whether there is evidence that the product works.
  • In the U.S., most herbal medicines are regulated as foods or food additives, where the focus is on safety, not effectiveness.
  • The FDA requires that a drug be both safe and effective before being approved.
  • Some herbals are FDA-approved, meaning that they have been shown to be safe and effective.
  • If the label says that an herbal medicine will “maintain the health of the condition” (or similar wording), the herbal is being sold as a dietary supplement and does not have to prove that it works (only that it is safe).
  • If the label says the herbal is used to “prevent the condition,” the manufacturer has provided proof that the medicine is effective (it works and is safe).
  • Everyone is different. Just because a product has been shown to work in a clinical study does not guarantee that it will work for you.
  • There is a big difference between treatment that have been shown not to work and those that have not been studied.