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Herbal Supplements

24-Hour Poison Control Center Hotline

Toll free 1-800-222-1222

Understanding Herbal Supplements

Herbal supplements are made from the leaves, seeds, stems and roots of plants. People take herbal supplements in an effort to be healthier.

Herbal supplements, like medication, affect how your body functions. Herbal supplements sometimes cause reactions and health problems. They can also interact with prescription medication, which can be very dangerous.

Herbal supplements do not go through strict testing like medication does.

Keep Your Family Safe

Herbal products can be hazardous.

  • Don’t assume herbal supplements are safe just because they’re “natural.”
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking herbal supplements. Some can interact with prescription medications.
  • Read labels carefully and follow the directions. Never take more than the recommended amount.
  • When buying herbal supplements, look for a "USP Dietary Supplement Verified" seal.
  • Watch for side effects such as nausea, dizziness or headache. If you experience any of these, stop taking the herbal supplement.
  • Be aware of all herbal supplements in your house. Keep them out of the reach and sight of children. Do not keep herbal products in your purse.
  • Never tell your child that any type of supplement is candy.
  • Don’t take herbal supplements in front of your child.
  • Keep your products in their original containers.
  • Do not take herbal supplements before surgery.

If you suspect an overdose or poisoning from an herbal supplement, call The University of Kansas Hospital Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.