Little knowledge about the influence of herbal remedies on medicines

Mar 19, 2024
Little knowledge about the influence of herbal remedies on medicines

Nearly a third of Dutch citizens used herbal remedies last year, often alongside medications, according to recent research conducted by Kantar in 2023. Surprisingly, 81% of these individuals consumed herbal remedies without a clear understanding of potential risks. This lack of awareness prompted the launch of the 'Know What You Take' campaign by the Medicines Evaluation Board (CBG) and the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA).

The campaign seeks to educate the public about the importance of understanding the potential interactions between herbal remedies and conventional medications. Many users are oblivious to the adverse effects and contraindications associated with herbal supplements, posing a significant risk to their health. Alarmingly, half of the individuals surveyed were unaware or poorly informed about the possible side effects of the herbal remedies they were taking, as well as the risks of overdose and potential interactions with other medications.

Furthermore, 86% of users believe that combining herbal remedies with medications carries minimal risk, demonstrating a widespread misconception. Additionally, 72% of herbal remedy users fail to disclose their usage to their healthcare providers, which could compromise their medical care.

The campaign focuses on eleven commonly used herbal remedies, including valerian, garlic, turmeric (curcumin), cannabis (CBD oil), and green tea, all of which are known to interact with various medications. The campaign runs from March 11 to 31, employing various channels to disseminate information. In drugstores, informational cards about herbal remedies will be displayed, while healthcare waiting rooms will feature posters, flyers, and short videos highlighting the importance of safe herbal use. Additionally, online platforms will host user testimonials to provide firsthand experiences and insights.

For more comprehensive information on the safe use of herbal remedies and medications, individuals are encouraged to visit CBG-MEB page on herbal remedies. To stay updated on the campaign's progress and access additional resources, follow the campaign on LinkedIn and Instagram using the hashtag #KnowWhatYouTake.

Little knowledge about the influence of herbal remedies on medicines