Some people may not understand the number one difference between herbs & supplements, as a result, often confuse the two. There is a distinct difference between the two, and hopefully, taking the time to learn this subject will be important for you.
Understanding The Difference
First, you should understand what supplements are. Supplements are wide-range of substances that are made to improve or complete a process that takes place in the body.
The entire supplement category includes amino acids, fatty acids, fiber, minerals, vitamins, along with herbs. Even though herbs have their name separate within the category, they are separate from vitamins and minerals because herbs are strictly coming from a plant with leaves, flavours, or seeds, and with this, in mind, they are still considered to be a supplement.
Herbs are considered by many, to be more natural for the body compared to supplements because herbs are extracted from plants and therefore, are not as manufactured as some supplements are.
When taking a supplement, more often the not, the entire product is produced and developed through a manufacturing process, whereas with herbs they are not.
While a lot of herbs still go through a degree of processing from the plant to the pill form, it is not to the same extent of processing that particular supplements will go through. Depending on the supplement, can be a combination of artificial and natural ingredients, while some may be 100% artificial ingredients and others will just contain pure natural ingredients.
Supplements Are Regulated
Canada is the global leader in the regulations of natural health products (NHPs). In Canada, there is a pre-approval system called, Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD) which NHPs needs to be licensed by Health Canada before these are allowed to be sold to Canadians legally.
Even though herbs are considered to be a branch of supplements regulated in Canada, you must do some research to ensure the safety of any herb or supplement. Remember supplements will also include other items such as ergogenic aids, vitamin, minerals, along with other nutrients. Speak with your doctor about taking any supplement if your are taking any prescription drugs, but do not do so beforehand.
Supplements are a broad term that includes herbs, and also some other natural products as well. With Health Canada regulating both of these like medications and over-the-counter drugs, you need to take caution when buying and using any supplement not licensed by Health Canada.