If you’ve followed our blog at all, then you’ll already know that we firmly believe in the power of natural health solutions, including herbal supplements.

That’s because we are strongly against the use of chemical-based drugs that are concocted in a lab somewhere by companies who are trying to be Gods, thinking they can outwit Mother Nature.

Prescription Drugs

If you don’t believe us, then just look at the list of possible side-effects of any random drug in your cabinet, or listen to one of the many ads on TV, where they try to minimize the side-effects by reciting them at high speed in the hope you’ll not notice how bad they can be.

For example, we saw an ad the other day for where the person extolling its virtues claimed one benefit of this particular drug was that the risk of serious or fatal bleeding wasn’t as bad as Warfarin – but note that it is still a possible “side-effect”.

Excuse us for being sensible, but if taking a drug might lead to fatal bleeding, then no thanks!

The fact is, correctly prescribed and administered drugs are one of the leading causes of death in the USA today. (See Mercola.com)

Herbal Supplements

Contrast that with herbal supplements and other natural products, especially those made in the USA which are still subject to minimum quality requirements (e.g. they should be made in an FDA-registered installation to current Good Manufacturing Practice, aka cGMP, standards), where there are zero deaths – provided, of course, that people follow the dosage instructions and other safety warnings.

So, can you conclude from this that herbal supplements are safe?

Well, yes and no.

Yes, because as we said, they do not typically carry the long list of side-effects that prescription drugs do. And people don’t usually die from them, never mind get sick.

But no, because it’s not only the actual active ingredients (e.g. green coffee bean extract, glucosamine) that you need to check.

For the most part, US-manufactured supplements are safe at the active ingredient level – companies can not get away with selling products that are dangerous, even though the FDA might not have given them their “approval”.

This is why some so-called “natural” supplements (e.g. Chinese fruta planta, ephedra) are now banned.

It’s the list of inactive ingredients that you need to check out and do your research on.

BeMedFree.com® does NOT recommend Green Coffee Bean Extract that contains Magnesium Stearate!

These inactive ingredients are typically written in smaller print, as you can see from this sample label, to the right.

Unfortunately, most people gloss over this part of the label, under the misapprehension that whatever is listed there doesn’t matter.

Sadly, this is not a safe assumption to make.

Dangerous Ingredients

So, which ingredients should you look out for?

Well, here are a couple of them, to get you started.

Sodium Benzoate

This is used as a preservative and mold inhibitor to help keep products fresh, but it is known to be carcinogenic. It also deprives your mitochondrial cells of oxygen, which is the fuel cells need to survive and function.

It’s even more dangerous when taken in combination with Vitamin C or E, as this results in the creation of benzene – another known carcinogen.

Magnesium Stearate

This is what’s known as a flow agent, and the only reason for including it is so that the manufacturers can run their machines faster – it basically stops the other ingredients and capsules from sticking to the machinery and clogging things up.

So what harm can it do?

Well, it can cause damage to your intestine, and may even prevent the full absorption of nutrients.

Also, stearic acid, which is a major component of magnesium stearate, can suppress your T cells, and they are a critical part of your immune system.

There are other potential issues, but the above is more than enough reason to avoid it.

The point is, you need to check all of the ingredients on the label.

And then you need to research any that you don’t know for certain are safe.

So Why Buy Online?

This brings us back to the title of this article, and the reason why it’s better to shop online for supplements.

Look at this way, if you’re at your local supermarket or pharmacy and pick up a bottle of supplements, how are you going to find out whether the ingredients are safe or not?

You could stand there with your smart phone and Google away, but it’s not a very practical option – this type of research can take quite a while, and on a small screen in the middle of a store, maybe with kids in tow, we wouldn’t recommend it!

And there’s no point asking the staff, because it’s highly likely 99.9% certain they won’t have a clue.

But, if you’re at home, shopping online, you can do all the research you need, however long it might take, to make sure you’re comfortable with the product before you purchase it.

To some people, this may seem like an overly cautious approach, but don’t forget that we’re being exposed to more and more chemicals all the time – in the environment (e.g. from pollution, GMOs), in foods (e.g. from similarly dangerous and/or unhealthy ingredients like MSG, HFCS, sodium nitrites/nitrates, aspartame), and of course in the prescription drugs and vaccines (e.g. aluminum, mercury, formaldehyde) that we avoid at all costs. These chemicals can accumulate in your body over time, so to us, it just makes sense to cut out as many possible sources of them as you can.

Yes, we know it takes longer this way, but the question is, how much do you really value your health? After all, there’s no point in buying a supplement that’s meant to help if some of the ingredients can cause more harm.

PS By the way, you won’t find any of the above-mentioned dangerous ingredients in our products, such as our Pure Green Coffee Bean Extract (which is also available for Spanish speakers) or our Liquid Glucosamine For Dogs, and even though it’s not a supplement, our WYAU! Fair Trade Whole Bean Coffee is organic (and healthy) too.

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), bleeding from wounds or needle injections, any bleeding that will not stop
  • heavy menstrual periods
  • headache, dizziness, weakness, feeling like you might pass out
  • red, pink, or brown urine
  • black or bloody stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness (especially in your legs and feet); or loss of movement in any part of your body

Note: This is not a complete list of side-effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side-effects.