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New app offers info on safety, side effects of herbal products

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Bethesda, MD — Got a question about the possible adverse health effects of ingesting chamomile? What about how lavender affects your body? Tea tree oil? A new mobile app may help you get some answers.

The National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health recently launched HerbList – a free mobile app created to provide research-based information about the safety and effectiveness of herbal products.

The app includes information on potential safety issues, side effects and interactions between herbs and prescription medications for more than 50 herbs and herbal supplements. Links to more information are included.

“Providing an app for users is part of NCCIH’s effort to inform consumers and health care providers within the complementary and integrative health space,” David Shurtleff, Ph.D., the center’s acting director, said in a June 12 press release. “People are considering herbs and herbal supplements for various reasons, and it is important that they are aware of what the research says about safety and effectiveness.”

HerbList is available to download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

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