When buying herbs and supplements, how do I know I’m getting what it says on the label and not being ripped of?

I know how to properly read a label and make sure I’m getting the right part of the plant in a standardized amount. But the FDA doesn’t have the time or motivation to police the market and make sure you’re getting what you pay for. Are there any non-biased reviews of manufacturers? What companies have the best reputation?

Specifically, I’m interested in vitamin supplements, Dhea, and St johns wort supplements.

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  1. Look for the GMP seal (good manufacturing process) it means that they are made to a much higher standard that the governments standards.

    Some of the brands that have that symbol: (off the top of my head)
    NOW foods
    Puritans Pride
    Swanson Vitamins
    Country Life

    The puritans pride and swanson seem to have the best prices if that is a consideration. They all make herbs as well

  2. BabeHeart says:

    I’d suggest doing a search online and see what info you can find out (I’ve done that for weight loss supplements to find that most don’t have enough of their "active" weight loss ingredient to actually induce weight loss).

    Also, shop at a store that specializes in supplements (not just your local supermarket) as the employees there are often knowledgable.

    For example, I went to buy a supplment a few weeks ago (I forget what) and the woman behind the counter told me she suggested brand "X" because they tested their product to ensure it had the amount of the active ingredient specified on the label, in every pill. Other brands don’t test and so some pills may have more or less than the specified amount. The tested brand was higher in price though, naturally.

  3. Whenever possible, buy pharmaceutical grade supplements. You wouldn’t want a poor quality product in your body. Some even cross the blood/brain barrier.

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