Ecotest: top marks for natural medicinal products

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Most of the herbal medicinal products tested by naturopathy scored "very good" or "good" in terms of efficacy and tolerance at Ökotest

More and more people trust natural medicines and find them to be effective and almost free of side effects. This assessment is now also confirmed by a current analysis by the alternative consumer magazine "Ökotest". A total of 115 medicines for sleep disorders, pain and indigestion were examined. According to the head of investigation Prof. Manfred Schubert-Zsilavecz, most of the preparations were effective and well tolerated by humans.

Natural laxatives for digestive problems The magazine tested a total of 16 natural laxatives, eight of the herbal medicines were rated "very good", two other medicines were rated "good". Natural laxatives, for example, contain swelling Indian psyllium. Such means have proven to be the most effective in the analyzes according to Ökotest and are therefore considered the "means of choice". Agents that stimulate the intestinal wall have also proven to be effective in studies. These include agents that contain the ingredients of Senna leaves or Cascararinde.

The rating "satisfactory" was given for five funds. Critical auxiliaries such as paraffins were responsible for a pejorative assessment. "Chol-Kugeletten Neu" (Dolorgiet) was rated "insufficient". In addition to aloe (intestinal irritant), the remedy contained celandine. The herb is said to stimulate the flow of bile and thus digestion. According to the Ökotester, this plant substance is not only "superfluous" but is also suspected of damaging the liver. This fact is also noted in the package insert for the named natural medicinal product.

Herbal sleep aids for sleep disorders The majority of herbal sleep aids were rated as good by Ökotest. These are sleep medicines that contain combinations of valerian, lemon balm, passion flower herb or hops. A total of 18 specimens were examined, of which half (9) received the grade "very good". One agent received the grade "good". Among the most noteworthy were, for example, "Allunapret / Bionorica", "Valerian Ratiopharm 450 mg", "Baldriparan / Pfizer / Whitehall-Much" and "Klosterfrau Nervenruh Baldrian Forte 600". The rating “satisfactory” was awarded for three sleep medicines. Five sleeping pills received the grade "poor". The devaluation came about because some medicines had too little valerian or because they contained questionable ingredients such as synthetic food coloring or alcohol.

Natural pain relievers tested
The testers were less able to convince the Ökotest testers. Of the 15 pain medicines examined, only two preparations were rated "good". According to the Ökotest, “Doloteffin film tablets / Ardeypharm” and “Rivoltan Teufelskralle 480 mg film tablets / Krewel Meuselbach” performed well. A total of eleven of the agents contained the plant substance devil's claw root. Most painkillers analyzed were rated "satisfactory". One means still managed the "sufficient" rating. The main criticism was that most of the drugs could not provide sufficient studies confirming pain relief or anti-inflammatory effects. Only the product "Phytodolor tincture from Steigerwald" was able to convince the testers. The manufacturer was able to provide convincing data here.

Effective pain reliever, yet "satisfactory" rating
The combined preparation of ash bark, quaking aspen bark and leaves as well as "real goldenrod herb" has been shown to be superior to placebo in studies in the treatment of degenerative joint diseases and to be equivalent to conventional pain relievers in conventional medicine. Nevertheless, the product was only rated "satisfactory" because the package insert only contained insufficient information and e.g. did not draw attention to the fact that the medication must not be taken with stomach or intestinal ulcers. In addition, there were no indications regarding the intake regulations for children, although the preparation had an alcohol content of 45.6 percent.

The May issue of Ökotest presents the results for laxatives, sleeping pills and pain relievers. In the June issue, herbal cough medicine, vein medication, St. John's wort preparations and natural medicines for prostate complaints are presented. (sb)

Also read:
Family doctors value herbal medicines
Herbal ingredients reduce the risk of recurrence
Naturopathy for men suffering well and effectively
Herbal medicines relieve the urge to urinate
Women often use herbal medicines

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