Safety is the largest concern for our industry. It's more important than efficacy, marketing and finding the next hot product. If supplements aren't safe, harm to consumers and our reputation will follow, and we don't want that.
It's also a complicated concern. Safety is not just following GMPs (good manufacturing practices); although, GMPs do help ensure products aren't contaminated. Safety goes beyond that to include supplement-drug interactions, adverse effects caused by misusing them and more. What can be a perfectly safe supplement for one person can be dangerous to another.
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has a history of helping supplement manufacturers make sure their products are safe, and their newest offering is in line with it's high safety standards. AHPA is gearing up to release the second edition of its Botanical Safety Handbook on March 10, 2013.
AHPA's newest edition updates the information found in the previous version with more insights from herbal and integrative medicine experts. It covers more than 500 species of herbs with safety information learned from traditional uses and contemporary research, including clinical trials, pharmacological and toxicological studies and medical case reports.
The book goes deep into each herb, with an overview of its safety studies, adverse event reports (AERs) and pharmacology and pharmacokinetics. It also offers a section on the use of herbs by pregnant or lactating women
This edition will available as a digital versionoptimized for computers and mobile devices on the SupplySide Store. It is searchable by keyword, chapter or botanical listing. The digital version of the AHPA's Botanical Safety Handbook, Second Edition, is offered as a one-year subscription and is renewable on an annual basis.
The book is also available in hardcover form on AHPA's website.
If you work with botanicals or if you're looking to start production on a new herbal supplement, this book would be a great resource to help cut the risk of unsafe products getting to market.