Jan 4, 2016

What You Need to Know About the FDA and Natural Medicine

Last week, I received an email notifying me of FDA regulations that affect this little ol' blog. I wasn't the only one, either; in fact, bloggers all over the Internet are pretty darn freaked out about the FDA  preventing us from telling readers about natural remedies. This deeply saddens me, since for decades I received no help from the medical establishment, but am finally finding health through natural medicines. I recommend you learn what you can about natural remedies now, because every year the FDA is tightening things up to make it harder.
Part of the problem is that the FDA hasn't been clear about what they expect from bloggers. The email notification I received was actually from a popular affiliate program, concerned about following federal law. (An affiliate program is something nearly every blogger joins; we know we want to recommend certain items - in this case, natural medicines - to readers, and affiliate programs allow us to earn pennies if you happen to click on our link and buy the item.) This affiliate company stressed that the FDA makes it illegal for bloggers to make any type of disease claim. Unless I'm a doctor (which I'm not), or am talking about a medicine the FDA has approved for a specific use, I cannot recommend any natural remedy, I'm told. In fact, I specifically cannot even mention a disease (or a portion of the name of the disease). I cannot use words like "treat," "prevent," "correct," or any other word that might suggest healing or prevention. I also can't make "unsubstantiated claims" - in other words, claims about a medicine the FDA hasn't approved for a specific disease. Of course, the problem with this is that very, very few natural remedies have been studied scientifically; there just isn't enough money to be made selling natural medicine for scientists to bother studying them at length.

However, when I look at the FDA's website, I don't find any regulations like this for bloggers. I do see the FDA has all the rules I mentioned above for those who are selling herbal supplements. Therefore, I suspect the FDA is mostly concerned about bloggers who are making money (no matter how little) through affiliate links for natural medicine.

That said, I'm no lawyer, and many bloggers disagree with my conclusions. Indeed, given the fact that the FDA has been going after herbalists and other alternative practitioners, many of my fellow bloggers are convinced the FDA is trying, little by little, to make it impossible for consumers to learn about and use natural remedies.

I don't have the means to hire an attorney to figure this out, and the FDA doesn't seem to want to make this clear for bloggers. So I'm going to assume that if I'm just recommending something to you as a friend - not as someone who will earn anything off a sale - the FDA will leave me alone.

I didn't go into blogging to become rich. I blog because I want to help people. So I'm going to continue to recommend natural medicines I believe (often from personal experience) work. I just won't be earning pennies if you click on a link and buy a natural medicine.

In the meantime, though, I hope you'll try to learn as much about natural medicine as you possibly can. It's difficult for me to imagine the FDA won't soon be going after authors who write books about natural medicine; even if those authors are herbalists, there is no government-approved herbalist training, so the government isn't, in my opinion, going to consider those books proper medical advice. And from there...who knows where the FDA will go?

With that in mind, I recommend learning as much as you can about natural remedies. I'll be posting more natural medicine/herbal education links on this blog's Facebook page. You may also wish to view my Pinterest "Herbals" board. In addition, past posts from this blog will give you a nice start learning more about this topic:


  1. Wow. I tell ya what, the changes that are coming in the US are coming more fast and furious than ever. How freaky to get an email about that! I guess I won't have to worry unless the gov't decides I can't talk about pizza on my blog. LOL

  2. Isn't it amazing how the government is budding more and more into our private lives?! From deciding who needs health care, what we can eat, if we should own guns, what we need to learn and what we should say!!! Talk about the land of the free! Not. :\
    Kristina, I have learned so much on your blog! You have been a very helpful blogger. You got me into gardening. I already did the homecooking. :D
    Considering myself your friend, may I suggest a couple of movies for you to watch? Forks over Knives. PurePlantNation and Food Matters. Since March our family has adopted a Whole Foods Plant Based lifestyle and things have changed so much. My husband lost 40 pounds, stopped taking High Blood Pressure meds, his blood sugar is now normal, he has energy and exercises 4-5 times a week. No longer takes naps when he gets home. The kidney stones he had disappeared. He was a steak and egg breakfast type of guy. Now he eats meat once a week, but doesn't have any health issues and that's what was important to him. He's 54 years old. I lost 54 pounds. I can run 10k (6 miles in 1.5 hours). I feel amazing!!! Take a look at those movies. Nothing has worked for us like this lifestyle does! You are a gardener, you guys eat veggies everyday. You will have to stop consuming animal and dairy products, but you can still have grains, nuts, fruits, legumes, veggies... you eat all you want. There's no portion or calorie restriction/ control. Sorry, if I sound pushy. :) just trying to help. Check out The Starch Solution on YouTube. It's about an hour talk. Blessings, Tereza