Sehat badan is one coffee brand that I seriously regret having tried, and not only because it tastes awful, but because it has been found to contain — not herbs as it claims — but a slew of synthetic drugs. I do not practice brand-bashing as a rule, but this product has gone too far in deceiving the public that I feel I must do my part in warning people against it.
Some well-meaning relatives told us to try Sehat badan as it purportedly brought relief to the maladies of some of the people they knew. So when I saw boxes of them displayed in my favorite wholesale grocery store I brought home a box for trial. Turns out the coffee is an Indonesian brand that is said to be made up of locally-sourced herbs that have been used as folkloric remedies for many maladies, at least in Indonesia, that is. Sounds good, eh?
I have been turned off by the unpleasant taste, however, and so I had to stop. It was bitter, pungent and just doesn’t taste right. I also had a lingering suspicion in that the accompanying leaflet has no English translation. I remember looking up the list of scientific names in the ingredients section and remembering the products’ claims on having ginger, turmeric, pepper and betel nut, among others. Still sounds good, right?
Much later, however, I began seeing warnings about the lack of FDA approval of the said product, which all the more heightened my suspicion. However, I still saw people buying boxes of the stuff from the store. A lot of them, when asked, said the product relieved the symptoms of their arthritis. Many of them were elderly.
So when news broke out about the dangers of Sehat badan, I remembered the faces of those seniors I’ve talked to who gullibly bought this coffee out of a sincere belief that it is a potent, safe and natural herbal supplement in coffee form.
The fact, however, is that Sehat badan is not a herbal supplement.
The FDA has already issued a health warning against the use of Sehat badan as far back as January 2014 on the grounds that the product has not been listed with the agency. Then, in July of 2014, the product has been found, on laboratory assay, to contain — not herbal supplements as they claim — but standard drugs like Diclofenac sodium, ibuprofen and paracetamol. Gasp! No wonder they brought relief to various aches and pains — but at what price to the body.
Ibuprofen, paracetamol and diclofenac are pain-killers and anti-inflammatory drugs and are only symptomatic and not curative treatments. They are certainly not meant to be taken daily and they have no right to be in your cup of morning joe. Diclofenac, in particular, can cause stomach ulcers when taken excessively.
Even worse are the findings in recent months. In Ormoc City, medical doctors began seeing what they describe as an alarming rise in what they suspect are symptoms of yet other Sehat badan side effects. This article tells of at least 3 specialists who reported seeing cases where patients showed edematous or bloated appearance and who admitted to taking Sehat badan coffee for several weeks. The patients said the Indonesian coffee made them feel better and energetic.
The doctors said they observed a bloated, moon-faced appearance coupled with a buffalo hump — a set of symptoms that is indicative of steroid usage. As such, they are now proposing that Sehat badan be analyzed again — this time, for the presence of steroids.
Daily, long-term intake of these pharmaceutical drugs marketed as herbal supplements may relieve pains but they could bring about liver and kidney damage in the long run. This is unpardonable deception which I strongly feel all Filipinos should know. I feel sorry for all those — the already frail senior citizens especially — who believe they have been taking safe and effective herbs when all they’ve been doing all along is burden their liver and kidneys with unregulated maintenance doses of synthetic drugs.
Help spread the news of the dangers of Sehat badan — that it contains diclofenac, ibuprofen, paracetamol and probably, steroids.
Report any stores — online or brick and mortar — which sell Sehat badan. Please help me spread the news.
As for other health supplements, read the labels, check for FDA licenses and read between the lines. Demand truth in advertising.
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My thoughts on MLM/Multi-level networking schemes