Look Carefully at Halal Supplements and Medicines

Medicines and health supplements are products that are consumed by many people. However, considering that the product uses raw materials, most of which are still imported, it is necessary to look at the halal.

Health supplements have become a lifestyle trend. With advertising that is very massive and claimed to be able to increase stamina and maintain a healthy body, health supplements are now a daily consumption for anyone who wants health and fitness. It must be observed that not all health supplements are halal certified.

Unhealthy lifestyle of most people, including unbalanced nutrition (high fat, salt, sugar, calories and poor nutrition), instant foods that are high in BTP (food additives) such as food coloring, preservatives, artificial sweeteners. In addition, stress, lack of rest, polluted environment, exposure to chemicals (medicines) without doctor’s instructions, contamination of germs and bacteria.

By changing a healthy lifestyle, the body has not been able to neutralize free radicals that have already entered the body. This is where the importance of taking health supplements. Health experts suggest, to prevent metabolic syndrome can be anticipated by living a healthy lifestyle and taking health supplements regularly.

Consumption of food supplements is expected to help people get a better life so that they can be avoided from various diseases that require drug use. Today, medicines appear with various variants to treat various diseases.

On the other side, there are products whose ingredients and production processes are relatively the same but differ in designation, namely medicines. Medicines and supplements are two different products and different benefits if consumed. Food supplements are products that contain one or a combination of ingredients that are used to increase the number of nutritional crackers (AKG), namely vitamins, minerals, plants or ingredients derived from plants, as well as amino acids. Food supplements can take the form of tablets, lozenges, powders, capsules, and liquid products in the form of syrup or solution.

The medicines are more functioning to overcome, relieve, or cure a disease. In the production process and raw materials, medicines and health supplements are relatively the same. Medicines and supplements are prepared with various raw materials, auxiliary materials, and auxiliary materials. Data from the Indonesian Ministry of Health in 2017, about 90 percent of the pharmaceutical industry’s raw materials in Indonesia come from imports.

According to Director General of Pharmacy and Medical Devices, Ministry of Health, Maura Linda Sitanggang, the largest import of pharmaceutical raw materials at present is from China, which is around 60 percent. The rest of India is around 25 percent, and the rest is from Europe and America. All importing countries are in fact non-Muslim countries that are less concerned about the halal status of medicines. Therefore, we need to understand the content in medicines and supplements, in order to avoid medicines and supplements that are not necessarily halal.

According to Chilwan Pandji Drs., Apt, MSc., a lecturer at the Faculty of Industrial Technology, Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB), when viewed from the source, medicines and supplements are divided into two, namely herbal and chemical.

Herbal medicines and supplements contain plant extracts, mineral materials, galenic preparations or mixtures of these ingredients which are processed in such a way that they change into pills or powders without the mixture of chemicals. While chemical medicines or supplements contain ingredients that are mixed and processed with chemical synthesis so that compounds can be obtained with certain pharmacological properties.

In the process, both herbal and chemical, supplements and medicines involve a variety of main ingredients and other auxiliary materials, one of the function is dissolve other substances that are generally solid in form without experiencing chemical changes. In the pharmaceutical field, solvents commonly used are polar (soluble in alcohol and water), semi-polar (less soluble in water and alcohol), or non-polar (which can dissolve oil).

Look Carefully at the Halalness

In terms of halalness, according to Chilwan Pandji medicines and supplements have some haram critical points, especially in herbal and chemical forms. The critical points that must be observed include:

Raw Material

Is the main ingredient in making medicines and supplements. In terms of origin, raw materials can come from animal and vegetable. If raw materials come from pigs or their derivatives, or animals that are not necessarily halal, then it is clear, the products they produce will definitely be forbidden. If it comes from halal animals, it must be ascertained to be sourced from syar’i slaughtered animals.


As like as raw materials, the ingredients must also be ensured halal, although the role is not as much as raw materials. In medicines and synthetic supplements, the critical point in the auxiliary material needs to be considered. For example, tablet coatings that might come from gelatin must be ensured to come from halal animals and slaughtered in syar’i.

As with liquid chemicals, when it must be stored in a capsule shell, it should be noted whether it comes from gelatin or from plants. The use of emulsifiers also needs to be taken from vegetable or syar’i slaughtered halal animals.

Helper Material

One of them is a solvent. If the solvent is alcohol it is necessary to ensure that the source is not from khamr.

Capsule Shell

Shell capsules are usually made of gelatin. The technology of gelatin capsules is chosen by pharmaceutical manufacturers because it is superior in its biological availability, besides being more easily modified from the biopharmaceutical side.

The raw material for gelatin is the skin and bones of mammals, such as cattle and pigs. Broadly speaking, the source of gelatin for making capsules is divided into type A gelatin from pig skin and type B gelatin from cow skin and bones.

Production Process

For synthetic medicines and supplements, because they only involve chemical reactions, there is little chance of contamination of non-halal products. However, on herbal medicine, the extraction process needs to be considered halal, especially if the extraction comes from animals must be ensured to come from halal animals.

Source: Jurnal Halal No. 130

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