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Beware of Herbs as Supplements

If you’re considering using any herb, as part of your supplements, remember this important rule of thumb.

Any herb that is strong enough to help you can be strong enough to hurt you. Like any medicine, herbs can have side effects, and herbs can be contraindicated.

Ginkgo biloba may be good for memory and the brain, but it is a blood thinner and has caused harmful bleeding. Just like any other new, unusual substance, herbs can also cause sudden allergic reactions.

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photo credit :

Herbs can interfere with standard medicines and they can make you sick without your realising it. For example, licorice extract, even as a flavoring in chewing tobacco, flushes potassium from the body, raises blood pressure, and can interfere with blood pressure medication. The FDA has a warning of interactions between St. John’s wort and some prescription medications, including several used in the treatment of HIV/ AIDS.

Some herbs and herbalist treatments are hazardous therapies in disguise! In South East Asia especially, where there is a herbalist on every corner, making their herbal drink concoctions, you need to be careful what you put into your system. There’s even use lead or arsenic, known poisons substances, but used as a quick fix for a temporary feel good factor.

The herbs yohimbe, ephedra (ma huang), chaparral, and comfrey have been shown to be dangerous. Senna, cascara, and rhubarb are powerful laxatives used in products described as colon cleansers or blood purifiers, but their overuse is as damaging as overuse of conventional laxatives.

Here is a list of what you might easily OD on, if you’re taking herbs regularly, and here’s what to watch out for:

 More adverse events to watch our for, with herbs.. 

All things in moderation, I always say. And best to check with your physician before starting any new herbs, especially if you are on life long prescription medication already. The next time you think it’s a good idea to drink that ultra-black-bitter herb drink from the man by the roadside, pause and think what might be in it. Not necessarily as good for you, as they claim.


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