Herbs are used in numerous alternative treatments and have hundreds of health benefits. However, it’s equally important to be aware that not all remedies are beneficial for everyone, as there are plenty side effects that you need to take account of. Conventional drugs load your liver with toxins and have plenty side effects, while plants are 100% natural and gentle with your body. However, herbs also contain powerful active substances that can cause more harm than good if combined with conventional treatments or if a patient suffers from a secondary disease.
Whenever you wish to start an alternative therapy, or your doctor prescribes you a conventional treatment, you need to inform him about any plants that you ingest raw or under the form of supplements. Always check that herbs don’t amplify or counteract the effect of conventional treatments. In the meantime check the common side effects caused by popular herbs, listed below!
15 Popular Herbs and Their Side Effects:
Event the most common herbs should be ingested with caution, in small dosages, if the patient suffers from secondary diseases, excepting the one the the treatment is intended for. Here is a list of popular plants and their side effects:
1. Ginkgo Biloba: increases the risk of hemorrhage. This herb shouldn’t be ingested before any surgical procedure. It shouldn’t be mixed with anticoagulants like aspirin and warfarin. Also avoid combining this plant with garlic and vitamin E, which can exacerbate it’s blood thinning properties.
2. Ginseng: should be avoided by people that suffer from high blood pressure. More, if it’s used for a long time, or in high dosages it comes with side effects like: nausea, insomnia, headaches, diarrhea and nosebleeds (epistaxis). If you follow an alternative therapy involving ginseng, you should refrain from energizing drinks like: coffee, coke, alcohol and even hot chocolates.
3. St. John’s Wort: comes with a strange side effect, that causes light sensitivity. Meaning that the patient will be annoyed by bright light and will prefer a darker ambient. You shouldn’t mix this herb with antidepressants or with drugs that fight insomnia. More, St. John’s wort plant can also lower the efficiency of contraceptive pills.
4. Anise: comes with an essential oil that contains estrogen. This is why it should be avoided by those suffering from breast or genital cancer. Medicinal herbs with anise should also be avoided by patients with gastritis, ulcer or enterocolitis.
5. Primrose: has to be avoided in case of aspirin allergy and during administration of anticoagulants.
6. Echinacea: is contraindicated for those suffering from autoimmune diseases like: systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), multiple sclerosis and so on. This plant also causes side effects if administrated during leukemia treatment.
7. Burdock: comes with the health benefit of lowering glycemia. This is why diabetics sufferers need to adjust their insulin intake (under medical surveillance) if they follow an alternative therapy based on burdock. This will avoid hypoglycemia episodes.
8. Ginger: is not mixable with anticoagulants and should be also avoided before surgical procedures. It can also lead to sudden glycemia level drops if combined with drugs prescribed for diabetes treatment.
9. Fennel: contains phytoestrogens that could cause menstrual cycle disorder, usually the faster emergence of it. A cure with fennel is prohibited if the patient also suffers from eplilepsia, gastric or duodenal ulcer.
10. Seabuckthorn: comes with a lot of health benefits. One of them being the energizing effect. It’s as efficient as coffee and this is why this plant should be consumed during the morning or latest, by lunch. Else, you might end up with insomnia. Those of you suffering from chronic diarrhea or acute cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder) should avoid consuming large quantities of Hippophae.
11. Willow Bark: is also know as ‘the natural aspirin’, because of it’s rich content of salicin, an anti-inflammatory agent. It’s similar to the acetylsalicylic acid. Supplements from this herb shouldn’t be combined with anticoagulants and are not recommended to hemorrhagic or hemophiliac patients.
12. Aloe: administrated in high dosages or for a longer period of time can lead to diarrhea, cramps, bowel disorders, or irregular heartbeats.
13. Bay Leaves: should be consumed in small quantities. Else they can produce vomiting sensations as side effects.
14. Thyme: ingested in large quantities disrupts proper thyroid gland function. Thyme based supplements should be also avoided in case of suffering from atherosclerosis, hepatitis or the presence of ulcers.
15. Gentian: isn’t recommended for patients that also suffer from diarrhea. hyperacid gastritis or gastroduodenal ulcer.
Tip: Most herbs are not recommended during pregnancy, because they can lead to hemorrhage , premature contractions and even miscarriage.