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When Herbs & Medicines Collide

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

Basil's House of Herbs: Herb Recipes |  Herb Index

Herbal Supplements, Unregulated & Potentially Damaging to Health

Before taking herb supplements be sure to get with your doctor, particularly if you are taking prescription medications. Individuals at highest risk include those on blood pressure medications, blood thinners, heart medications, diabetic medications and MAOI's.

Herb & Medicine Interactions Common

These medications can collide with herbal supplements, thus creating serious health disturbances.

In addition, individuals suffering from other ailments, particularly the liver should avoid herbal supplements until meeting with their physician for discussion and approval.

Also included in this list are individuals who may have a hidden health condition - including pregnant women who aren't aware they are pregnant. In these type situations, irreversible damage may be done to the body or to the unborn child by taking certain herbal remedies or concoctions.

Particular herbal supplements to avoid while taking medications include the following list.

Black Cohosh

Often used in herbal medicine for treating hypertension in women.

Dong Quai

(Angelica) - used in herbal medicine for treating female disorders, such as menopause.


Used in herbal medicine in treating migraines, muscle spasms, and as a mild sedative.


Used in herbal medicine for congestion, coughs, preventing blood clots, controlling hypertension and insomnia.


Used for relieving pain; headaches, fighting nausea, to break up fever.

Ginkgo & Genseng

Associated with endurance, improvement of performance, anti-stress.


Herbal medicinal uses include treatment for poison ivy, balancing insulin levels and for relieving sinus pressure.


Used in herbal medicine as a relaxant.

Milk Thistle

Used to purify and treat the liver.

St. John's Wort

Used in herbal medicine for treating cancer; intestinal swelling.

Reference: Tom, the Biologist

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