When taking herbs, it’s important to remember that just because they’re natural, doesn’t mean they’re compatible with medications. Herbs are actually the derivatives of many medications used today, like valium. This pharmaceutical gets it’s roots from valerian root. Always check with your doctor before taking herbal supplements. Be sure to tell him everything you’re taking whether it’s natural or not. Herbs that don’t mix with medications include the following, as stated by the May 2010 issue of Prevention.
St. John’s Wort
If you’re already taking antidepressants you’ll want to stay away from SJW. Since both the herb and the antidepressants increase serotonin levels, your body will experience a build up of this substance and you’ll end up with something called serotonin syndrome. St. John’s Wort also interacts with many other drugs as well, so be sure to check with your doctor. You can still substitute naturally with B vitamins and fish oil to boost your mood if you’re still looking for natural options.
If you’re on diuretics to control high blood pressure, you’ll want to steer clear of stomach soothing licorice. It’s known for causing dangerously low potassium levels when combined with a diuretic or laxative. If you still want to ease stomach aches naturally, you can do that with ginger tea as well as avoiding any food or drinks you find cause your stomach to act up.
Avoid this spice if you’re on blood thinners. There is research that has shown the effectiveness of turmeric decreasing inflammation caused by a variety of reasons, including arthritis. However, you’ll want to avoid this spice if you’re on meds like Coumadin and others that make bleeding easily occur. Drinking antioxidant rich juices like grape, pomegranate, and tart cherry may be other natural options that may help many inflammatory processes.
This is another dangerous herb to take with blood thinners. This herb is commonly used for headaches and migraines can slow your body’s natural clotting ability. If you’re also a person that has allergies to any plants related to the daisy family like chrysanthemums and ragweed you could experience negative reactions to this herb. Instead, people prone to migraines may find relief from some extra magnesium. Journaling your reactions to foods is also a great way to manage migraines. Once you see a negative pattern with certain foods, you can then avoid them.
Being vigilant regarding medication and herbal combinations can be all it takes to avoid a serious reaction that requires medical intervention. If you’re considering herbal remedies, be sure to look at the whole picture before starting to take them.
May 2010 issue of Prevention