Herbs and natural supplements are become commonplace as people search for natural remedies for their health problems. However, it is important to remember that natural is not always safe. Popular over-the-counter herbal remedies such as St. John’s wort, ginseng, gingko, garlic, black cohosh, ginger, and echinacea can be dangerous when combined with blood thinners or cholesterol-lowering statins. The herbs may dilute the drug, intensify its effect, or exacerbate side effects.
The Mayo clinic recently listed more than 25 products that should be avoided by those on heart medications. These include garlic, saw palmetto, ginkgo, echinacea, St. John’s wort, green tea, alfalfa, ginger, bilberry, fenugreek, ginseng, grapefruit juice, aloe vera, black cohosh, hawthorn, yohimbe, licorice root, butcher’s broom, angelica, capsicum, gossypol, Irish moss, kelp, khella, lily of the valley, ephedra, night-blooming cereus, oleander and strophantus.
Always tell your doctor AND pharmacist if you are taking any natural remedy, herbal supplement or vitamin – even if those remedies were suggested by a medical professional. Many doctors are not aware of these dangerous interactions. Remember all drugs are potentially dangerous!
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