Herbal supplements have become extremely popular lately as people become more aware of herbs healing properties. Many people have gone to herbalists to study herbs healing properties for their ability to ward off things like colds and flu. Herbs are sought for depression, menopausal symptoms, lowering cholesterol and migraines. Herbs healing properties on these maladies have been in news of late. There is however a few things you should know about using herbs healing properties and how it can effect you if you are having surgery or are taking other medications. You need to tell your medical doctor about any herbs or herbal concoctions that you are using.
For instance if you are taking echinacea for a cold, you must stop taking it three weeks before your surgery as it can interfere with immunosuppressant drugs subscribed after a transplant surgery. Other effects echinacea can have after surgery is a reaction to anesthesia, delayed healing and a risk of infection. If you are taking feverfew for your migraines it could cause bleeding. Other herbal supplements that can cause bleeding are Garlic, Ginger, Ginkgo, Danshen, Dong Quai, Chondroitin, and Ginseng.
Other herbal supplements that are taken for their healing properties but can interfere with a surgical procedure or certain drugs follow.
Ephedra may cause an irregular heart beat. It can cause very high blood pressure when combined with certain antidepressants and anesthesia. Goldenseal and Ginseng will also cause blood pressure to rise. Licorice (not the candy) may increase your blood pressure; Senna may cause an electrolyte imbalance. Kava could enhance the sedative effects of anesthesia.
Now let's look at how herbs healing properties could react with drugs.
Dong Quai have been used by women to help in menopausal symptoms. It is helpful, but do not mix this herbal supplement with anticoagulants, antibiotics or St. Johns Wort.
Echinacea is very useful in warding off colds and flu but should never be taken with heart medications, antifungal medication, anti-anxiety medications anyone with HIV.
If you experience migraines and you are taking feverfew to alleviate the pain do not take other migraine medications at the same time. It will increase the thinning of the blood if take with anti-coagulants.
Another herb taking for it's healing properties is Gingko. Said to help improve your memory this herb will also interact with anti-coagulant medications such as Warfarien, Coumadin, Heparin and even Aspirin. It could cause a serious bleeding disorder.
The oh so versatile garlic has many herbal healing properties such as reducing cholesterol and prevention of blood clots. However, it is another herb that can interfere with anti-coagulants. Never take this herb if you are diabetic as it may decrease you blood sugars.
To boost energy, improve stamina, reduce stress and lower cholesterol many take Ginseng. A side effect is that it could cause irritation and the jitters. If it is over used it can lead to insomnia, an increase in blood pressure, and headaches.
Hawthorne is believed to reduce angina attacks by lowering blood pressure. But if you are on heart medication do not take this herb.
To relieve insomnia and anxiety many take the herb Kava and many say it is very effective. Those who should not be using this healing herb are people who are taking antidepressants, sedatives or have a history of liver problems. Never mix Kava with alcohol.
You should be aware that high doses of Licorice have been linked to increased blood pressure, potassium loss and water retention. Do not mix Licorice with digoxin or diuretics, it will increase the probability of a large loss of potassium which is necessary for the heart to function.
Anyone that is on anti-depressants, HIV medication, anticoagulants, Tamoxifen or oral contraceptives should not take St. Johns Wort.
While Valerian has hypnotic effects and aids in insomnia, do not take it with alcohol or valium.
Never take herbal supplements if you are pregnant or breast feeding. While herbal supplements may be safe for you as and adult, it maybe harmful to your fetus or breast feeding baby.
While many believe in herbs healing properties, you should be aware of the risks. Make sure you herbalist and medical doctor know all medications you are taking including herbal supplements.
Disclaimer: I am not licensed in the medical field. This article was written on research I have done and strictly for your information. Never take any kind of medication or herbs until you have spoken to your doctor.