Safety Instructions & Guidelines When Using Herbs
Before using a herb you are unfamiliar with, find out its medicinal properties. Research it thoroughly and/or consult with an appropriately qualified practitioner or expert. If you are taking prescription drugs, or have a medical condition check with an appropriately qualified practitioner before using herbs medicinally. Herbs have shown overwhelming evidence that they work. Just because a small amount works well does NOT mean that more is better. As individuals we all have different constitutions, sensitivities, allergic reactions and possible health conditions. The following are merely guidelines. They include herbs offered on our website. This list does not help with administering information on possible interactions and contraindications with prescription medicine. This needs to be discussed with your physician.
Should I check with my doctor or healthcare provider before using a supplement?
This is a good idea, especially for certain population groups. Dietary supplements may not be risk-free under certain circumstances. If you are pregnant, nursing a baby, or have a chronic medical condition, such as, diabetes, hypertension or heart disease, be sure to consult your doctor or pharmacist before purchasing or taking any supplement. While vitamin and mineral supplements are widely used and generally considered safe, you may wish to check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking these or any other dietary supplements. If you plan to use a dietary supplement in place of drugs or in combination with any drug, tell your health care provider first. Many supplements contain active ingredients that have strong biological effects and their safety is not always assured in all users. If you have certain health conditions and take these products, you may be placing yourself at risk.
Some supplements may interact with prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
Taking a combination of supplements or using these products together with medications (whether prescription or OTC drugs) could under certain circumstances produce adverse effects. Be alert to advisories about these products, whether taken alone or in combination. For example: Coumadin (a prescription medicine), ginkgo biloba (an herbal supplement), aspirin (an OTC drug) and vitamin E (a vitamin supplement) can each thin the blood, and taking any of these products together can increase the potential for internal bleeding.
Some supplements can have unwanted effects during surgery.
It is important to fully inform your doctor about the vitamins, minerals, herbals or any other supplements you are taking, especially before elective surgery. You may be asked to stop taking these products at least 2-3 weeks ahead of the procedure to avoid potentially dangerous supplement/drug interactions -- such as changes in heart rate, blood pressure and increased bleeding - that could adversely affect the outcome of your surgery.
Not to be used during pregnancy, or if you are nursing:
Alkanet, Aloe, Angelica, Anise, Anise Star, Arnica, Ashwaganda, Barley Grass, Barberry, Basil, Bitter Melon, Black Cohosh, Bladderwrack, Blessed Thistle, Blood Root, Blue Cohosh, Blue Flag, Blue Vervain, Borage, Buckthorn, California Poppy, Cascara Sagrada, Catnip, Celandine, Celery, Chervil, Cinnamon, Club Moss, Comfrey, Coltsfoot, Cubeb, Dong Quai, Elecampane, Ephedra, False Unicorn, Fenugreek, Feverfew, Ginger, Golden Seal, Gravel, Guarana, Gymnema, Horehound, Horsetail, Hyssop, Juniper, Lemongrass, Licorice, Lobelia, Lovage, Lungwort, Mace, Motherwort, Mugwort, Muira Puama, Myrrh, Neem, Oregon Grape, Osha, Parsley, Pennyroyal, Pleurisy, Prickly Ash, Red Clover, Rhodiola, Rosemary, Rue, Sage, Sassafras, Sarsaparilla, Senna, Shepherds Purse, Spikenard, Turkey Rhubarb, Turmeric, Uva Ursi, Vitex, Watercress, White Sage, Wormwood, Yarrow
Not for persons with history of kidney stones, liver disorders, renal dysfunction or inflammation:
Cubeb, Essiac, Horsetail, Hydrangea, Juniper Berries, Kava Kava, Parsley Root, Pennyroyal, Sheep Sorrel, Shepherds Purse, Suma, Sumac, Uva Ursi, Yellowdock, Yohimbe
Not recommended for person currently taking blood thinning medications:
Alfalfa, Angelica, Cramp Bark, Cubeb, Dong Quai, Ginkgo, Meadowsweet, Red Clover, Sarsaparilla, Yohimbe
Not for persons with stomach inflammation/ulcers serious digestion and/or liver problems. May cause gastrointestinal upset:
Black Haw, Blue Flag, Chaparral, Club Moss, Crampbark, Devils Claw, Eucalyptus, Elecampane, Essiac, Gentian, Ginger, Licorice, Lobelia, Parsley Root, Pleurisy, Pygeum, Solomans Seal, Tribulus, Turmeric, Yohimbe
Not for long-term use:
Bilberry Leaf, Black Walnut, Blessed thistle, Borage, Cascara Sagrada, Comfrey, Coltsfoot, Chaparral, Elecampane, Ephedra, Flax, Horsetail, Gentian, Goldenseal, Guarana, Juniper berries, Licorice, Lobelia, Lungwort, Mullein, Nettle Root, Rhubarb, Sage, Sassafras, Sarsaparilla, Senna, Sheep Sorrel, Wild Cherry, Wormwood, Uva Ursi, Yohimbe
To be used only under the supervision of an expert qualified in the appropriate use of this substance:
Calamus, Horse Chestnut, Lobelia, Licorice, Mandrake, Poke, Tonka
Do not use if you have abdominal pain or diarrhea, discontinue if these occur. Consult health practitioner prior to use if pregnant, nursing, and taking medication or have a medical condition. Do not exceed recommended dose.
Seek advice from health practitioner prior to use if pregnant, nursing, have high blood pressure, heart or thyroid disease, diabetes, difficulty in urination due to prostate enlargement, or if taking mao inhibitor or other prescription drug. Reduce/discontinue use if nervousness, tremor, sleeplessness, loss of appetite or nausea occur. Do not exceed recommended dose. Keep out of reach of children:
Ephedra, st. Johns wort, yohimbe
Seek advice from a health practitioner before use if you have/may have had kidney or liver disease. Discontinue use if nausea, fever, fatigue or jaundice (dark urine, yellow discoloration of eyes) should occur.