5 Herbs to Take Caution with ...

Not all herbs are 100 percent safe for everyone. There are a few that react to prescription medications or cause other allergic reactions in individuals. As with most supplements ingested, being cautious is better than dealing with the potentially hazardous outcome that may occur. Here are 5 herbs to take caution with.

5. Gotu Kola

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Usually this beneficial herb doesn’t cause any reactions, but a few reports have been made about certain side effects people have had. Some reports include an increase in blood sugar levels, heightened cholesterol levels, and inflamed livers. The most common reaction reported is an increase in sun sensitivity.

4. Ephedra

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Chinese herbalists have used this herb for more than 5000 years, but the FDA has declared it dangerous and it is banned in the US. When taken internally, it can be used to treat hay fever, colds, headaches, asthma, and the flu. It is also know to aid in weight loss by burning fat. The potential for this herb to be misused as a weight loss supplement is what caused it to be banned in the US. When taken in large quantities, ephedra can over-stimulate the nervous system, as well as the heart.

3. Goldenseal

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Some people have an allergic reaction to this plant. Women who are pregnant are advised to avoid taking goldenseal because it has the ability to induce labor. A chemical in Goldenseal, known as berberine, has been known to cause abnormal heart rhythms in some individuals.

2. Comfrey

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Taking comfrey in excess has shown to cause liver damage as well as cancer, but the latter has only been proved in laboratory rats. There are some bone ailments that are also triggered by the use of this herb. Although past uses for comfrey include the treatment of gastric ulcers, sprains, broken bones, acne, and various skin conditions, the tannins, steroidal saponins, and pyrrolizidine alkaloids can be harmful.

1. Mugwort

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Although normally a beneficial herb used to cleanse the blood, lower fevers, and purge the stomach of impurities, mugwort is a known allergen to individuals with hay fever and allergic asthma. So, if you know you have hay fever or asthma, you might want to steer clear of this herb.

I hope you aren’t scared off from trying the 5 herbs mentioned above. As long as you read the label and take them as directed, you should be able to gain the benefits each is capable of providing. Just be sure to keep track of when and what herbs you are taking in case you begin to notice any odd sensations. Are there any herbs you take on a regular basis? Have you noticed any adverse reactions when taking any of these herbs?

Top Photo Credit: crocknroll

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