Herbal Supplements May Not be as Safe as They Sound

Here’s what to consider before giving herbal supplements a try.

Here’s what to consider before giving herbal supplements a try

Always talk to your doctor before taking an herbal supplement if you have any of the following health problems:

Blood clotting disorders

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • An enlarged prostate gland
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Immune system disorders
  • Thyroid problems
  • Parkinson's disease
  • History of liver or kidney problems
  • History of stroke
  • Make sure you discuss the issue of using herbal supplements with your primary health care provider to help you make a safe choice. Remember, "natural" doesn't always mean safe and free of adverse effects. When it comes to your health, always ask questions when in doubt.


    For more information on herbal supplements, visit the National Institutes of Health's Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine website.

    The National Institutes of Health Medline Plus website lists many of the most common herbal supplements and information about their uses, dosages, adverse effects and drug interactions.

    If you experience an adverse reaction to an herbal supplement, you may report the possible reaction to the Food and Drug Administration at www.FDA.gov/medwatch or contact them at 1-800- FDA-1088.

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    Note: This article was originally published on March 19, 2012, on PharmacyTimes.com. It has been edited and republished by U.S. News.