Herbal supplements to avoid

When it comes to supplements, do most people assume that natural equates to good? That is far from the truth. Many supplements and natural remedies can actually cause more harm to your body than good, and may even place you at greater risk of serious health conditions.

Here is a list of natural supplements that WebMD says you may want to rethink taking … for the sake of your health.

Ginkgo
While ginkgo is used to ease altitude sickness and improve mental function and circulation, it also thins the blood, so it should be avoided by anyone taking blood thinners or with a blood-related condition.

Stinging nettle
Used to treat urinary tract infections, kidney and bladder stones, arthritis and allergies, stinging nettle may also cause your body to retain water, so can be harmful for those with kidney or heart-related problems.

Ginger
If you have diabetes or any heart or blood-related issues, you may want to rethink taking a ginger supplement. Used to ease arthritis, motion sickness and nausea associated with chemotherapy, ginger can also cause alterations to blood pressure, clotting, heart rhythms and blood sugar levels.

Ephedra (ma huang)
If you thought this supplement was a good way to help alleviate the symptoms of colds, coughs and headaches, increase your energy and help you lose weight, you may first want to consider that it also increases blood pressure and heart rate and the likelihood of a stroke.

Goldenseal
Promising a diverse range of benefits, from easing cold symptoms, constipation and even eye infections, goldenseal is also known to cause alterations to blood pressure, clotting and heart rhythms and should be avoided by anyone with clotting problems or taking blood pressure medication.

St John’s Wort
While St John’s Wort is used to help ease depression, anxiety and sleep problems, on the negative side it can lead to headaches, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea and increased risk of sunburn. It may also clash with some antidepressants and even chemotherapy.

Aloe
As much as we all know and trust aloe to sooth burns and speed up the healing process when rubbed on the skin, taking this supplement orally may cause kidney problems or alter your heart’s rhythm. It may also be harmful to diabetics as it can lower your blood sugar levels.

Ginseng
Used to help with the immune system, diabetes, sex drive and to slow the ageing process, ginseng may cause a drop in blood sugar and so may be harmful to diabetics or those taking blood-thinning medication.

Kava
Used to help ease insomnia and anxiety, possible side-effects include liver and kidney damage. It is also known to react poorly with alcohol and sleep-inducing drugs.

Garlic
Anyone on blood-thinning medications or suffering heart problems may want to avoid excessive garlic consumption as it can thin your blood. It is commonly used to treat colds, lower cholesterol and help with high blood pressure.

Licorice root
If you have kidney disease or related problems you should avoid this one. Used to help alleviate the symptoms of infections, coughs, stomach ulcers, bronchitis and sore throats, licorice root may also alter your heart rhythm and increase blood pressure.

Arnica
While Arnica is used to ease swelling, aches and bruises, it may damage the liver, increase blood pressure and cause shortness of breath.

Black cohosh
Used to help treat the symptoms of menopause, such as night sweats and hot flushes, it may also cause liver failure or inflammation.

Always check with your doctor before taking supplements.

What natural supplements do you take? Will you be giving these ones a miss from now on?

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Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.

Written by Liv Gardiner

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