Greg Collins, a CVS pharmacist, presents information that I believe could be important to you or your loved ones. Herbs alone may be fine but there are common herb interactions you should be aware of to ensure your safety. Collins describes the potentially harmful combinations:
Ginkgo biloba, ginseng, feverfew, pure licorice, ginger, garlic, and kava kava are blood thinners so don’t take them with blood thinners such as warfarin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and aspirin. Ginkgo biloba can hamper the effectiveness of anti-seizure medications and the effects of insulin. Also, it should not be combined with thiazide diuretics or antidepressants.
Saint John’s Wort shouldn’t be combined with antidepressants; seizure medications; sedatives; oral contraceptives; heart, anti-HIV, and cancer medications; diabetic medications; and any drugs given after a rejected organ transplantant, because it can interfere with the effectiveness of each.
Pure licorice may offset the actions of immunosuppressive drugs, reverse the effects of blood-pressure medications, worsen the side effects of the heart medication digoxin, and should not be taken with diuretics due to potassium depletion.
Ginseng may cause headaches, tremors, and manic episodes in patients taking certain antidepressants.
Ginger can interfere with cardiac, diabetes, or blood pressure drug therapy.
Garlic, outside of general seasoning, should be avoided if you’re on any anti-HIV or diabetes medication.
Kava kava and valerian root can amplify the effects of sedatives, so avoid combination with alcohol or any other sedative drugs.
Keep well informed on the herb-drug combinations you should avoid. .
Source: CVS Caremark Health Resources