Just because herbal supplements are labeled natural doesn’t mean that they don’t have any side effects. On the contrary, doctors and physicians warn against the use of certain herbs because they can cause many adverse effects. Below is a list of some herbs and their side effects.
Herbal Side Effects of Angelica
The herb Angelica, or Dong Quai, is a Chinese herbal medicine used as a tonic for the female reproductive system. It is said to cure female discomforts, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menstrual cramps, hot flashes, and menopausal symptoms.
According to Heck AM, DeWitt BA, and Lukes AL in a study published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy (2000 July 1), Angelica may increase the risk of bleeding or potentiate the effects of warfarin therapy.
Also in the Singapore Medical Journal in 2001, a group of scientists presented a case where the dong Quai was said to cause the development of gynecomastia as a herbal side effect.
Herbal Side Effects of Bilberry
Another herb that has been known to cause various herbal side effects is the bilberry. The bilberry comprises several species of low-growing shrubs in the genus Vaccinium. They have been known to have various therapeutic uses.
One of the herbal side effects of bilberry is that it has been known to interfere with the absorption of iron when taken internally. Also, fresh bilberry can cause diarrhea in some people.
Herbal Side Effects of Coleus Forskohlii
Coleus forskohlii is popular among weight loss enthusiasts. The plant is said to contain an active ingredient called forskolin. This herb is said to cause an increase in the amount of cyclic AMP (adenosine monophosphate) in cells by activating the enzyme called adenylate cyclase. It is used by many athletes and bodybuilders in enhancing lean body mass and developing muscles.
According to the American Journal in Contact Dermatology, Coleus forskohlii has a herbal side effect where a 65-year-old woman contracted facial dermatitis. There was no obvious external cause of this skin disease and the only positive reaction found was associated with the plant, Coleus.
Herbal Side Effects of Ephedra
Perhaps the herb that is most often labeled as dangerous is Ephedra or the Chinese Ma Huang. On Dec. 30, 2003, the US Food and Drug Association issued a consumer alert on the herbal side effects involved with dietary supplements containing ephedra. The herb contains a substance called ephedrine said to cause high blood pressure, heart palpitations, stroke, and sometimes even death. In fact, the herb has been linked to the death of at least 100 people.
The contraindications and herbal side effects involved with this drug include increased blood pressure, increase heart rate, heart palpitations which can lead to stroke. If you develop any of these symptoms, stop using this herb immediately, and consult your doctor.