Herbs Can Be Hazardous

While I am a firm believer in the health benefits of herbs, caution and safety must still be observed.  Just because it is an herb, doesn’t make it safe.  Sometimes it is a matter of quantity, sometimes quality, and sometimes how you use it that make the difference.  Here are a few that can be hazardous if used without caution.

Use with caution:

Aloe Vera:  The juice can be a powerful laxative when used internally. (The exceptions are products labeled for internal use, read the label and follow directions closely).

Ephedra:  Should not be used by people with heart conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes, or thyroid disease.

Juniper:  Should not be used by women who are pregnant or by people with kidney disease.

Licorice:  Excessive amounts may cause fluid retention and high blood pressure.

Yohimbe:  Side effects include nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, insomnia, and tremors.


Never Use:

Borage:  Harmful in large doses; may cause liver damage.

Broom:  Toxic and a diuretic.

Chaparral:  May cause illness.  This is banned in the US.

Coltsfoot:  May cause cancer.

Comfrey:  May cause liver damage and cancer, however not through external use.

Foxglove:  Potent heart toxin.

Pennyroyal:  The essential oil may cause convulsions in large doses.  It is also possibly dangerous to pregnant women.

Pokeweed:  May cause respiratory paralysis and convulsions.

Rue:  May cause skin to be more susceptible to damage when exposed to sunlight.

Sassafras:  May cause cancer.

Posted in Food, Health, Nutri4mBlog, Toxins and tagged , .