Herbs and drugs, dangerous interactions

Herbs and drugs, dangerous interactions

Healing with herbs and the fruits of nature is possible but under strict medical supervision, especially if you are following other drug therapies

When you think about herbal treatment, your mind immediately goes to the naturalness of the treatments and the lack of side effects. In reality this is not always the case. Above all, care must be taken if these fruits of nature are taken while following pharmacological treatments.

Don’t worry, mind you: but you have to talk to your doctor, otherwise you risk having an extension, or maybe even a decrease, in the action of the drug you are taking. Do you want an example that starts with good food? Those who love garlic and use it profusely should remember that in the long run and in massive quantities the vegetable can change the expected results of those who take drugs that reduce blood clotting, because it enhances its action.

Herbal medicine and depression

In short, when it comes to phytotherapy, there is the possibility that behind the intake of a phytotherapic there may be potential problems, especially for those who are perhaps being treated with typical chemically synthesized drugs. The golden rule not to be forgotten is simple: never combine drugs and phytotherapeutic aids in the same treatment that aim at the same goal, unless the doctor recommends it. And it is precisely the doctor who must always be informed about the patient’s “autonomous” therapeutic choices, as can happen for example in those who, perhaps due to a dark mood, take in addition to antidepressant drugs also hypericum, also known as St. John’s wort .

This plant is born in little sunny areas of Europe and has yellowish flower petals. Among the substances it contains are hypericin and hyperforin, responsible together with their derivatives for the antidepressant action recognized in this plant. But be careful: the vegetable interacts with the cytochromes of the liver and can lead to a change in the metabolism of detoxified drugs.

Translated into simpler terms, in practice hypericum would influence the activity of particular enzymes that have the task of presiding over the elimination of the drug, and therefore a sort of “change” in the times of “disappearance” of the drug itself may occur. from blood. The action of hypericum, therefore, can accelerate the appearance of the drug from the blood or prolong its presence and therefore the effects on the body. For this reason it should not be taken by those who are already being treated with antidepressants prescribed by their doctor.

Not just St. John’s wort

Before thinking about addressing “autonomously” the principals who come from nature, therefore, it is better to inquire with those who know more. Because, although natural, the active principles of plants, perhaps taken for a completely different purpose, can hide secrets that we would do without knowing. Just think of dandelion for example. It contains a series of principles, which justify its ability to aid digestion and above all its diuretic effect. The extracts of this herbaceous plant can hide a secret that should not be underestimated.

This plant, whose extracts are often used to promote fluid loss, can offer the body potassium. Those who are perhaps in a period of weakness may take supplements containing this mineral salt. And there could be cases of overdosing due to the combination of these two elements. Last indication: if the intestine is lazy, do not go on too long with senna, one of the best known herbal remedies used for this purpose. If everyone has to pay attention to the potential irritation of long-lasting treatments on the intestinal walls, great attention must be paid to those who take digoxin or derivatives for heart problems: there is a risk that senna increases its toxicity. It is clear that these are only examples. Those who choose the “do it yourself” never forget to talk about it with an expert to avoid “vaccinated encounters” which can be counterproductive for well-being.

Category: Health
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