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Dangerous Herbal Remedies to Avoid

Most of us are under the impression that herbal remedies are quite safe. We prefer them because they cause little or no side effects, right?

If however, you have been forced to take high blood pressure medications, cholesterol medications, blood thinning medications or other types of medications, the game plan may have changed.

Some common, innocent herbs can interact with your medications causing serious side effects, even death.

That’s why in today’s feature article I’m going to tell you about seven common herbs and their potential harmful interaction with the medications you’re using.


I love garlic. We’ve recommended its use over and over again on Blue Heron Health News. It’s probably the most powerful herb to lower blood pressure, eliminate blood clots and many other things.

BUT if you’ve been prescribed blood thinning drugs such as Warfarin, garlic’s blood thinning effects can increase risk of bleeding. Especially if taken in big doses.

This doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid garlic. Ask your doctor how much is safe for you to use depending on the dose of medications you’re taking.


Many people swear by this herb and the amazing effects to fight off flu and boost the immune system. I know people who load up on Echinacea as soon as they feel the first symptoms of cold and never get sick.

However, Echinacea can increase the risk of liver damage if you’re taking cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins, niacin, and fibrates.

St. John’s Wort

This is a powerful plant that’s extremely effective to boost mood and fight of depression and anxiety. It’s widely used in the winter time by people living in the northern part of the world when the daylight is very limited.

As powerful as it is, St. John’s Wort interferes with almost all prescription drugs. It’s especially damaging at limiting the efficacy of statins, beta-blockers and calcium-channel blockers. If your doctor is not aware of this, he/she may think the drugs are just not working and boost up your dose (causing even more severe side effects).

Green Tea

Another extremely effective herb to improve almost ALL health issues, green tea lowers high blood pressure, balances cholesterol levels, improves diabetes and boosts stamina.

Green Tea, however, also includes vitamin K, which may also counteract the effectiveness of warfarin.


Ginseng is a powerful herb that boosts the immune system, balances cholesterol levels and lowers blood pressure. Red Ginseng is considered even more powerful than White Ginseng.

It does, however, diminish the effect of warfarin. Since it’s so powerful, please make sure you always follow the directions on the package and don’t overuse it. Overuse can actually raise blood pressure.

Grapefruit Juice

Unlike most fruit juice, grapefruit juice can have a somewhat ‘negative calorie’ effect. So it’s a powerful tool to lose weight. It’s also been proven to improve heart health, lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, plus many other health benefits.

However, grapefruit juice also interferes with a specific enzyme that’s needed to properly absorb medications such as statins and calcium-channel blockers. As little as one glass of grapefruit juice doubles the amount of calcium-channel blockers in the blood stream due to the nature of its not being absorbed and used. This causes the medication to build up in your body causing series of side effects.


[adrotate group=”5″]Hawthorn berries have been proven to improve high blood pressure and overall heart health. The leaves and flowers are also used to treat heart failure.

Like so many other herbs mentioned before, their effectiveness is also the weakness when interacting with traditional medications. In this case, consult your doctor if you’re using any kind of heart-failure medications before using hawthorn.

So What Can You Do?

These are just seven examples of common powerful herbs and how they can interfere with prescription medications. Most of the time a small amount won’t hurt, but always consult your doctor before taking any type of herb capsules in association with traditional medications.

In my opinion, the real lesson to take from this is how damaging traditional medications really are.

Just think about it. If your medications are preventing you from using natural, healthy ingredients that will actually improve your health without side effects, how beneficial are they really?

The good news is that many natural approaches cause no risk even if you use them while on medications. An example of this is our blood pressure exercise program. Lots of people have used these exercises to get of medications with the approval of their doctor.

Learn more about our blood pressure exercises here…

The step-by-step directions in the cholesterol lowering guide will also help you manage your cholesterol levels whether or not you’re on medications.

Check out our cholesterol lowering plan here…

The same goes for our type 2 diabetes guide here…

But first of all, what are your thoughts on all this? Please leave your comments below.

But first, I’d really appreciate it if you click the Facebook button below and share this articles with your friends.


  1. 10 yeas ago while I was being treated for breast cancer I read somewhere–and have never seen it since–that echinacea interferes with Tamaxofin. (sp?)
    This is important, but hidden information.

  2. What effect would the herbs mentioned have on Pradaxa which I take. What about Red Yeast Rice ?

  3. as far as statins go, ANYTHING that interferes with their action is a big blessing!

  4. And the heading to this article is pretty strange too. What is dangarous is not these excellent herbs, but the unecessary redundant dangerous drugs you mentioned in the article. Anyone who takes care of a good diet of fresh hebs, veggies, fruits, meat and fish does not need any of these drugs anyway.

  5. So my question would be why would anyone take crap like satins in the first place?

  6. I was impressed with this I was taking blood pressure tablets but not anymore I would rather use natural. if only people realised it Nature takes care of its own if used properly. I was brought up in the country and as children we used to go out and get our bread and cheese which in fact was Horthorn leaves and we would go into our den in the woods and eat them We knew in those days they were good for you. White willow bark which id s natural asprin is also good for pains but again not if you take Warferin. I have learn`t a lot about natural health and been a distributor for a company. I really enjoy reading your comments etc. Many thanks for pointing thing s out , I hope people read and understand what you say. X

  7. Thank you for shedding light on this.

    Now my question is: would this caution also apply to other brands of blood-thinners – as you specifically mentioned Warfarin.

  8. I am fully converted to taking herbs since the product I took for diabetes glucotrol worked for a while and then slowly they sugar went up.I began to loose my sight and have heart problems.I take a variety of products such as the ones found in raintree nutrition.
    If any one needs more information I would be willing to share the information.
    There is a product for Aids which I have seen the results in Uruguay and Honduras.All the patients including a young girl did recuperate their health completely.
    Luis Reichman export89@hotmail.com.
    Tel 718-336-9246

  9. This is a reply to Yaelah,John Mahoney,Nancy Baker.
    There are herbal products that help even cancer.
    One company to contact for example is Raintree Nutrition.
    Concerning Aids there is a product from Peru that I have seen it to stop
    permanently the Aids virus after three months of taking some capsules of a product called WAXA formula 119.WAXA does eventually act as a Vaccine against Aids.If any one needs more information pls contact me

  10. Sandra Swift Murray

    Good article! However the title can be misinterpreted to mean taking herbal supplements is dangerous when just seen alone without reading the article. It would help to reflect what is in the article ie: that if you are taking prescribed medications use caution if taking herbs or supplements and do your research! Also I have seen so many articles saying consult your doctor about how much you can take. That is not what the majority of doctors study, so mostly they discourage patients from taking supplements and herbs as they cannot give advice about herbs and supplements as it isn't their area of expertise unless they have Orthomolecular and Herbal education. I know it is butt covering that has to be written on every article but it steams me!

  11. I have been taking Hawthorne Berry for at least thirty years, I started taking this herb because of the recommendations I read at that time regarding its activity on the Heart. At that time I was told by my doctor (#1) that I had an enlarged heart because of Hypertension, but I was also a competitive cyclist as well and I considered that also contributed to the heart enlargement too, another medico (#2) told me it is a muscle and that in itself means a slight enlargement because of the amount of work it has to do with such a strenuous sport. Originally I was given a Beta Blocker by my doctor (#1) but after also reading that this particular medication is poisoning the heart muscle I stopped taking it and sourced the advice of another doctor (#2), he put me on another medication which produced a constant cough. After enduring this for more than a year I was then put on another medication which seems to be OK but all the while I still take a daily dose of Hawthorne Berry, had I not been it I’m sure I would have joined my eldest brother in the grave, we are both children of a mother who had “Rheumatic Fever” as a child and had probably passed on to us a heart condition (Mother died at age 58 as did my eldest brother, I’m now 74 going on 75). Doctor number one castigated me thirty years ago for what he called “Self Doctoring” because I took vitamins and Minerals as supplements. Twenty years later I saw him again and he remarked how good and healthy I looked and asked what I put that down to, needless to say I reminded him that I still take herbs and vitamins…..say no more………..?

  12. I like this article. I do take some natural supplements. I am also looking for a source of white willow bark; because I have so many headaches, & have since I was very young. I did research on any herbals I was interested in, and there are some which may raise blood pressure; and I do not take those few. I like seeing some of the supplements I am considering taking here, & knowing they likely will not clash with my meds, which I hope to decrease in the future.

    Good job, Jodi Knapp. I am still a loyal fan of Blue Heron Health News and all of the contributing writer/researchers for this informative business.

  13. By the way; I have received the printed version of your program package. I am very proud of the way the book turned out. It is a beautiful book. I have not finished reading through it; and will likely be reading and re-reading a lot & it is so nice to have.

    You really put together a valuable collection in this printed version. I love it! Great Job, Blue Heron Health News. It is so sophisticated and impressive.

  14. I, too, was affronted by the statements that attacked herbs instead of the prescription chemicals that are so known to be dangerous and lethal. Do you know that warfarin is also used as a rat poison?

    Fortunately, I take NO prescriptions as I would rather die from a known ailment that I can inexpensively treat using natural herbs than be murdered by a prescription product. I am now 76½ years old and only suffer from 3 ailments – BPH, high blood pressure, and inverted cholesterol scores. Taking ANY prescriptions for these would seriously endanger my life, more than now.

  15. I apologize for the misleading tittle. It was intended to get attention but not to speak against herbal remedies. I’m obviously a big fan of using herbs and as I talked about in the article, the main issue are the drugs that interact badly with the herbs.

    These are also only a few examples of herbs and medications interacting negatively. When we talk about specific brands of blood thinning drugs, it’s very likely that other brands will act in the same ways. So talk to your doctor before combination any medications with any herbs.

    You know my position thought; I choose to skip the drugs and only use lifestyle changes and herbs.

  16. woudld like more information on your diabetes 2 infoermRION.

  17. interesting considerations.

  18. As a naturopath and doctor of oriental medicine practicing for more than thirty years I want to say that most people are as clueless about diet and nutrition as the doctors are about the reasons and solutions for the myriad of health problems which we all face. This is a deplorable and unnecessary situation, especially when there are luminaries who have given us so many answers. The brilliant Dr. Revici, biochemist Walter Last, Colloid Chemist Dr. Thomas Riddick, Dr. Louis Claude Vincent, Dr. Ryke Hamer,MD – the list goes on and on.But it is information that is largely unknown (if known then trivialized) to most, including it seems the staff here. The medications pushed at us by orthodox mainstream medicine, (the “old school”) are pointlessly aimed at this symptom or that without connecting the dots and arriving at an understanding of WHY the body has acted in it’s OWN DEFENSE to produce such a symptom in correcting a deeper underlying dysbalance.The body has an innate WISDOM and must be worked WITH and not AGAINST. People mouth these words attempting to sound and appear “Holistic” without the slightest idea what the word means. There is no such thing as ALTERNATIVE medicine or COMPLEMENTARY medicine – there is GOOD medicine and there is BAD medicine…Most of the orthodox mainstream is BAD and very much of the “alternative” “Complementary” is also BAD. The best you can say about much of it is that it doesn’t do as MUCH harm as the orthodoxy.WHY? Because they are not based on connecting the dots of the underlying chemistry which is disordered in very clear ways which produces the conditions of hypertension, clots, and other dangerous disorders.A “natural”approach which says “this herb for this and that herb for that”is as much missing the point as the orthodoxy’s “this drug for this and that drug for that.” This is Cookbook non-medicine… As long as we are ignorant of the values and the significance of such things as ionization potential, surface tension, zeta potential, pH, Reduction/Oxidation, Conductivity, etc. as they relate to the urine,saliva, blood, tissues,etc… we will be in the darkest of places concerning the ongoing life processes and the things which hamper and derail them inducing “doctors” to prescribe ridiculous meds which fail to address these “syndromes” as they remain unseen due to the attention addressed at the uppermost “symptoms.”This is an absolutely Unscientific Approach undertaken by otherwise intelligent people who have simply not been trained to think…If we were really trained how to think we would reject these approaches immediately. Except for a very few places in the US, and here in Germany and Europe, these concepts are as yet unknown. If Big Pharma and Controlled Media have their way, they will remain that way.Humanity deserves better. Doesn’t it? Or are we just in the dark “consumers” being led this way and that to buy this product and that?

  19. i take rebotril( anti depressant) for almost 4 yrs.then i take also C 24/7 herbal food supplement .no other drugs i take ,for that i continue my work .may i ask iy is safe for the health?thx

  20. can you tell me more about the rice bran oil and sesame oil thanks george

  21. Hi all,. reading about this hawthorne berry, i would like to take that to lower by blood pressure, i can honestly say over the 15 yrs of taking blood pressure meds it does not make any differnce, out of the docs mine is awsome., my pulse goes up at the docs too, i do not want to continue taking meds , i would rather take hawthorne berry or somthing., any suggestions, very scared to come off of them i am 43

  22. Okunmaya deger. Its worth to read.

  23. Thank you for bringing these matters to our attention. People on medications should check with their Pharmacist as to what they can use and what they should stay away from. When we are not limited as to what we can use, often we don't think about the limitations for others. We all have to take responsibility for ourselves.

  24. There is a clear message from this article and from Nature. Don’t take synthetic drugs as these ultimately will cause far more damage to you than not taking them. There are cures for all disease and ailments in Nature. First you must get your spiritual, mental and emotional self in order: forgive, move from ‘attitude’ to ‘gratitude’, love life. Then look for natural ways to heal: herbal remedies etc are great. For curing cancers, there are many alternatives to drugs and chemo (which kill people almost always) and these are diet, lifestyle changes. Follow the Budwig Diet, or the Gerson Diet or a mix of both. Stop consuming white sugars. Start drinking pure water. Love your body, your life and world. And you will begin to heal, if you believe. If you keep taking the pills, that’s because you live in fear. Doctors push pills because pharmaceuticals pay them to. You’ll be taking pills to counteract the side effects soon. Then you get really sick. You have to investigate for yourself the truth about ‘medicine’ and the truth about real medicine: natural healing: herbs, diet, living in love rather than fear.

  25. Good to know about the herbs and their interaction with prescription medication. Very important info.
    Next is to say…..Wow! to Dr Shmocter. Tell us more.
    And also may I say…. PLEASE DON’T SAY HERBS DON’T HAVE SIDE EFFECTS! There are so many I can’t take it’s ridiculous. Valerian made me very poorly. Can’t use black cosh….upsets my stomach. Even have to watch for stuff in herbal teas…..not good with hibiscus. Found honeysuckle in face creams is a no no. And these are to name but a few. I also understand that I am not alone in my reactions.
    Next is the problem of combining. This is not just a problem with herb v prescription medication, this must also be taken into consideration went taking several herbs together!
    Lastly is the problem of long and continuous use of herbs. Not always a good thing. Check your labels, pamphlets and boxes. Excessive use of herbal teas can be a problem. People think “It’s just a tea” but this is one of the ways herbalist prescribe herbs.

  26. I would like to get Dr. Shmocter’s contact information for a personal consultation as I found his article to be very revealing and interesting on all Medicine. In my case I have been diagnosed with a lung condition (IPF) considered “untreatable” in “conventional medicine”. I have found a few recommended herbal treatments in the “alternative medicine” literature which I am taking in hope. However, I do not have any substantial knowledge of the benefits or risks of taking these herbs, particularly in combination with the other herbs or conventional vitamin supplements which I do take.

    I would also like to thank Karl Cox for his article, which I believe expresses many concepts which I have found to be true in my own life experience, and provides valuable life guidance for all to embrace.

  27. Georgia, Oct 20th.
    White Willow Bark is available at Whole Goods. They will order if not in stock. Best wishes.

  28. Mariah did you not mean “Whole Foods” instead of Whole Goods?

    Also in reply to Deb Pacey…Herbs may have side effects if taken in copious amounts or more than recommended, but keep in mind, what affects you negatively doesn’t mean it will affect your sibling, your neighbor or myself in the same way. We are all unique and have a different body chemistry. Sounds like you have sensitivities, intolerances, or allergies to the above mentioned herbs…the same as I, but totally different herbs…and foods. I’m intolerant to chicken, tapioca, soy, most grains, strawberries, pinto beans, licorice, fenugreek, goldenseal, hops, red clover…to name a few. There’s many more… but these are unique with me. You may do well on any of these. We can’t judge an herb, food or whatever else goes in our mouth…for what it does to us. It may be like medicine for the next person. Hopefully this will help you understand how foods, herbs and even medicines work. One size does not fit all or all foods and all herbs and all medicines do not work for everyone alike.

  29. I totally agree with this! I know way too many people who went blind on these drugs…

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