Is it safe to take natural remedies with conventional medications?

Natasha Turner, ND
Alternative & Complementary Medicine
It may not always be safe to take natural remedies with conventional medications, so it's important to check with your doctor or pharmacist before trying new supplements. In this video, naturopathic doctor Natasha Turner, ND, explains this concept. 
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
It is important to know that many natural products can affect how drugs work. One example is St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), which may alter how many drugs are metabolized. St. John’s wort thus has many potential interactions, and its use is contraindicated (restricted) with several drugs. Grapefruit also has several well-known drug interactions. Grapefruit juice may slow the metabolism of many chemicals, thus increasing the blood serum concentrations of certain drugs.

Natural Standard Research Collaboration conducted a systematic review of clinically documented herb-drug interactions. We noticed that in addition to grapefruit, herbs beginning with the letter "g" (garlic, ginger, and ginkgo) were among the supplements most commonly involved in herb-drug interactions. Garlic, ginger, and ginkgo have all been associated with increased bleeding, and all have been clinically shown to interact with blood-thinning drugs.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.