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Can I drink herbal tea for a cold if I take Diovan HCT?

If you are taking the blood pressure drug Diovan HCT (valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide), talk to your doctor or pharmacist before drinking herbal tea for a cold. Although some herbs may be safe to consume when you're on Diovan HCT, others may not be. For example, licorice root is sometimes brewed into tea to soothe a sore throat, but high levels of licorice root may raise blood pressure and cause you to retain salt and water -- exactly what you may be taking Diovan HCT to prevent. Elderberry tea, sometimes used to soothe coughs, can act as a diuretic, which may be too much in combination with the diuretic effects of Diovan HCT.  

Before taking Diovan HCT, give your doctor and pharmacist a list of all your medicines and supplements -- including herbal supplements and remedies. Once you're on Diovan HCT, check with them before trying any new drugs, supplements or herbal remedies.

Slippery elm and other herbs have not been evaluated by the FDA for safety and effectiveness. Slippery elm can interact with many medications, and may affect the absorption of regular medications, which could affect his blood pressure control. It would be best to avoid using tea with this type of herbal in it. Decaffeinated peppermint or lemon tea would be a better choice and could still help to loosen up some of his congestion because of the steam of the tea.

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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.