What herbal supplements can cause heart problems?

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A number of herbal supplements can cause heart problems, either by themselves or when combined with other remedies. So before taking any supplement, you should read the label carefully and consult your healthcare provider. Some ingredients, such as green tea and caffeine, may cause an irregular heartbeat in large doses. The stimulant ma huang (ephedra), banned by the Food and Drug Administration, has been shown to raise the risk of heart attack and stroke. St John's wort and ginseng can increase heart rate and blood pressure.

Certain herbs can also interact with heart medications. For instance, dong quai, alfalfa, ginger, garlic, fenugreek, bilberry and gingko biloba can increase bleeding when taken with blood thinners. These effects may put heart patients in danger.

Continue Learning about Dietary Supplements

Dietary Supplements

Whether you're visiting the drug store, grocery or natural food shop you'll likely find an aisle where there are jars and bottles of things for you to put in your body that are neither foods nor medicines. Ranging from vitamins an...

d minerals to fiber and herbal remedies, these supplements are not regulated in the same way as either food or medicine. Some of them are backed by solid research, others are folk remedies or proprietary cures. If your diet does not include enough of certain vitamins or minerals, a supplement may be a good idea. Natural treatment for conditions like constipation may be effective. But because these substances are unregulated, it is always a good idea to educate yourself about the products and to use common sense when taking them. This is even more true if you are pregnant or taking a medicine that may be affected by supplements.
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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.