Thursday, July 31, 2008

Herbals To Avoid

Image by bura

A member of the Sjogren's World forum asked an excellent question today. She reported that after taking an herbal supplement, she began to flare. Could the two things be related, she wondered? Several other folks commented that they had had the same experience.

After a quick search online, I was surprised to find that yes, certain herbal supplements that are used to boost the immune system can definitely cause problems with autoimmune diseases. Among these are echinacea, the algae spirulina platensis, aphanizomenon flos-aquae, ginsing, and alfalfa.  Makes sense - we certainly don't need to make our immune system any busier than it already is. 

A chart published by the McKinley Health Center, here, seems to be a good resource for evaluating herbals. This article and this study reinforce the herbal no-nos. I learned that even seemingly healthy and innocent foods such as camomile tea can interact in a dangerous way with a long list of medications, seen here

Yet more reinforcement of the don't take it before you check with your physician rule. 

1 comment:

LaToya said...

although this is an old post, im glad i stumbled upon it because i might have autoimmune issues and i've been taking spirulina for the past few months.

and i've been sicker than usual lately.