Medicine Woman

  (Waynesville, North Carolina)
dangerous herbs, medicinal herbs, culinary herbs
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This is the third and last series of HERBS THAT ARE HARMFUL FOR PREGNANT WOMEN.

  The last two blogs discussed about herbs that could be harmful to either or both the unborn baby and the mother and herbs that would bring on uterine bleeding and miscarriage.  We only discussed herbs that started with A,B, and C.  This blog will consider from D 


ELECAMPANE   miscarriage 

ERGOT   uterine bleeding and miscarriage

FENNEL SEED may cause contractions

FENUGREEK SEED  uterine bleeding and miscarriage

FEVERFEW   miscarriage

GARLIC  large does may cause uterine bleeding and miscarriage

GINGER uterine bleeding, miscarriage

GOLDTHREAD miscarriage

GOTU KOLA  may cause miscarriage

GUARANA contains caffeine, which has been linked to miscarriage

HELONIAS  miscarriage

HIBISCUS miscarriage

HOREHOUND  miscarriage

HORSERADISH uterine bleeding and miscarriage

HYSSOP uterine bleeding and miscarriage

IPECAC may stimulate the uterus, increasing the chance of miscarriage

IRIS, ORRIS ROOT  uterine bleeding and miscarriage 

JABORANDI  toxic!  May cause birth defects and miscarriage

JALAP uterine bleeding

JUJUBE uterine bleeding

KHELLA,  BISHOP'S WEED   uterine stimulant and may cause miscarriage

KOUSSO  miscarriage

LAVENDER  uterine bleeding

LEMON BALM  uterine bleeding

LICORICE ROOT  can cause high blood pressure uterine bleeding

LOVAGE  uterine bleeding and miscarriage

MADAGASCAR PERIWINKLE  miscarriage 

MALAY TEA  increases the risk of miscarriage

MALE FERN, SWEET BRAKE   may causing vomiting and miscarriage

MASTERWORT  uterine bleeding and uterine contractions

MILK THISTLE uterine bleeding 

MOTHERWORT  uterine bleeding and miscarriage

MYRRH  uterine bleeding or miscarriage


NARK  uterine bleeding and miscarriage

OREGON GRAPE  uterine bleeding, miscarriage

OSHA uterine bleeding and miscarriage 

PAPAYA uterine bleeding or miscarriage

PARSLEY uterine bleeding, uterine contractions and miscarriage

PASQUE FLOWER miscarriage

PEONY uterine bleeding 

PLIURISY ROOT  uterine stimulation and miscarriage

POISON IVY miscarriage

POMEGRANATE uterine bleeding 

POPPY  miscarriage and infant death

PRICKLY ASH uterine bleeding and miscarriage

QUEEN ANNE'S LACE uterine bleeding and miscarriage

RHUBARB  miscarriage

SANDLEWOOD miscarriage

SARSAPARILLA miscarriage

SHEPHERD'S PURSE uterine bleeding or miscarriage

SPEEDWELLL miscarriage

ST JOHN'S WORT uterine bleeding and miscarriage

STINGING NETTLE LEAF  uterine bleeding, uterine contractions, and miscarriage

STROPHANTHUS may cause dangerous heart rhythm problems and uterine contractions

VERVAIN   miscarriage

WOOD SORREL uterine bleeding and miscarriage

YARROW  miscarriage

YELLOW JASMINE    this herb is a uterine stimulant that can cause miscarriage
 











Herbs that pregnant women should not use part 2

UNSAFE HERBS FOR PREGNANT WOMEN  Part  2

In my last blog I listed herbs that would cause birth defects and toxic problems for women that are pregnant.  In this blog I am going to discuss herbs that cause internal bleeding and uterine contractions and  herbs that can cause miscarriage. 

Let me mention at the onset that we all have our own views about subjects such as abortion. I also have mine.  None of the information here is meant by me to abort a child.  I am bringing to people's attention the dangerous herbs. Children are precious and we should  not want to risk harming them in any way.

Herbs that will cause uterine bleeding and contractions and/or miscarriage:  These should not be taken during the entire 9 months.  I am mixing in those herbs that are unsafe after or before a certain time period.  If the are not safe after 3 months, to my way of thinking, they are not safe during any period of the pregnancy.

AGAVE                           can cause uterine bleeding and miscarriage.

ALOE VERA JUICE.      Uterine contractions and diarrhea.   (avoid during breastfeeding as well)

AMERICAN MANKDRAK       uterine stimulant

ANGELICA ATROPURPUREA   can cause strong contractions and lead to miscarriage if taken during the early stages of pregnancy. Promotes the growth of fibroid and increase risk of  postpartum hemorrhage.

ASHWAGANDHA  may cause miscarriage 

BARBERRY  can cause uterine bleeding and miscarriage

BEE BALM BERGAMOT, OSWEGO TEA   uterine bleeding; miscarriage 
BEET LEAVES  uterine bleeding; miscarriage

BIRTHROOT, BETH ROOT (trillium erectum)uterine bleeding; miscarriage
BIRTHWORT ( aristolochia clematitis)uterine stimulant; miscarriage
BISTORT, SNAKEWEED       miscarriage
BITTER APPLE  ( citrulus colocynthis)   highly poisonous! Uterine bleeding and miscarriage
BITTER ORANGE PEEL  uterine bleeding; miscarriage
BITTERWOOD, QUASSIA   miscarriage

BLACK COHOSH    uterine stimulant, contractions, postpartum hemorrhage
BLAZING STAR   miscarriage
BLUE COHOSH   uterine stimulant
BURDOCK ROOT   uterine stimulant; miscarriage
BUCHU                 miscarriage
BUCKTHORN BARK   may trigger contractions
BUKTHORN FRUIT      may cause miscarriage 

 

CALENDULA         external use is safe. Internal use can cause uterine bleeding and miscarriage
CALIFORNIA POPPY   miscarriage 
CAMPHOR       uterine bleeding; miscarriage
CASCARA SAGRADA      may trigger contractions
CATNIP       miscarriage

CELERY     uterine stimulant; miscarriage

CHASTEBERRY       can cause hormonal changes and uterine bleeding
CHICORY        uterine bleeding; miscarriage

CINCHONA     uterine bleeding; miscarriage 
CINNAMON      uterine bleeding; miscarriage 
CITRONELLA (LEMON GRASS)      uterine bleeding; miscarriage 
CITRUS FRUITS       excess intake can result in uterine stimulation 

COCOA  and COFFEE,   KOLA NUT     contains caffeine,which has been linked to miscarriage, low birth weight, premature delivery and birth defects.
COLIUS            uterine bleeding; miscarriage 
COLOMBO          paralysis;uterine contractions
CORN POPPY        miscarriage; infant death 
COTTON ROOT       uterine bleeding ; miscarriage 


We've only discussed herbs that start with A, B, C .  As you can see, there are a lot of herbs. I'll continue with some more in the next couple of days.

herbs that are unsafe for pregnant women during the entire 9 months

There are a lot of herbs that I have found in my research that pregnant women would do well to stay away from during the entire nine months of pregnancy. In this blog, I will list the herbs  that affect hormone  levels

AUTUMN CROCUS birth defects and Down's Syndrome.

BASIL may increase rick of birth defects

BETEL NUT   causes birth defects 

BITTER ORANGE PEEL  birth defects

BORAGE OIL   may cause liver damage to the mother and harm to the fetus

BRYONY highly toxic 

BUTTERNUT may cause birth defects

CABBAGE, COLEWORT  can interfere with mental development in the fetus. 

CHASTEBERRY can cause hormonal changes and uterine bleeding

COFFEE   low birth weigh, birth defects

COLOMBO  paralysis and uterine contractions

COMFREY may cause liver complications in pregnant women and their growing baby. Toxic for the baby. 

ECHINACEA  may trigger autoimmune disorders

GINSENG    alters hormonal balance

           GUARANA contains caffeine, which has been linked to miscarriage, low birth weight, premature       
           delivery and birth defects. 

HORSETAIL may interfere with metabolism of B vitamins 

JABORANDI  This herb is toxic, may cause birth defects.

KAVA KAVA  this herb is toxic; may cause birth defects and miscarriage

KOLA NUT  low birth weigh, birth defects

LEMON BALM  external use is safe; internal use may lead to altered hormone balance and uterine bleeding 

LICORICE ROOT  not the candy. High blood pressure in pregnant women and harm to the baby. 

LIVERWORT sever gastrointestinal irritation and should not be used during pregnancy

MADASGASCAR PERIWINKLE birth defects

MATE'  low birth weight, birth defects 

MUGWORT birth defects 

PENNY ROYAL LEAF  birth defects

UVA URSI may hinder the blood flow to the mother's uterus. 

SAW PALMETTO decreases the amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the pregnant mother's body. If the women is having a little boy, DHT is very important for development of his genitals. If a girl, it has anti estrogenic effects that will affect the pregnant women. 

SEA BUCKTHORN  birth defects 

SENNA  (Cassia spp)   birth defects

SPEEDWELL may cause miscarriage and birth defects.

Avoid the pits of APRICOT, PEACH, CHERRY  they contain cyanide.



Part two discusses more herbs that are unsafe for pregnant women. 

Natural Health Magazine complete guide to safe herbs  by chris d. meletis, n.d

The Honest Herbal by Varro E Tyler

Know Your Poisonour Plants by Wilma Roberts James 

livestrong.com

webmd 





 
 

HERBS THAT ARE JUST NOT SAFE TO USE AS MEDICINE. THIS IS THE FINAL PART OF THE SERIES

 

 

SENNA (Cassia angustifolia) SENNA Senna alexandrina other names: Aden senna, Cassia acutifolia, Cassia augustifolia, Cassia senna, Cassia marilandica Mecca senna, nubian senna, and tinnevally senna, wild senna, locust plant

 

Senna pods and leaves contain anthroquinones, which have strong laxative effect. Does not matter which senna you use, they are all the same,

 

Senna is a powerful laxative that should be used for no more than seven days in a row except under a physician's supervision. It can cause severe abdominal cramps. Do not use Senna if you have intestinal problems such as ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Do not use Senna if you are pregnant or nursing. DO NOT give Senna to children.

 

Senna is a potent cathartic drug, not just a different tasting tea.

 

SIDE EFFECTS: diarrhea, intestinal cramps or gripping pains, sever weight loss

 

This herb can also cause finger clubbing ( rounded swelling of the fingertips and nails);

fluid and chemical imbalances; jaw tightness.

 

DO NOT USE SENNA WHILE TAKING heart drug called calcium channel blockers, such as Calan and Procardia; Indocin

 

Don't use SENNA if you have an inflammatory condition of the digestive tract, hemorrhoids or a prolapsed rectum

Do not use Senna in cases of inflammation of the stomach.

Don't use Senna to force a daily bowel movement

 

Senna supplements differ in potency

 

Senna will discolor your urine.

 

WARNING: Do NOT use Senna for inflammatory conditions of the alimentary canal, fever, piles, menorrhagia, prolapse of the rectum and uterus, or pregnancy.

 

If you should happen to take Senna use the following to modify the herb: any one or all of; ginger root, anise, caraway, fennel or coriander.

 

Honestly friends, there are lots better herbs than this to take for a laxative. I use 4 sticks of black licorice and red grapes. Does a good job every time!  Use sensible herbs, so that you feel good, not lousy! Take care of your body and it will take care of you!

 

 

 

 

ST. JOHN'S WORT (Hypericum perforatum)

ST JOHN’S WORT is regarded by herbalists as an effective treatment for depression (even though it isn't). It may interfere with effectiveness of other drugs.

ST JOHN'S WORT may cause cataracts in people exposed to visible or ultraviolet light after taking it.  Other side effects may include gastrointestinal disturbances, allergic reactions, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, dry mouth, and photosensitivity.

 

Although for years ST JOHN’S WORT has been used for depression, many reports and clinical trials have found insufficient evidence that ST JOHN’S WORT is effective for depression.  According to WEBMD and PSYCHOLOGY TODAY it is no more effective than the standard antidepressants.   It’s not FDA approved for quality, safety or purity. It is very possible for ST. JOHN'S WORT or any other herbal supplement to be contaminated with other drugs or even toxic metals

 

 

France has banned the use of  ST. JOHN'S WORT in all products and warnings of herb-drug interactions are listed in Japan, the UK and Canada, but not the US.(source from PSYCHOLOGY TODAY  August, 2013)

 

 

 

VALERIAN (Valeriana officinalis) Scientific/medical name(s): Valeriana officinalis

Other common name(s): valerian tea, valerian root, valerian extract

 

May work for insomnia.   Valerian is an herb used for anxiety and sleeplessness

SIDE EFFECTS may include headache, excitability, uneasiness, and, in some cases, insomnia, restlessness and heart palpitations, especially with long-term use of valerian. Long-term or excessive use is not advised because of possible side effects,

 

 Some multi-herb remedies containing valerian have been linked to liver damage.   


 Herbal practitioners claim that valerian root or extract can lessen anxiety and nervous tension, promote sleep, and help people quit smoking, ease congestion, and relieve muscle spasms. Generally, no one claims that valerian is useful for treating or preventing cancer.

Valerian should not be taken with alcohol, antihistamines, muscle relaxants, sedatives, anti-seizure drugs, narcotics, or any drugs used in treatment of mental illnesses. People with liver or kidney disease, on cancer treatment medicines, anti-fungal drugs, allergy drugs, or medicines for high cholesterol should talk with their doctors or pharmacists about possible drug interactions before taking valerian. Valerian may weaken the heartbeat and cause paralysis. Because valerian may interact with anesthetics, people who are going to have surgery should not use valerian. However, suddenly stopping the herb has caused withdrawal symptoms in some people, so the dose of valerian should be tapered slowly, starting several weeks before surgery.

 

De Milto, Lori; Frey, Rebecca."Foxglove."Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. (December 27, 2013). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3435100319.html

 

www.cancer.org.

webmd.com

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/List_of_medicinal_plants

The Honest Herbal   by Varro  E.  Tyler

http://www.encyclopedia.com/

The Complete Guide to HERBAL MEDICINES  BY Charles W. Fetrow and Juan R. Avila

Know Your Poisonous Plants  by Wilma Roberts James

An Illustrated Guide to 101 Medicinal Herbs  by Steven Foster 

http://nadiasyard.com/our-native-plants/american-pokeweed

HERBS THAT JUST ARE NOT SAFE TO USE AS MEDICINE. THIS THE THIRD ENTRY


 

POKEWEED   Scientific Name(s): Phytolacca americana L. Family: Phytolaccaceae

Common Name(s): American nightshade , cancer jalap , cancer root , chongras  coakum , common pokeweed, pokeberry ,  poke root, poke salad (or poke sallet),  crowberry , garget , inkberry , pigeon berry , poke , red ink plant , scoke,  Virginia poke,

USES:   to make a great mess of greens, treat cancer, AIDS, herpes

Pokeweed berries are one of the ingredients in the Hoxsey formula

 

Pokeweed is UNSAFE to use. All parts of the pokeweed plant, especially the root, are poisonous. The leaves and stems are next in toxicity, and the berries have the smallest amount of poison. However, children have been poisoned by eating raw pokeweed berries, and some have died. Severe poisoning has been reported from drinking tea brewed from pokeweed root and pokeweed leaves. Poisoning also has resulted from drinking pokeberry wine and eating pokeberry pancakes. Eating just 10 berries can be toxic to an adult. At doses of 1 g, dried pokeweed root is emetic and purgative.

The practice of brewing pokeweed plant parts with hot water to make tea has caused poisoning.

THE EFFECTS of eating the uncooked or improperly prepared plant can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headaches, blurred vision, confusion, dermatitis, dizziness, stomach pain and weakness, difficulty controlling urination (incontinence), thirst, convulsions, low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, heart block (a blockage of the electrical impulses that stimulate the heart to contract), and death may occur. Animals can also die of toxic effects from eating pokeweed, although it does not happen often.

The toxins in Pokeweed, are usually concentrated in the roots, berries and seeds and include an alkaloid (phytolaccine), a resin (phytolaccatoxin), and a saponin (phytolaccigenin). Their effects can range from embarrassing to very nasty, including diarrhea, vomiting, internal bleeding, rapid heartbeat, convulsions, and much more, up to and including death.  

Don’t touch pokeweed with your bare hands. Chemicals in the plant can pass though the skin and affect the blood. If you must handle pokeweed, use protective gloves.

.

RHUBARB   Rheum Rhaponticum  of the Buckwheat Family

This is the rhubarb that many of us are familiar use for making pies, sauces, and jams.  However, use only the stalks.

During World War I in Britain, as well as the United States, rhubarb leaves were recommended as a substitute for other veggies that the war made unavailable. Apparently there were cases of acute poisoning and even some deaths. Some animals, including goats and swine, have also been poisoned by ingesting the leaves.   Rhubarb leaves contain poisonous substances, including oxalic acid, which is anephrotoxic and corrosive acid that is present in many plants. Humans have been poisoned after ingesting the leaves. Cooking the leaves with baking soda can make them more poisonous by producing soluble oxalates. However, the leaves are believed to also contain an additional, unidentified toxin, which might be an anthraquinoneglycoside (also known as senna glycosides).

 

Although most of my research came up with information on leaves and very little on the roots themselves, I don’t think that with this particular species (grown in the United States for pies, jams, etc)  the roots would be safe to consume.

SYMPTOMS OF RHUBARB POISONING:  BODY:  general  weakness, burning in the mouth, death from cardiovascular collapse.   THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM:  difficulty breathing.   WITH THE EYES, EARS, NOSE, AND THROAT:  burning in the throat.  THE GASTROINTESTINAL SYSTEM : abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; and THE NERVOUS SYSTEM : Convulsions, coma.

 

 

RUE  Ruta graveolens (LINN.)           from the    Family  of    N.O. Rutaceae

A/K/A    herb of grace; herbygrass, Ruta, rutae herba, vinruta.

 In the Middle Ages and later, it was considered - in many parts of Europe - a powerful defense against witches, and was used in many spells. Talk about superstitious!   This herb goes way back in ancient history, which is where it belongs. 

It was  used for a very long list of ailments such as:  digestion problems, including loss of appetite, upset stomach, and diarrhea heart and circulation problems including heart palpitations,  hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis),  breathing problems including pain and coughing due to swelling around the lungs (pleurisy),
headache, arthritis, cramps, and muscle;  nervous system problems , epilepsy, multiple sclerosis , and Bell's palsy, fever, hemorrhage, hepatitis, “weakness of the eyes,” water retention, intestinal worm infestations, and mouth cancer. Rue was also used for snakebites, pinworms, tapeworms.   Rue is also used to kill bacteria and fungus. Some women use Rue for menstrual problems, to stimulate the uterus, and to cause an abortion.  Rue is sometimes applied directly to the skin to treat arthritis, dislocations, sprains, injuries of the bone, swollen skin, earaches, toothaches, headaches, tumors, and warts; and as an insect repellent.   WOW!  Did we leave anything out?

According to WEBMED:  “ Rue  is UNSAFE when used as a medicine. When taken by mouth, it can cause side effects such as stomach irritation, changes in mood, sleep problems, dizziness, spasms, serious kidney and liver damage, and death. When applied to the skin, it can cause rash and increased sensitivity to the sun.”

It is UNSAFE for anyone to use rue in medicinal amounts, but people with the following conditions are especially likely to experience dangerous side effects:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is UNSAFE for both mother and unborn child to take rue during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Rue can cause uterine contractions, which can cause a miscarriage. That’s why rue is used to cause an abortion. But it also has serious effects for the mother; she can die using this stuff!

Stomach and intestinal (gastrointestinal, GI) problems: Rue can make existing GI problems worse

Kidney and urinary tract problems: Rue can harm the kidney and irritate the urinary tract.


Liver problems: Rue can make existing liver problems worse

RUE is used as an insect repellant. Topical use of Rue can cause the skin to blister.  Rubbing fresh rue leaves on the forehead to cure a headache, if one is exposed to the sun will bring on a dermatitis condition that will be much worse than the headache!

  

 

 

 


 De Milto, Lori; Frey, Rebecca."Foxglove."Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. (December 27, 2013). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3435100319.html

 

www.cancer.org.

webmd.com

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/List_of_medicinal_plants

The Honest Herbal   by Varro  E.  Tyler

http://www.encyclopedia.com/

The Complete Guide to HERBAL MEDICINES  BY Charles W. Fetrow and Juan R. Avila

Know Your Poisonous Plants  by Wilma Roberts James

An Illustrated Guide to 101 Medicinal Herbs  by Steven Foster 

http://nadiasyard.com/our-native-plants/american-pokeweed
Tags:

HERBS THAT JUST ARE NOT SAFE TO USE PART TWO

THIS IS PART TWO OF HERBS THAT JUST ARE NOT SAFE TO USE

 

DAMINANA  Turnea diffusa of the Turneracea family a/k/a de la pastora, Mexican damiana, old woman’s broom

Used for: colic, to stop bed wetting, bring on suppressed menses. Inhaling steam from the tea is said to relieve headache, and aphrodisiac

 

SIDE EFFECTS  ARE hallucinations. Irritation of the urethra, excessive amounts may result in liver injury.

There is no evidence to support aphrodisiac effects.

 

 

 

DEVIL'S CLAW (Harpagophytumprocumbens)

Effective for osteoarthritis pain insufficient study has been done to evaluate its effectiveness for anything else.

SIDE EFFECTS may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headaches, ringing in the ears, loss of appetite, and loss of taste. Other side effects may include allergic skin reactions, menstrual problems, and changes in blood pressure.  Use of devil's claw during pregnancy is not advised, as it may harm the fetus.

 

 

EYEBRIGHT (Euphrasia spp.)        ALL parts of the plant are used for herbal medicine. Eyebright was used as a traditional folk remedy for eye irritation. Eyebright is taken by mouth to treat swollen (inflamed) nasal passages, allergies, hay fever, common cold, bronchial conditions, and inflamed sinuses (sinusitis). It is also used for cancer, coughs, “pink eye” (conjunctivitis), earaches, epilepsy, headaches, hoarseness, inflammation, jaundice, runny nose, skin ailments, and sore throat.

 

Despite serious risk of infection, some people apply eyebright directly to the eye in the form of a lotion, poultice, or eye bath to treat a variety of conditions including conjunctivitis; inflammation of the eyelids at the edge of the lashes (blepharitis); eye fatigue; inflammation of the blood vessels, eyelids and conjunctiva; and for "glued" and inflamed eyes. Eyebright is also applied to the eyes to prevent mucous and mucous membrane inflammation of the eyes. Historically, eyebright has been used in British Herbal Tobacco, which was smoked for on-going lung conditions and colds.

 

In foods, eyebright is used as a flavoring ingredient.

 

When used directly on the eye, eyebright can be contaminated and cause eye infections.

 SIDE EFFECTS of topical eyebright may include itchiness, increased sensitivity to light, swollen eyelids, changes in vision, watery eyes, or severe eye pressure. Nausea, sweating and confusion have also been reported with oral eyebright use

 

 SIDE EFFECTS OF EYEBRIGHT TINCTURE include confusion, headache, tearing, itching, redness, vision problems, sneezing, nausea, toothache, constipation, cough, trouble breathing, trouble sleeping (insomnia), sweating, and others.

 

Eyebright has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity

 

 

 

GOLDENSEAL  (Hyddrastis Canadensis) of the crowfoot family

You might be surprised to know that Goldenseal is considered a native American drug.  It was used by the Cherokee Indians primarily for skin diseases and as an eye wash for sore eyes.  It was also considered a bitter tonic, a remedy for various s gastric and genitourinary disorders, heartburn, pain in the bowels, headache, poor appetite, and feverishness.

 

Goldenseal contains hydrastine and berberine. It is the  berberine that is responsible for the drug’s characteristic   golden color.

 

Although Goldenseal is no longer even discussed in modern works on pharmacology, it continues to occupy a place  of prominence in modern herbals.

Also, for those who believe that Goldenseal prevents the detection of morphine in urine specimen following heroin use, also for detection of marihuana or cocaine use,   scientific studies have revealed no basis for this claim. Goldenseal neither prevents morphine detection nor does it “flush” that compound from the body.

 

 

 

HENBANE (Hyoscyamus niger)

Used for pain, Parkinson's disease symptoms, and ulcers.  It is also smoked to "cure" asthma and bronchitis. There is no evidence to support its use for any of these conditions.

Henbane is toxic, and when used for self-treatment may result in fatal poisoning.

SIDE EFFECTS may include dry mouth, red skin, constipation, overheating, reduced sweating, vision disturbances, increased heart rate, urination problems, drowsiness, restlessness, hallucinations, delirium, manic episodes, and death.

 

 

HYDRANGEA, Hydrangea macrophylla, Hydrangea arborescensL., Hydrangea paniculata Siebold  of the Saxifragaceae family

 

For one thing, hydrangea is an ornamental, not an herb. No part of t he hydrangea bush is for internal use.

USED FOR:  kidney stones, diuretic and smoked  to produce a euphoria ( you will either get very stoned or very sick and possibly both). Cyanide compounds are present in the leaves and branches.  The buds are also poisonous.

SIDE EFFECTS: Hydrangea may lower blood sugar level, cause dizziness and chest  tightness.

 

JIMSON WEED (Datura stramonium)

  Jimson weed leaves are smoked for asthma.

Jimson weed is poisonous and can cause dry mouth and extreme thirst, vision problems, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate, hallucinations, high temperature, seizures, confusion, loss of consciousness, breathing problems, and death.  The deadly dose for adults is 15-100 grams of leaf or 15-25 grams of the seeds.

 

KAVA (Piper methysticum)

SIDE EFFECTS may include liver damage leading to death, even with short-term use (1-3 months) of normal doses ] and aedation, oral and lingual dyskinesia, torticollis, oculogyric crisis, exacerbation of Parkinson's disease, painful twisting movements of the trunk, and rash.

 

 

 

LOBELIA (Lobelia inflate, L. beriandieri, L. cardinalis, L  siphilitica

Used for asthma, bronchitis, cough, and smoking cessation, muscle spasms,  to induce vomiting.  Also as a main ingredient in home smoking formulas.

SIDE EFFECTS may include profuse sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, rapid heartbeat, mental confusion, convulsions, hypothermia, coma, and death. It's not called Indian Tobacco for nothing. Lobelia may also cause death from respiratory depression and respiratory muscle paralysis.  It may also increase the blood pressure. Does not interact well with drugs.

 .

 

 

MADDER ROOT (Rubia tinctorum)

Sometimes used in herbal medicine as an astringent diuretic, emmenagogue, and claimed to be good for many conditions, including alkaline urine, diarrhea, inflammation, wounds, broken bones, fever, and many others. There is no evidence to support the use of madder root for any of these conditions. The root is used in Ayurveda and Hildegard medicine. Madder root is also used for dyeing fabrics.

Madder Root  may cause cancer, birth defects, and miscarriages. It can also make urine, saliva, perspiration, tears, and breast milk turn red. 

 

 

MISTLETOE (Viscum album)

Mistletoe is claimed to be good for cancer prevention, hypertension, and insomnia.  However, research of  Mistletoe has concluded that Mistletoe  isn't effective for cancer; and that insufficient research has been done to evaluate the other claims.

When small amounts are taken, it is safe, with mild side effects of headaches, fever, and chills.   Large amounts are toxic and can be fatal.

 

 SYMPTOMS may include seizures, coma, death, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, slow or irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, confusion, and drowsiness. 

 

Mu Tong (Caulis aristolochiae)

Used in traditional Chinese medicine for "relieving excess fire" and "stimulating the secretion of milk".

May cause fatal kidney failure because, like birthwort, it contains aristolochic acid.

 

 

PART THREE  AND THE FINAL PART OF THIS SERIES WILL FOLLOW SHORTLY

 

 De Milto, Lori; Frey, Rebecca."Foxglove."Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. (December 27, 2013). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3435100319.html

 

www.cancer.org.

webmd.com

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/List_of_medicinal_plants

The Honest Herbal   by Varro  E.  Tyler

http://www.encyclopedia.com/

The Complete Guide to HERBAL MEDICINES  BY Charles W. Fetrow and Juan R. Avila

Know Your Poisonous Plants  by Wilma Roberts James

An Illustrated Guide to 101 Medicinal Herbs  by Steven Foster 

http://nadiasyard.com/our-native-plants/american-pokeweed

HERBS THAT ARE JUST NOT SAFE TO USE AS MEDICINE

THIS IS PART ONE   of  HERBS THAT JUST ARE NOT SAFE TO USE

 

At present, herbal products can be sold without requiring studies on their safety or effectiveness.  It is up to the individual to decide for themselves whether certain herbs are safe to take.  So, that is what this blog is about.

Many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but, be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.   Many herbalists even now, are also using herbs as medicine   based on tradition or folk medicine. Depending on the culture and region, people for years and years used certain herbs for certain conditions. Many of these work, but, many more were not effective at all and so called herbalist would use these herbal treatments because that’s what was being used at that time.

 Some of these conditions are potentially serious.  I think that it is finally time for those who want to be known as herbalists to start doing some serious research into each and every herb that they want to use in their formulas and sell to the public, whether it be teas, tinctures, salves, or whatever.   The findings of people such as Culpepper, Gerard and a host of others were made hundreds of years ago.  Since people did not  live all that long back then, how does anyone know for sure if the herbs worked or, helped kill these people?  You don’t.   Writers of herb findings back then were not going to incriminate themselves by admitting that certain herbs just might kill a person rather than make them well.  Maybe that is where the saying “ it will either kill you or cure you” comes from?  

 

 

I have compiled a list with some herbs that a person might think twice about using. Some herbs will cause a person to just get sick, or end up in a situation worse than they originally began with, while others will cause death.   My research is based on many modern day findings that are listed at the end of this blog, as well as just plain common sense.  We have to remember that things change as time goes on.  Nothing stands still and, it is the same with herbs. Also, keep in mind that “high doses” can mean as little as a teaspoonful or a cupful.  It does not mean that a person would have to drink a gallon of the stuff.  It also can mean over a period of time.

 

 

 

 

AMERICAN SKULLCAP (Scutellarialateriflora)

Herbalist use this herb  for tension, anxiety, insomnia, panic, headaches, fatigue, depression, melancholy, convulsions, jerking muscles, epilepsy, heart trembles, depression, arthritis, fever, snake bites, and rabies. Skullcap is used for PMS when used with chaste tree or false unicorn root

 

High doses can cause giddiness, stupor, mental confusion, twitching, irregular heartbeat, and seizures. There is also the problem of  American skullcap being contaminated with germander, which can cause liver damage.

 

 

ANGELICA  A. acutiloa, A. archangelica, A. atropurpurea, A. dahurica, A. edulis, A. gigas, A. keiskei, A. koreanna, A. polymorpha, A. pubescens, A. radix, and A. sinensis  

 

People use angelica for  anemia, anti gas treatment,  asthma, backache, diuretic,  diaphoretic,  eczema, gynecologic disorders, hay fever, headache, menstrual discomfort, osteoporosis, menopausal symptoms.

Those who consume the purplish stems of angelica that are collected and crystallized with sugar to make a pleasant tasting confection should be aware that the plant contains a number of furocoumarins, e.g., angelicin, bergapten, immperatorin, and xanthotoxin.

Some authorities believe that angelica may cause cancer.  Angelica can cause bleeding or bruising after use.  Severe poisoning has resulted from large doses of the root administered in an attempt to induce abortions.

 

 

ARNICA  of the family Asteraceae (all varieties)  People have employed the entire plant,  including the roots, often using this herb internally.  Arnica is used for reducing inflammation, bruising, aches, and rheumatic pain.  It is used in teas, tinctures and salves.  Studies have shown that when arnica tincture is taken internally that it exhibit a toxic action on the heart and caused very large increases in blood pressure. Repeated use on the skin  can cause severe inflammation, itching, blisters, skin ulcers, and other allergy-related skin problems.

 

 

 

BROOM   Cytisus scoparius, syn, Saritganbys scioaruys

Used as a diuretic, produce vomiting, sweating.  For poor circulation or heart conditions, especially low blood pressure and  to induce relaxation and euphoria.

 

Using BROOM can cause headache, irregular heartbeat, mind altering sensation from smoking the plant parts. Poisoning symptoms: shock, a fast pulse, confusion or other mental changes, vertigo, nausea, and diarrhea, uterine contractions, fungal pneumonia (from smoking contaminated broom tops) and miscarriage.

BROOM does not interact well with drugs, particularly beta blockers, such as Inderal or other drugs that are used to treat heart conditions;  Do not use BROOM if you are on tricyclic antidepressants, such as Sinequan.

 

 

CAT'S CLAW (Uncariatomentosa or Uncariaguianensis) Two species of cat's claw:  Uncariatomentosa and Uncariaguianensis,.Uncariatomentosa is most commonly used in the U.S., and Uncariaguianensis is typically used in Europe

Touted as a cure-all for HIV, AIDS,  cancer, whatever else,. Cat’s claw is most commonly used for improving symptoms of  both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, diverticulitis, colitis , gastritis. leaky bowel syndrome, shingles, chronic fatigue syndrome, wound healing, parasites, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, hay fever, cancer (especially urinary tract cancer), a particular type of brain cancer called glioblastoma, gonorrhea, dysentery, birth control, bone pains, and "cleansing" the kidneys.  MY, my, what a busy herb this is!

 

CAT’S CLAW  can, however, cause headache, dizziness, and vomiting in some people. If you have Leukemia, Cat's claw might worsen this condition.

For   Auto-immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), or other similar conditions, Cat’s claw might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. There is a concern that cat’s claw might make blood pressure control difficult during surgery.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with CAT'S CLAW   Taking CAT'S CLAW along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications.

 

 

GENTIAN  Gentiana lutea L. ; Gentiana acaulis L. 

a/k/a bitter root, feltwort, gall weed, pale gentian, stem less gentian and yellow gentian.

Gentian is used for  heartburn, intestinal gas, irritable bowel syndrome, malaria, sharp intestinal pains, to help curb smoking and to stimulate the appetite. Also used as a bitter digestive tonic, and as an  antidote  to poisons.

 

SIDE EFFECTS: headache, nausea and vomiting. Gentian may increase anti inflammatory properties.

 

 

GREATER CELANDINE (Chelidoniummajus)  Another cure all herb. Used internally for sedation, gallstone prevention, intestinal and digestive problems, liver disease, and eye irritation.  Topically it is used for ringworm, warts, and corns. Also, "liver diseases, for inflammation of the gallbladder, inflammation of the biliary duct, loss of appetite, jaundice, hepatitis, dropsy, gout, arthritis, rheumatism, fevers, spasmodic coughs, bronchitis, asthma, intestinal polyps, breast lumps, angina, cramps, arteriosclerosis, gout, water retention, skin eruptions, scurvy, ulcers, cancers (specifically skin and stomach). The tincture has been used for liver problems, facial, head, and shoulder neuralgia, constipation.  

SIDE EFFECTS:  It can cause serious liver problems such as hepatitis, and blockage of the bile duct (bile duct obstruction). Some GREATER CELANDINE extracts appear to increase the flow of bile. There is a concern that this might make bile duct obstruction worse.

 

 

CHAPARRAL (Larreadivaricatacoville)     I was called a moron by someone who read an earlier blog of mine not long ago, stating that she used chaparral for cancer and it cured her cancer.  However, let me quote from Rational WIKI “Chaparral is used for lots of things, including cancer.    Chaparral is not effective for cancer and not known to be effective for anything else, either.”   And from WEBMD   “Chaparral is a plant. The leaf is used to make medicine, but there are serious safety concerns. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada have advised consumers against using products containing chaparral due to safety concerns. Despite warnings, chaparral is still available in the U.S. Also included here are comments made by Varro E. Tyler well known author of The Honest Herbal.

Chaparral is used for digestion problems, cramps, respiratory tract conditions including colds and infections; and ongoing chronic skin disorders. It is also used for cancer, arthritis, tuberculosis, urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases, central nervous system conditions, chickenpox, parasite infections, obesity, and snakebite pain. Some people use chaparral for detoxification, or as a tonic or “blood purifier.” Chaparral is said to possess analgesic, expectorant, emetic, diuretic, and anti inflammatory properties.  Oh yes, and as a hair tonic.

Another busy herb!

 

Chaparral WAS , around 1968, considered  to be potentially useful in the treatment of cancer. HOWEVER, in 1990’s, cases of liver disease started to crop up and Chaparral was then considered to be dangerous for humans to use.  Some people out there, including well known herbalists, need to keep abreast of changes regarding the overall safety of herbs.  We are not living in the 1600’s anymore!

 

CHAPARRAL IS UNSAFE. There are several reports of serious poisoning, acute hepatitis, and kidney and liver damage, including kidney and liver failure.

 

According to WEBMD:  “Chaparral can cause side effects including stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, weight loss, fever, and liver and kidney damage. Putting chaparral on the skin can cause skin reactions including rash and itching. “AND, Rational WIKI “it's actually very dangerous.   It can cause fatal liver damage and kidney failure. Other side effects may include fatigue,  itching, rash, and allergic reactions. Despite the title of that old cowboy serial, Chaparral cannot get you high.”  And, from the American Cancer website: “ Chaparral is considered a dangerous herb that can cause irreversible, life-threatening liver damage and kidney damage. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cautioned against the internal use of chaparral. Research has not found it to be an effective treatment for cancer or any other disease.

A clinical study of nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), one of the chemicals in chaparral, concluded that it was not useful in treating people with cancer,”

 

 

 

 

Coltsfoot (Tussilagofarfara) Used as an expectorant and for coughs. Coltsfoot cigarettes are used for asthma.   Despite serious safety concerns, people take coltsfoot for lung problems such as bronchitis, asthma, and whooping cough (pertussis). They also take it for upper respiratory tract complaints including sore mouth and throat, cough, and hoarseness. Coltsfoot seems to be the principle ingredient in herbal smoking formulas. 

According to WEBMD   Coltsfoot is considered UNSAFE. It contains chemicals called hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) that can damage the liver (or make liver disease worse), or cause cancer, birth defects, and .  taken in large amounts might interfere with treatment for high blood

 

Many well-known herbalists praise coltsfoot for its flavor as it is supposed to be very palatable for cough drops, syrups and teas.  

 

PART TWO TO FOLLOW 

 

 De Milto, Lori; Frey, Rebecca."Foxglove."Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. (December 27, 2013). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3435100319.html

 

www.cancer.org.

webmd.com

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/List_of_medicinal_plants

The Honest Herbal   by Varro  E.  Tyler

http://www.encyclopedia.com/

The Complete Guide to HERBAL MEDICINES  BY Charles W. Fetrow and Juan R. Avila

Know Your Poisonous Plants  by Wilma Roberts James

An Illustrated Guide to 101 Medicinal Herbs  by Steven Foster 

http://nadiasyard.com/our-native-plants/american-pokeweed

 
 
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