Dangers in Taking Multiple Herbs?
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: February 18, 2000

If you want to take herbs for weight loss, memory, eyes or other, is there a danger in taking too many different herbs at a time or the in the mix of herbs?

There is a possibility of danger using herbs without adequate knowledge. It is best to consult a qualified herbalist rather than self-medicating. There are many good herbal books, written by qualified herbalists, that can be used as reference to gain an understanding of how herbs work and how to combine them. You may find some good herbal reference books at your library. "Medicinal Herbs" by Penelope Ody, is available at Richters. David Hoffman’s "The New Holistic Herbal"( 1992, Element, Inc., 42 Broadway, Rockport, MA, 10966 USA) is a good basic herbal.

Some of the general rules for combining herbal medicines are:

1. Don’t combine herbs with opposite properties. For example, a sedative herb with a herb to increase energy, or a herb that tightens body tissues with one that relaxes them. The effects of the herbs would then be canceled out.

2. Where possible, use a herb with actions that will help more than one symptom/health problem required by the patient

3. If you are taking any other medications, a health care provider should be consulted. Herbs can cause an increase or decrease in the effect of the drug.

4. Herbs often work together to increase the effect of other herbs in the combination.

5. Herbalist and other holistic practitioners look for the root cause of ill health and base the treatment approach on the causes. If the root cause were, for example, poor diet or poor digestion or stress, the patient and practitioner would work out ways, including diet and exercise, to correct the root cause. In a herbal remedy, the major part of the herbal remedy would be based on supporting the digestion or the nerves, as indicated. A smaller portion of the remedy would support other symptoms.

6. Stimulants such as Ginseng are not given when the general state of health is low and there is no reserve of energy to stimulate.

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