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Can herbs hurt us? For centuries, herbs have been considered plants that heal or help fight numerous diseases.

It is worth remembering that, like everything consumed in excess, herbs can also harm our health.

But when exactly do they harm our health, and is overdose possible?

Medicinal herbs fall into two categories:

  • Phytopreparations – there are isolated medicinal herbs, such as, for example, dandelion root, balm leaf, mint leaf. There are also herbal mixtures made from several properly prepared herbs.
  • Herbal preparations – we include here: oils in the form of, for example, tablets, capsules, dragee and liquids, thick tinctures, dry extracts.

We often mistakenly think that what naturally cannot be harmful, and that we take most of the drugs ourselves. This is very dangerous, since herbs affect the effect of drugs, they can increase or weaken a certain dose and cause a malfunction of the medicine.

Before deciding on specific herbs, make sure they don’t conflict with your medications. It doesn’t matter if you buy herbs for potency or herbs for skin problems, you should check if they conflict with your medications.

Before choosing a specific herb, make sure that the packaging contains the date of production, the manufacturer’s name and address, the date of consumption and the listed ingredients. If we don’t know the origin of mixed herbs, we shouldn’t buy them.

Also, do not independently collect and dry herbs grown, for example, in a city park or by the road.

Such grass may contain more lead than healing properties.

Nor should we care about drying and gathering, especially if we have no idea about it.

How long should we use herbs?

Using too long can hurt us. You should stop taking herbs after about a year of regular consumption. After this period, it is recommended to take a break for a period of three months.

In older adults and those on medication, this should also be paid special attention. Some herbs thin the blood and promote bleeding, blood clots and anesthesia. If surgery awaits us, herbal drugs should be abandoned.

Can herbs poison you?

Around seventy per cent of herbal medicines are said to be taken without consulting a doctor.

If you develop abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea after a certain period of use of herbal preparations, contact your doctor.

These are likely to be the first symptoms of poisoning.

Examples of side effects of some herbs are:

  • John’s wort – can inhibit the effects of antidepressants, can lead to suicidal attempts
  • thyme – its component thymol is very toxic in large quantities
  • mountain ash – causes diarrhea, weakness, vomiting
  • thimble – slows the heart down and can stop blood circulation
  • juniper – if it’s too much, it can irritate the kidneys
  • Trench – leads to liver damage
  • Dandelion – overdosing it can increase the number of white blood cells.
  • yarrow – causes severe headaches, changes conditions similar to confusion, can be toxic

Examples of positive effects of herbs

  • linden – has anti-inflammatory properties, narrows pores, improves appetite, has antipyretic, antispasmodic and calming properties
  • chamomile – has anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties, reduces nausea
  • field horsetail – has anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties, strengthens and prevents vascular rupture
  • rose hips – soothes, helps in the treatment of the liver, kidneys, digestive tract
  • yarrow – inhibits bleeding, has a bactericidal, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effect.