Problems with Using Your Own Herbal Supplements

It can be daunting, frustrating and scary to visit a doctor for a medical ailment. You might keep putting it off because you don’t feel like you’re going to get proper help. Because of the problems that often come with visiting a doctor’s office, more people are now looking into herbal supplementation. Herbal supplements are all the rage because they claim to help with a wide array of medical and mental health issues without the harsh side effects of medication.

The problem with herbal supplementation is the fact that people often overdo their dosage and don’t get the proper diagnosis to start with. If you aren’t 100 percent sure of what you’re dealing with in the first place, you shouldn’t assume that you need a certain herb to make it better. In this case, it’s a good idea to first visit a doctor or therapist to get a diagnosis for your issues, allowing you to know which herbs will best help your situation.

Next, you need to make sure that you’re using the correct dose. Every herb bottle has dosage information on the back label, which tells you how much you should be taking on a daily basis. If you have any questions with how to use the product, be sure to ask a doctor rather than to assume it on your own.

If you’re trying to take a more holistic approach to your health, you might also want to consider visiting a homeopathic doctor. These doctors specialize in more natural remedies, so you won’t feel like you’re being handed a pill any time you go for medical help. These professionals are trained and knowledgeable about the different herbal supplements available on the market, which can prevent you from trying to figure it all out on your own. Just like with regular medication, you need to be aware of which herbs you’re using and how to use them properly in order to get the best response from them.

The Hidden Dangers of Taking Herbal Supplements Without Doctor Supervision

A recent medical emergency that arose in Italy has brought attention to the dangers of a commonly sold over-the-counter herbal remedy. A 25-year-old man was taking an excessive amount of St. John’s Wort, which induced a serious case of psychosis. His diagnosis came when his friends became concerned over his mental state when he started telling them that other people could read his mind, so they rushed him to the hospital.

The reason that this normally safe herbal remedy affected him in this way is that he was drinking several cups of a tea version of it without the supervision of a doctor. This caused him to develop increasingly high levels of serotonin in his body, which lead to the development of serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome can cause hallucinations, impaired thinking, racing thoughts, and other mental health issues. It can also affect a person’s heart rate and blood pressure.

Luckily, the Italian man is on the road to recovery. Once he stopped taking St. John’s Wort, his body was able to properly regulate his serotonin levels. However, the doctors have warned those that are considering this supplement to be sure they do so only after discussing it with a trained physician. Many pharmaceuticals and herbal remedies can interact with this herb, which can lead to other dangerous side effects besides psychosis.

St. John’s Wort is a natural blood thinner and antibiotic. So if a person is already taking pharmaceutical medications that are similar, it could cause internal bleeding, bleeding during surgery, or an increase in inflammation in someone who already has an overactive immune system. It should also be mentioned that herbal teas must be avoided unless a person is certain of the source of the product. There could be additional ingredients in them that could cause health problems.