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Saint johns wart

St John’s Wort

Here in the UK, there is growing concern amongst the medical profession about the possible unwanted side effects of St John’s wort when mixed with other foods or conventional medications. There has even been a call for tighter controls over the way it and other herbal remedies are sold over the counter unchecked in the UK.

Medical experts in Ireland have already banned over-the-counter sales of this herbal remedy. Wanting it classed as a prescription-only medication until clinical trials prove otherwise.
Here in the UK testing of the drug is reported to be underway because too little is known about the possible risks when mixed with certain foods, vitamins, and other supplements.

It has been reported that the Irish Medical Board fears mixing St John’s Wart with certain drugs or foods – such as red wine cheese cough medicine or other antidepressants – could cause hypertensive crisis. Other experts fear this crisis could include paralysis, strokes, and heart failure due to a potentially lethal increase in blood pressure.

My own personal view… I wonder if it is the general public health or their bank balance that these big drug companies are thinking of.

If you stop to think about it these multi-million dollar drug industries have a lot to lose if the humble herb is truly a safe alternative, with a lot less adverse effects, to some of the medication they turn out with what we all know has many unwanted side effects. I believe eventually some of their medicines do that much damage to the system there is no return for many people, but a life of unwanted addiction.

But then I suppose that is just me being negative.

MedicationConditionExperts Advice
WARFARINHeart Problems, Blood Clots.See your doctor for advice.
Carbamazepine Phenobarbitone Phenytion.
Epilepsy.Speak with your doctor.
THEOPHYLINE.Chronic Bronchitis, Asthma.See your doctor.
citalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine,
paroxetine, sertraline.
Depression.Stop taking herb see your doctor.
sumatriptan, naratriptan rizatriptan,
Migraine.Stop taking herb see your GP.
CYCLOSPORINTransplantation.See your doctor.
Indinavir. Nelfinavir. Ritonavir.
Saquinavir. Efavirenz. Nevirapine.
HIV infection.Stop taking herb see your doctor.
ORAL CONTRACEPTIONReduced blood levels, increased risk of pregnancy, and breakthrough bleeding.Stop taking herb now.
New EU rules came into force at the weekend banning hundreds of herbal remedies. May 2011

Here is a little more information on other remedies that could pose a risk.
  • GINKO BILOBA: Reported good to treat asthma, tinnitus, varicose veins, cramp, artery disease and depression.

THE SIDE EFFECTS: Could show as irritability, restlessness, diarrhea (diarrhea), and nausea.

  • DONG QUAI: Reported good to treat infertility, hypothermia, asthma, high blood pressure.

THE SIDE EFFECTS: Could show as abdominal bloating and high blood sugar levels in diabetics.

  • ALOE: Reported good to treat indigestion, stomach complaints, is also good for sunburn protection.

THE SIDE EFFECTS: Could show as allergic reactions, diarrhea, cramps. internal use can cause hemorrhage.

  • VALERIAN: Reported good to treat high blood pressure, palpitations, convulsions.

THE SIDE EFFECTS: Could show as possible paralysis, weakening of the heartbeat.

  • FEVERFEW: Reported to prevent clots, rheumatism, migraine.

THE SIDE EFFECTS: Could show as allergic reactions, diarrhea, cramps. internal use can cause hemorrhage.

  • LIQUORICE: Reported to be good for stomach ulcers, stress, depression.

THE SIDE EFFECTS: This could show as high blood pressure, headaches, lethargy, hypertension, stomach problems. Swollen ankles, grogginess, facial puffiness there may also be a weakness of breath.


One thing needs to be remembered when you decide that taking Mother Natures’ remedies may be of benefit to you. Take on board that there is a lot of plants in mother natures storehouse you would not ingest for very obvious reasons. So, it is worth remembering it does not follow that because it is natural it is good for you, it just might not be. Treat any form of remedy the way you would conventional medication…………………….. With Care.