Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Polyherbacy Prompts Need For Physician’s Advice

25.07.2003


Two University of Iowa Health Care physicians are calling attention to the issue of polyherbacy, the excessive or inappropriate ingestion of herbs for the treatment or prevention of disease, especially in older patients.


Jose Ness, M.D., UI assistant professor (clinical) of internal medicine, and Nicole Nisly, M.D., associate professor (clinical) of internal medicine and director of the UI Complimentary and Alternative Medicine Clinic



Jose Ness, M.D., UI assistant professor (clinical) of internal medicine, and Nicole Nisly, M.D., associate professor (clinical) of internal medicine and director of the UI Complimentary and Alternative Medicine Clinic, published a letter on polyherbacy in the May issue of the Journal of Gerontology.

The physicians said that oftentimes patients take herbal supplements in conjunction with their regular medicine regimen. However, combining conventional medications with herbal supplements without first talking to your physician can lead to possible adverse interactions with medication or illness.


Prior to taking an herbal supplement, a patient should have established a treatment goal, researched reliable sources for herbal information and consulted with their physician or pharmacist about safety and efficacy of the herbs.

"Patients should always discuss with their primary physician any medication, herbal or conventional, they’re taking," Ness said. "Physicians can then find out about possible side effects and help prevent unexpected complications."

Patients should also talk to their physician or pharmacist about conventional treatment options that are available to ensure the proper and best treatment is given, Nisly said.

"A patient is more likely to begin taking herbal supplements if they do not see desired results from more conventional methods," Nisly said.

Herbal supplements should not be used by children or anyone who is pregnant, lactating or receiving chemotherapy, HIV treatment, transplant medications or anticoagulants, due to increased risk of adverse side effects.

Commonly used herbs include ginseng, ginkgo biloba, garlic, St. Johns Wort, aloe and Echinacea. Sea algae and licorice are commonly found in multi-ingredient supplements.

Possible side effects can include headache, abdominal pain, fatigue and nausea. More serious side effects can include excessive bleeding or interaction with other drugs, resulting in excessive or diminished drug function, Nisly said.

Each herb can come in several forms, each different enough to cause differing side effects. "It is important to remember that just as with other medications, it is possible to experience an allergic reaction to an herbal supplement," Ness said.

While serious herbal complications are not common, Ness noted, caution is a must. The sicker a patient is, the more likely he or she is to experience such adverse reactions.

Ness added that there is a lack of standardization in herbal manufacturing, which is not approved or regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Some supplements are produced with quality control standards similar to drug production, but some are not. Concerns with misidentified herbs and contaminants need to be kept in mind by both consumers and health care professionals.

Reading bottle labels is a valuable resource for learning about a product. The more information a label provides about dosage, ingredients, company reputation and contact info, the better. Patients should look for single-herb supplements known for safety and efficacy from reliable manufacturers.

Doctors need to be informed about herbal uses, interactions and side effects, so they are best able to counsel patients on safe herbal use.

"Doctors need to remember to listen with an open mind when patients talk about their preferred method of treatment, or the patient might withhold information such as herbal use," Ness said.

Ness and Nisly agree that the most important thing to remember when beginning any medication is to talk honestly and openly with your primary physician, in order to ensure the best care and safest use possible.

Becky Soglin | University of Iowa
Further information:
http://www.uihealthcare.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>