BACK TO ASK THE HERBALIST
ANSWERS FROM CARLOS:
Just wanted to know if it is safe to take vitex while
taking Zoloft, I have been recommended to take vitex to
assist with low progesterone.
You will more than likely be fine combining these two,
but to be on the safe side please consult with your
physician. Make sure that you use an extract or tincture
of Vitex, as the shelf life of pills is often
I was wondering if some supplements I'm getting ready to
start taking is safe to take together. For weight loss:
Chromium Picolinate(200mcg), Apple cider
vinegar(200mcg), Raspberry Ketones(100cg) For stress I
was also going to start taking GABA(500cg). I also have
been taking a multivitamin, a coconut oil (for brain
health) and a prescribed medication for a low thyroid
problem. Thank you for your help,
Not knowing your medical history places a big
disadvantage on us, but generally speking you are okay
I do not suggest the coconut oil.
What I do suggest is taking 3 capsules of extract of
Green tea 3xs day; also, L-tyrosine plays an important
part in maintaining healthy thyroid function. Take 500
mg two times daily and if you have an iodine deficiency
take Kelp, 1 baby spoon 1x day.
There is evidence that soy products interfere with
the absorption of thyroid hormone, so if you are taking
thyroid hormone medication, talk to your doctor before
consuming soy products.
Eat antioxidant foods, including fruits such as
blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes and vegetables.
Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas,
Eat foods high in B-vitamins and iron, such as whole
Use olive oil which is a much healthier cooking oil.
Avoid alcohol, tobacco and caffeine.
Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats. Supplement
your diet with cold-water fish (salmon, mackerel,
sardines, halibut, anchovies), or beans for protein.
Certain foods interfere with thyroid function, these
include broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts,
cauliflower, kale, spinach, turnips, soybeans, peanuts,
linseed, pine nuts, millet, cassava, and mustard greens.
Avoid white sugar
Avoid dairy products
Avoid all fried foods
Avoid processed foods
I hope this helps.
taking 50 mg of Topral for blood pressure. Could you
please tell me if Sea Buckthorn juice powder capsules
I can find no research that addresses your question in a
specific manner. I would suggest starting with a low
dose and noting any changes. Avoid if it triggers
Is it safe to mix Maca and
PuerarIa mirifica together in a smoothie?
ANSWER: Yes, but as
to the amount, dosage and form it would depend
individually. If I am correct you may be trying to
improve your testosterone levels, for that I would also
suggest Sasparilla extract 25 drops 1x day, Zinc 50mg 1x
day, Carnitine and L-Arginine 3 capsules of each 1x day.
I would very much appreciated
it if you could help me. I started to take GNC be
wholesome vitapak but I’m worried if the herbs in it can
negatively interact with my birth control pill Yaz.
You would need to send formula's ingredients, the amount
of each and the suggested dosage, the link provided
loads very slow and is not informative enough. GNC is
certainly not one of my favorite stores for anything.
Overpriced and the staff more often than not,
not knowledgeable enough. I much prefer the old herbal
shops. Since I am not too familiar with drug
interaction here, I would refer you to your practitioner
who is prescribing the Yaz fo you. If he or she
wishes they may communicate with me.
supplements interfere with the nuvaring? Since it is
not an oral estrogen, but it is inserted vaginally and
the ethinyl estradiol and etonogestrel is directly
absorbed into the blood stream. The manufacturer treats
it the same as oral contraceptives. I am under the
impression that a lot of the failure comes from changes
in the GI flora (ie antibiotics and antifungals).
question, but one best posed to your doctor. Supplements
and herbs are two different things. If you are on any
seizure medication you should consult with your
physician, as well if you are taking or about to take
antibiotics. I will say that you should avoid is St.
John's Wort, and during menstruation Chinese angelica.
As to safe supplements and foods Fish oil, fresh garlic
and onions are safe and garlic possesses plenty of
anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties and will not
change the flora.
I suggest that you consult with your doctor. since there
are, I believe, better solutions to your goals other
I was visiting HerbNET, and was looking thru it. I am
taking Lisinopril, and was wondering what Herbs and
Vitamins, that I can take safely? I will be starting the
DASH Diet soon. I am hoping to be able to take Benicar
instead of what I am taking now. I heard it was a better
choice. Lots of good Reviews from people using it.
Here is a list of what I was taking prior to going on
Vitamins: Balanced B-Complex 100, C 500MG., Calcium
600mg, D3 400IU, E 200IU, Grape seed Extract 150mg.,
Flaxseed Oil 1200mg 2 X's a day, Magnesium 250mg.,
Gluconate 99mg., Zinc Gluconate 50mg., Ginger Root
550mg. I know I cannot take the Potassium, according to
Lisinopril interaction, will be same for Benicar as I
have learned too. So, which of these are good and which
is not. I also just started Hawthorn Berry. Is the Zinc,
the right one to take, or is Zinc Picolinate better?
Please, I really do need to know, for my own health.
Both Benicar and Lisinopril have a lot of side effects.
Always avoid drinking alcohol when taking these, as well
avoid sitting up or getting up too fast.
Hawthorn will definately be of help to you, but the
principal avenue to take is following a healthy diet.
I would suggest to start getting rid of any toxins that
may be influencing your progress by a 48 hour fast.
During this time drink only infusions of Green tea, and
adding 30 drops of extract of Dandelion root and 15
drops extract of Hawthorn berry. Extracts work better
and faster. Sweeten only with a bit of honey and drink
4-5xs for 48 hours. During this time, also drink plenty
of fresh water. If hunger overtakes you, you may eat
yogurt or unsalted crackers.
You may continue the infusions after the fast, just
change to 10 drops of Dandelion and 20 drops of Hawthorn
extracts. Drink 2-3xs day. After this time comes
the most important part. Nothing helps more than
following a healthy diet. After your fast, eliminate all
red meats, white sugar, all dairy, pork and all fried
foods. As well eliminate all foods containing
preservatives, sodas, colas, chips, candies and
Enhance your diet with plenty of fresh salmon and
mackerel (both of these are very high on Omega-3), eat
plenty of fresh garlic and onions daily, raw and steamed
vegetables, brown rice, and fresh fruits. Always try and
buy fruits and veggies form no more than 300 miles from
your location, these have been grown in the same
climatic temperatures as you experience and they are
much better for you. Deep greens, dark reds, and bright
yellow vegetables are full of antioxidants which would
prove to be of benefit also.
You also will benefit from a low-level program of
exercise, such as Yoga, Tai chi or Qi Gong. Your local
library will have videos on these to help get you
As to Zinc it depends which one your system would absorb
better. There are great food sources that contain Zinc
you may wish to incorporate them into your diet:
Oysters, Alaskan King Crab, Chicken legs (roasted),
Lobster, Fortified breakfast cereal, Baked beans, Raisin
bran, Chick peas, Yogurt and Almonds are some of them.
Here's link on more:
The Dash diet may help some, but if you do the 48 hour
fast before starting on it, the benefits will be
My acupuncturist has me on Xiao Yao for my panic
attacks and anxiety and Nuan Gong Yun Zi for
fertility...however I‘ve been having panic attacks and
ended up in the ER. Since then went to see my Doctor and
he said to take .5 mg of Xanax or Klonopine when I start
to have a panic attack. Should I be taking the Xiao Yao
and the Nuan Gong Yun Zi together? And if so, can I take
a Xanax or klonopine when needed while taking these
herbal medicines? Please help me,
Although you do not mention the dosage or frequency, you
are quite safe in taking the Xiao Yao Wan, but it is not
used for panic attacks. It is rather a formula used for
nourishing the liver and blood, menstrual disorders,
infertility, depression, irritability and hypoglycemia.
For panic attacks ask him/her to look at Bu Nao Wan
(Cerebral Tonic Pills). Yes, you can take these together
(Xiao Yao Wan and Nuan Gong Yun Zi), and you can also
include the Xanax or Klonopine.
I’m trying to see if it is okay to take Hawthorn Berries
with Passion Flower and Fish Oil- How do we know when
not to mix herbs- Is there book or guide to herbal
mixology? I take Melatonin to sleep- does that mix well
with the above herbs that I take daily?
Yes, you may take them both and the Fish oil also. The
herbs will not interfere with the Melatonin. No, there's
actually no guide to herbal "mixology". That is why its
important to always consult with an experienced
practitioner before self-medicating. A practitioner can
adjust the form, dosage and frequency. Please remember
that tinctures and extracts always work better and
faster. If you still experience problems sleeping just
eliminate taking the Passionflower at night.
QUESTION: I’m taking
Paxil medication for anxiety .. and I want to take a
natural body cleanse . Could it affect my medication and
It all would obviously depend on the detoxifying
formulation you are planning to take.
To be on the safe side, I would suggest that you use 10
drops of extract or tincture of Dandelion and 5 drops of
extract or tincture of Red Clover in an infusion of
Green tea. Sweeten only with a bit of honey and drink
3xs day for 7 days. Dandelion is the very best natural
detox agent around.
ANSWERS FROM AMANDA:
Are hawthorn berries and Plavix safe to take together
I checked the best source I know for Herb, Drug, and
Nutrient Interactions, Mosby 2008, and found no
interactions between Plavix and Hawthorn berries. With
monitoring by the provider who prescribed the Plavix,
there is a reasonable expectation of beneficial
anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective effects from
Hawthorn. By the way, the flowers, leaves, and berries
combined provide the best heart-healthy combination of
My mother takes only 3 prescription medications: Plavix,
Lisinopril and Domperidone. I have read that Hawthorn
berry is fine to take with Lisinopril, but is there any
untoward reaction with Plavix or Domperidone?
I have been looking and can find no known interactions
between any of these three drugs and Hawthorn berry,
leaf, and flower (Crataegus
species). Plavix has enough potential side effects of
its own! Domperidone, sometimes given for g.i. problems,
also carries risks. If your mother had a recent heart
attack, or is prone to bleeding, her requirement of
these three in combination may be revisited by her
You are correct in your view that beta
blockers such as lisinopril does not have a marked
negative interaction with Hawthorn, as far as we know at
this time. Hawthorn has an effect on blood
viscosity, vessel strength, heart rate and force of
contraction, and blood pressure, though milder in
comparison to the drugs your mother is taking. The best
recommendation is to inform her prescribing physician(s)
that she is adding Hawthorn to her regimen. It has a
variety of benefits for her, and may be cardioprotective
as well as useful in calming any gastrointestinal
concerns she may have. A standard dose of a high quality
Hawthorn product, liquid extract, tablet, or tea, is 2-4
grams three times a day. That's about an ounce of the
dried herb per pint of water, steeped 20 minutes, one
cup twice a day. The equivalent amount of herb
represented in products is usually on the labels. You
can expect good things from this combination, but be
sure your mother's improvements are monitored in case
any of the drugs can be reduced, or unexpected effects
can be traced to their source.
ANSWERS FROM KAREN
QUESTION: I would really appreciate if you could
help me out with a question I have. I have currently had
to start taking some medications for a neck injury and
I'm not sure if there is any danger in taking the normal
supplements and herbs that I usually take while I'm on
this medication. The medication I'm currently taking is
an anti-inflammatory called Lodine and a muscle relaxer
called Soma. The supplements I usually take include
Ultra-Mega Multivitamin-Multimineral, Kelp Lecithin and
B-6, Coral Calcium, Amino Acids, and Ultra Blue Green
Algae. Could you please let me know if there are any of
these that I should not be taking along with this
medication. I contacted a local Pharmacist but they were
unsure what to tell me and I have not been able to get
in contact with my Doctor about it. Thank you very much
for your time.
ANSWER: Sorry, I can't comment on drug
interactions with herbs. I'm an herbalist, not a
pharmacist. If your pharmacist doesn't know, other than
finding another pharmacist, I would suggest talking with
your doctor about possible interactions. I don't see
anything in the supplement that looks particularly
scary, but again, I'm not qualified to say.
QUESTION: I know that one should not take Clomid
and vitex together. I am currently taking an herbal
blend called Precious See (by Giovanni Maciocia). This
blend contains dang gui, among other things. Would it
be ok to take this with Clomid?
ANSWER: I have no idea. I don't know what's in
it. It isn't a pure herb, it's some formula and when you
start adding things to herbs, that's when you get into