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Ask the Herbalist--Drug/Herb Interactions

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QUESTION: Iím taking Paxil medication for anxiety .. and I want to take a natural body cleanse . Could it affect my medication and me ??

ANSWER: 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.

: Are hawthorn berries  and Plavix safe to take together

ANSWER: 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 compounds.

: 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?

ANSWER: I have been looking and can find no known interactions between any of these three drugs and Hawthorn berry, leaf, and flower (Crataegus oxyacantha, C. monogyna, and other 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 primary provider.
              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.

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 trouble. Sorry.