- Health experts have warned consumers about relying too much on the so-called natural or herbal products
- Not all of the supposed medicinal herbs are safe to use
- Some of these herbs can cause liv
Many people turn to herbs as alternative treatment for a range of health conditions. Unfortunately, not all of the supposed medicinal herbs are safe to use. Some herbs people use to treat ailments are known to cause liv
Comfrey contains toxic substances known as pyrrolizidine alkaloids that can seriously damage the li
ver. Eating or taking comfrey is no longer recommended these days but it was historically used to treat diar rhea and other stomach ailmen ts.
The Europeans have also used it to treat inflammatory conditions. Today, comfrey is available for sale in the United States only in creams or ointments. Even when used externally, however, the to
xic alkaloids in comfrey can still build up in the body.
Kava is sold as a treatment for anxi
ety and insomnia, but it has been associated with li ver damage in as many as 100 people. Its use is now restricted and even banned in Germany, France, Switzerland, Canada and Britain,
Pennyroyal’s edible leaves produce an essential oil used in soap making. Its strong mint smell is also used in flavoring for teas. Pennyroyal has been used as a digestive tonic to relieve flatulence, but this plant is very to
xic and can damage not just the li ver but also the nervous system.
Wall germander is used to treat gou
t. It is also diuretic, so it has also been taken to help with weight loss. Use of the herb, however, has been documented for causing li ver damage.
Chaparral is traditionally used to treat bacterial and viral infections. It is also a popular folk remedy for
HIV, but severe cases of li ver disease have been documented from people who used this plant as medicine.
Health experts have warned consumers about relying too much on the so-called natural or herbal products under the mistaken belief that they are safer compared with prescription drugs. Make sure to be cautious when using and consuming products that use these herbs as ingredients.
Just remember; forewarned is forearmed!