The use of herbs and supplements is widespread in this country. However, some popular herbs and supplements, such as St. John’s wort, garlic and ginger don’t mix well with some heart drugs, statins, blood thinners and blood pressure medications. For instance, St. John’s wort raises blood pressure and heart rate. According to researchers, patients taking blood thinners may have increased risk of bleeding when also using garlic and ginger. Although the underlying research is not new, more and more people are using these herbs and supplements without discussing them with their doctors. This information will be published in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The upcoming article provides a list of two dozen herbal products that patients should be careful with, including gingko biloba, ginseng, echinacea, and even green tea and licorice. The researchers urge doctors to specifically ask patients about herbs and supplements, and patients must share that information with their doctors.
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