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Are there any herbs that should not be taken alongside medications ?

There are all sorts of possible reactions between herbs and drugs, nutrients and drugs and between medications themselves. Key ones to look out for are herbs and drugs that have similar aims. For example, garlic, which helps thin the blood, may exaggerate the effect of the drug warfarin, making blood dangerously thin so that it does not clot properly. Ginseng and garlic can have similar interaction. Another combination to watch out for is ginkgo biloba and aspirin - taking these together has been linked to the eruption of blood vessels in the eye. Another popular herbal remedy, St. John's wort, widely used to help depression, should not be taken at the same time as anti-depressant drugs such as Prozac.

A viable alternative to taking herbs with medication is to concentrate on finding effective herbal remedies alone. But if you are on medication, do check with your doctor before stopping it - or in fact starting any herbal remedies.

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