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August 2009 Mayo Clinic Health Letter Highlights Herbal Supplements, Groin Rashes and Hand Arthritis
Date:8/13/2009

Natural Herbal Supplements Aren't Always Safe

ROCHESTER, Minn., Aug. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Here are highlights from the August issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. You may cite this publication as often as you wish. Reprinting is allowed for a fee. Mayo Clinic Health Letter attribution is required. Include the following subscription information as your editorial policies permit: Visit www.HealthLetter.MayoClinic.com or call toll-free for subscription information, 800-333-9037, extension 9771.

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Natural doesn't always mean safe when it comes to herbal supplements, according to the August issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

When used properly, many herbal supplements may be safe and possibly beneficial to health. However, a few supplements can cause life-threatening problems or dangerous interactions with medications.

Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers some of the known interactions between herbal supplements and medications:

St. John's wort: This supplement can greatly increase or decrease the potency of many medications and cause serious side effects. Patients who take antidepressants, anti-blood-clotting drugs, certain asthma drugs, immune-suppressing medications or steroids should probably avoid St. John's wort.

S-adenosylmethionine (SAM-e): This can cause serious side effects when taken with antidepressant medications that affect serotonin.

Garlic, ginseng, ginger and feverfew: Patients who take anti-clottin
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