[MOL] Herbs and Toxic [03061] Medicine On Line


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[MOL] Herbs and Toxic



Table 4. Reported adverse effects of some common herbs
Organ system Toxicity Herb Comments

Gastrointestinal

Hepatotoxic (from asymptomatic enzyme elevation to fulminant necrosis)

Chinese herbal teas (35-37); mistletoe (10,35); germander (38,39); chaparral (40-42); comfrey (10,35)

First reported case of hepatic venoocclusive disease was caused by comfrey.

 

Nausea / vomiting

dandelion, garlic, ginseng, chaparral (10,22)

 
 

Diarrhea

herbal teas (36,37,43); aloe, ligustrum, dandelion, prunella, garlic, ginseng (10)

 

Hematologic

Anticoagulant / antiplatelet

yarrow, red clover, tang-kuei, pau d’arco, tang-kuei, salvia (10,22,44);

 

Central Nervous System

Nervousness, agitation, insomnia, mood changes, depression, confusion, hallucinations

ginseng (45)

With long term usage and higher doses

 

cholinergic toxicity

jimson weed (35)

contains atropine, scopolomine, hyoscyamine

 

hallucinogenic

catnip, hops, kava kava, khat, lobelia, mandrake, nutmeg, jimson weed, valerian, yohimbe (35)

 
 

sedation

peony, salvia, tang-kuei (10)

 
 

seizures, psychosis, coma

ephedra (46)

 

Pulmonary

pulmonary hypertension

Chinese herbal teas (35)

 

Allergic / immunologic

contact dermatitis

propolis, garlic, echinacea (10); melaleuca oil (47)

 
 

Systemic lupus erythematosis

alfalfa (35)

 

Endocrinologic

gynecomastia, vaginal bleeding

ginseng (35)

contains estrogen

 

goiters, hyper- and hypo-thyroidism

kelp (10)

contains iodine

 

inhibition of iodine uptake

garlic (10)

 
 

hypoglycemia

atractylodes, scrofularia, lycium, burdock (10)

 

Renal

diuresis

burdock, astragalus, peony, dandelion (10)

 
 

hypertension, sodium and water retention, hypokalemia

licorice (10,35,48)

Glycyrrhiza glabra; G. radix can have same effects and is found in 74% of Chinese herbal teas.

Cardiovascular

hypotension

astragalus, codonopsis, prunella, scrofularia, salvia (10)

 
 

hypertension

ginseng (10)

 
 

hypertension, coronary spasm, palpitations, tachycardia

ephedra (46)