Dangerous Herbs ~ Use with Caution & Aweness!

2001 July 6th - FDA Advises Dietary Supplement Manufacturers to Remove Comfrey from oral supplement Products From the Market.



There are some HERBS which really are known to cause DEATH, when even just used.  They negatively interact with the life of most MAMMALS (people especially, but also potentially other animals, like horses, dogs, and cats). The herbs on the following list are considered the "MOST DANGEROUS herbs."

Arnica ~ is considered poisonous and has caused death. When taken by mouth it can also cause irritation of the mouth and throat, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes, shortness of breath, a fast heartbeat, an increase in blood pressure, heart damage, organ failure, increased bleeding, coma, and death. However, Arnica is still often listed as an ingredient in homeopathic products. Special Precautions & Warnings during Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Don't take arnica by mouth or apply to the skin if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. It is considered UNSAFE by most scientific researchers. 

Autumn Crocus ~ Autumn crocus is UNSAFE. It is considered a poison, and can cause burning of the mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea, liver and kidney problems, blood disorders, nerve problems, shock, organ failure, and death. There have been reports of poisoning when autumn crocus bulbs were mistaken for onions and eaten. The amount of colchicine in autumn crocus can vary from plant to plant. It’s UNSAFE for anyone to use autumn crocus.

BUTANEDIOL (BD) ~ Butanediol is a chemical that is used to make floor stripper, paint thinner, and other solvent products. It’s illegal to sell butanediol for use as medicine. Nevertheless, butanediol is sometimes still found in products as a substitute for other illegal substances such as gamma butyrolactone (GBL) and gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB). Unfortunately, butanediol is just as dangerous as GBL and GHB. Butanediol has been used to stimulate growth hormone production and muscle growth; and for bodybuilding, weight loss, and trouble sleeping (insomnia). Butanediol isn’t safe for anyone.

BUTTERCUP ~ (aka Apio Sardónico, Celery-Leafed Crowfoot, Cursed Crowfoot, Herbe de Feu, Herbe Sardonique, Mort aux Vaches, Ranunculus sceleratus, Renoncule à Feuilles de Céleri, Renoncule Scélérate, Sardonia.) - Poisonous buttercup is an herb. Yet, parts that grow above the ground are still sometimes used to make topical medicine. Despite serious safety concerns, poisonous buttercup is used for skin diseases such as scabies and leucoderma, a condition involving loss of color. However, Poisonous buttercup is UNSAFE for use when applied to skin. Skin contact with fresh or bruised plants can lead to blisters and burns that are difficult to heal. Touching poisonous buttercup might also increase the risk of sunburn.

Ephedra or Ma Huang ~ (aka BABASSU, BAIKAL, SKULLCAP, EPHEDRA, MANNA, MARJORAM, MORMON TEA, OREGANO, OREGON GRAPE, SALEP, TANGERINE) ~ Ephedra can cause severe life-threatening or disabling conditions in some people. Ephedra use is linked to high blood pressure, heart attacks, muscle disorders, seizures, strokes, irregular heartbeat, loss of consciousness, and death. Doses greater than 32 mg per day might more than triple the risk for bleeding within the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). The risk for serious side effects seems to be greater than any potential benefit. Ephedra is banned in the U.S.

HEMLOCK ~ (aka California Fern, Carrot Weed, Cicuta, Ciguë, Ciguë d’Athènes, Ciguë Officinale, Ciguë de Socrate, Ciguë Tachetée, Conium, Conium Maculata, Conium maculatum, Grande Ciguë, Mort aux Oies, Nebraska Fern, Poison Fool's Parsley, Poison-Hemlock, Spotted Hemlock, Tsuga, Vicaire, Wild Carrot.) - Hemlock is a very poisonous plant. In fact, all parts of the plant are toxic. Hemlock is most poisonous during the early stages of growth in the spring, but it is dangerous at all stages of growth. The poisons in hemlock are so deadly that people have died after eating game birds that had eaten hemlock seeds. Hemlock typically grows near fences, roadsides, ditches, abandoned construction sites, pastures, crops, and fields, where it can be confused with harmless plants. Accidental poisonings have occurred when people mistook the root for parsnip, leaves for parsley, or seeds for anise. All parts of hemlock, including seeds, flowers, and fruits, are UNSAFE. Hemlock is so poisonous it can cause death. If someone takes hemlock, he or she should get immediate medical attention. Side effects and toxicities include increased saliva, burning of the digestive tract, drowsiness, muscle pain, rapid swelling and stiffening of muscles, kidney damage, rapid breakdown of muscle tissue and release of muscle tissue byproducts into the blood, rapid heart rate followed by a decreased heart rate, loss of speech, paralysis, unconsciousness, heart, lung, and kidney failure, and death.

RUSTY-LEAVED RHODODENDRON ~ (aka Azalea, Laurier-Rose des Alpes, Rhododendri Ferruginei Folium, Rhododendron Alpin, Rhododendron Ferrugineux, Rhododendron ferrugineum, Rododendro, Rosage, Rose des Alpes, Rose du Diable, Rosebay, Rust-Red Rhododendron, Rusty Leaved Rhododendron, Snow Rose.) - Rusty-leaved rhododendron is a plant, considered poisonous. Rhododendron honey is known as “mad honey.” Nevertheless, the leaves are used to make medicine. Rusty-leaved rhododendron is UNSAFE. The entire plant is considered poisonous. Taking rusty-leaved rhododendron can cause weakness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, slow heartbeat, irregular heartbeat, blurred vision, impaired consciousness, chills, fainting, shock, seizure, cardiac and respiratory arrest, severe stupor, and possibly death.


If you are pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, then you should take extra caution to what you take, eat, and do. The reality and science demonstrates the following herbs should totally and completely be avoided: 

  • Aloe Vera - natural laxative
  • Arbor Viae - a menstrual and uterine stimulant
  • Autumn Crocus - can lead to birth defects
  • Barberry, Basil Oil, Beth Root, Black Cohosh and Blue Cohosh - uterine stimulants, can be used safely during labor - check with your care provider
  • Blood Root - a uterine stimulant that can also lead to vomiting
  • Broom and Cotton Root - causes uterine contractions
  • Bugleweed - adversely affects hormone production
  • Clove Oil - a uterine stimulant, can be used in labor - check with your care provider
  • Comfrey - contains toxic chemicals that can affect the placenta
  • Cumin Seed - premature labor, miscarrage or cramping
  • Devil’s Claw - uterine stimulant
  • Dong Quai - Uterine and menstrual stimulant
  • False Unicorn Root - stimulates hormones
  • Feverfew - may cause premature contractions
  • Golden Seal, Greater Celndine, Juniper and Lady’s Mantle - uterine stimulants. A hazardous chemical in goldenseal can cross the placenta and can also find its way into breast milk. Brain damage (kernicterus) has developed in newborn infants exposed to goldenseal. Do not use goldenseal during pregnancy or breast-feeding.
  • Juniper and Juniper Oil - uterine stimulant
  • Licorice - can cause high blood pressure
  • Life Root and Mistletoe - uterine stimulants with toxic chemicals that can cross the placenta
  • Mugwort - a uterine stimulant that can cause birth defects. Also avoid during breastfeeding
  • American Pennyroyal and European Pennyroyal - Strong uterine stimulant
  • Peruvian Bark - Toxic, may cause blindness and coma
  • Pokeroot and Pseudoginseng - may cause birth defects
  • Palsatilla - menstrual stimulant, do not use while breast feeding
  • Rue - uterine and menstrual stimulant
  • Sassafras, Squill, Tansy, Wild Yam, Southernwood and Wormwood - uterine stimulants, may cause birth defects
  • Shepherd’s Purse - uterine stimulant

Awareness is key. If you have any pre-existing blood pressure or cardiac issues, digestive, immune system concerns, or are on perscribed medication, or regularly drink more than a small glass of wine a day, then you really should double check the side-effects, safety, and known negatives with each and every ingredient you are taking. Especially those in supplements.

For people with more severe issues, the herbs on the following list should be looked at much more closely, and avoided when ever possible, before blindly buying into some 'It's All Natural' marketing hype, because while the 'natural' part is likely true... they are 'organic' and natural to earth, none of them are natural TO YOUR BODY!  Some are even toxic and deadly. Read on to leard which... 

Or, to any mammals body for that matter.  Some of them have the capacity to really do harm, and even cause death under the right circumstances. The list below is specfically and purposefully focused on the SIDE EFFECTS, the negatives known to be associated with the herbs.  It's not to scare you, but to INFORM YOU! Some have amazing medicinal benefits when used correctly, in low doses, for a short period of time. Other's can kill you, really!

There are a whole lot of herbs NOT ON THE LIST below. Those are ones you'll need to look up yourself, for safety's sake, IF you insist on using them. ough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for rue. Keep in mind that 'natural' products are not always necessarily safe, both potency and quality are often inconsistent, even with products from the same company... depending upon their internal testing, and quality control measures. This is even more important if there are dangers involved. Be sure to follow the directions on product labels, and consult your pharmacist or physician before using any and all MEDICINAL PRODUCTS (including herbs), and particularly if you have digestive, kidney, liver, hormone, heart, or other chronic health issues.

  •     Aloe Vera (avoid internal consumption if you are pregnant, or have blood sugar or digestive issues, generally safe for topical use) ~ Aloe -- either gel or latex -- is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth. There is a report that aloe was associated with miscarriage. It could also be a risk for birth defects. Do not take aloe by mouth if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.  Children: Aloe gel is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin appropriately. Aloe latex and aloe whole leaf extracts are POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in children. Children younger than 12 years-old might have stomach pain, cramps, and diarrhea.  Diabetes: Some research suggests that aloe might lower blood sugar. If you take aloe by mouth and you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels closely. Intestinal conditions such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, or obstruction: Do not take aloe latex if you have any of these conditions. Aloe latex is a bowel irritant. Remember, products made from whole aloe leaves will contain some aloe latex. Hemorrhoids: Do not take aloe latex if you have hemorrhoids. It could make the condition worse.  Kidney problems: High doses of aloe latex have been linked to kidney failure and other serious conditions.  Surgery: Aloe might affect blood sugar levels and could interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking aloe at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery. 
  •     Agrimony ~ POSSIBLY UNSAFE during pregnancy because it might affect the menstrual cycle.  There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking agrimony if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.  Diabetes: Agrimony might lower blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should monitor their blood glucose levels closely. If you have diabetes, it’s best to check with your healthcare provider before starting agrimony.  Surgery: Agrimony might affect blood sugar levels, so there is a concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using agrimony at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery. 
  •     Agave ~ Taking agave by mouth during pregnancy is LIKELY UNSAFE. There is some evidence that agave might stimulate the uterus and cause contractions. Also, pulque,, an agave beverage, is unsafe to use during pregnancy because it contains alcohol. 
  •     Arnica ~ Amounts that are larger than the amount found in food are LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth. In fact, arnica is considered poisonous and has caused death. When taken by mouth it can also cause irritation of the mouth and throat, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes, shortness of breath, a fast heartbeat, an increase in blood pressure, heart damage, organ failure, increased bleeding, coma, and death.  Arnica is often listed as an ingredient in homeopathic products. Special Precautions & Warnings during Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Don't take arnica by mouth or apply to the skin if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. It is considered LIKELY UNSAFE. Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Arnica may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, marigolds, daisies, chrysanthemums, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before applying it to your skin. Do not take arnica by mouth. Broken skin: Don't apply arnica to damaged or broken skin. Too much could be absorbed. Digestion problems: Arnica can irritate the digestive system. Don't take it if you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcers, Crohn's disease, or other stomach or intestinal conditions. Fast heart rate: Arnica might increase your heart rate. High blood pressure: Arnica might increase blood pressure. Surgery: Arnica might cause extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using it at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  •     Angelica ~ There isn’t enough information to know if angelica is safe when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts.  Angelica root seems to be safe for most adults when used as a cream, short-term. If you take angelica, wear sunblock outside, especially if you are light-skinned. Angelica might make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.  Special Precautions & Warnings: Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Angelica may not be safe when taken by mouth during pregnancy. It’s suggested that angelica can cause uterine contractions, and this could threaten the pregnancy.
  •     Autumn Crocus ~ Autumn crocus is UNSAFE. It is considered a poison, and can cause burning of the mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea, liver and kidney problems, blood disorders, nerve problems, shock, organ failure, and death. There have been reports of poisoning when autumn crocus bulbs were mistaken for onions and eaten.  If you have gout or familial Mediterranean fever, it is much safer to use colchicine prescribed by your healthcare provider. Prescription colchicine contains a set amount of medicine. The amount of colchicine in autumn crocus can vary from plant to plant. Special Precautions & Warnings: It’s UNSAFE for anyone to use autumn crocus.
  •     Balm of Gilead ( Other Names:  Cataire, Catmint, Catnep, Catnip, Catswort, Chataire, Field Balm, Herbe aux Chats, Hierba Gatera, Menta de Gato, Menthe des Chats, Nepeta cataria) ~ Pregnancy and breast-feeding: some evidence that catnip can stimulate the uterus. This might cause a miscarriage.   Women with PID (Pelvic inflammatory disease) should avoid using catnip because it can start menstruation.  Because catnip can cause menstruation, it might make heavy menstrual periods worse.  Surgery: Catnip seems to be able to slow down the central nervous system (CNS), causing sleepiness and other effects. Anesthesia and some other drugs used during and after surgery also slow down the CNS. There is a concern that using catnip along with these drugs might slow down the CNS too much. Stop using catnip at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  •     Barberry ~ Pregnancy and breast-feeding: The berberine in European barberry can pass from a mother’s body into her unborn child through the placenta. Brain damage has developed in newborns exposed to berberine. Similarly, berberine, as well as other harmful chemicals in European barberry, can be transferred to an infant through breast milk, and might cause brain damage.  Bleeding disorder: Bbarberry contains a chemical called berberine. Berberine might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding, Diabetes: Berberine might lower blood sugar levels. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Low blood pressure: Berberine might lower blood pressure. Surgery: Berberine might prolong bleeding, slow down the nervous system, and interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking European barberry at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery. 
  •     Beth Root ~ Beth root might be UNSAFE to take by mouth. It can cause irritation of the stomach and intestines, and vomiting.  There have been some reports of skin irritation when applied topically.  Special Precautions & Warnings: Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s UNSAFE to use beth root during pregnancy. It might start menstruation or cause the uterus to contract. These effects could cause a miscarriage.  Heart conditions: Beth root contains a chemical that might make heart conditions worse. Don’t use beth root if you have heart problems.
  •     Blessed Thistle ~ Don’t take blessed thistle if you have Intestinal problems, or any infections, Crohn's disease, and other inflammatory conditions: It might irritate the stomach and intestines.
  •     Blood root ~ can cause low blood pressure, shock, coma, and an eye disease called glaucoma. Also, bloodroot is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used as a toothpaste and mouthwash. It may increase the risk of developing white patches on the inside of the mouth.  Bloodroot can irritate the digestive tract, Stomach or intestinal problems such as infections, Crohn's disease, or other inflammatory conditions. If you have glaucoma, don’t use bloodroot unless a healthcare professional recommends it and monitors your eye health. 
  •     Butternut ~ Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s UNSAFE to use if you are pregnant. It might stimulate the bowels too much. Avoid use.
  •     Broom (Corn, Butchers, Byers, Scotch, Spanish) ~ used to “detoxify” blood, cause vomiting, or cleanse the bowels.
  •     Calendula ~ There is a concern that it might cause a miscarriage. Surgery: Calendula might cause too much drowsiness if combined with medications used during and after surgery. Stop taking calendula at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  •     Chaste tree ~ (TEA TREE OIL, CAJEPUT OIL, FRINGETREE, GUARUMO, NEEM OIL, OAK MOSS, STEREOSPERMUM, TREE OF HEAVEN, VITEX AGNUS-CASTUS) ~ LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth. Don't take oils by mouth. As a general rule never take undiluted essential oils by mouth due to the possibility of serious side effects. Taking oils by mouth has caused confusion, inability to walk, unsteadiness, and coma. Different parts, in different potencies, under proper supervision and safety, may do some positive things; however, misuse can be very dangerous, and even life threatening. Neem is used for birth control and to cause abortions.
  •     Cohosh (Black, blue, red, and white) ~ White cohosh is UNSAFE. All parts of the plant are poisonous. It can cause stomach problems, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, headache, heart and blood circulation problems, and delirium. ALL PARTS of the white cohosh plant are poisonous!  As for black, blue, and red....cohosh, they have their differences, which you should specifically look up, but in general - they are used for stimulating the uterus and starting labor; starting menstruation, vaginal spotting or bleeding, and weight gain. There is also some concern that black cohosh may be associated with liver damage. Cohosh (all bolors) acts somewhat like a female hormone it might increase the risk of miscarriage. Cohosh might worsen existing breast cancer. Hormone-sensitive conditions, including endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and others: Kidney transplant: Taking a product containing black cohosh plus alfalfa has been linked to a report of kidney transplant rejection. Protein S deficiency: People with a condition called protein S deficiency have an increased risk of blood clots.  Cohosh is LIKELY UNSAFE for adults when taken by mouth. It can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, chest pain, increased blood pressure, increased blood sugar, and other severe side effects. Some of the chemicals in blue cohosh can cause birth defects. When taken by the mother late in pregnancy, cohosh can cause severe heart problems in the newborn baby. It can also be toxic to the mother. Many midwives still use cohosh to make childbirth easier, because cohosh causes the uterus to contract. But this is a dangerous practice, and it should be avoided. It is concern that cohosh might worsen some heart conditions. These conditions include chest pain (angina) and high blood pressure. Cohosh might cause blood vessels in the heart to become smaller and decrease oxygen flow to the heart. It might also increase blood pressure and cause rapid heartbeat. Don't use cohosh if you have a heart condition. Diabetes: There is some concern that cohosh might make diabetes worse. It can raise blood sugar levels in some people who have diabetes. Diarrhea:  might make diarrhea symptoms worse. Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Cohosh might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don't use cohosh.
  •     Comfrey ~ LIKELY UNSAFE for anyone when taken by mouth. It contains chemicals (pyrrolizidine alkaloids, PAs) that can cause liver damage, lung damage, and cancer. The FDA has recommended removal of oral comfrey products from the market. Special Precautions & Warnings: Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Comfrey is LIKELY UNSAFE to take by mouth or apply to the skin if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. In addition to causing liver damage and possibly cancer, the PAs in comfrey might also cause birth defects. Even topical use is unwise, since the PAs can be absorbed through the skin. Don’t apply comfrey to broken or damaged skin. Doing so might expose you to large amounts of the chemicals in comfrey that can cause liver damage and other serious health effects. Don’t use comfrey if you have any problems with your liver. Comfrey is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when applied to unbroken skin in small amounts for less than 10 days. It’s important to remember that the poisonous chemicals in comfrey can pass through the skin. absorption of these chemicals increases if the skin is broken or if large amounts are applied. 
  •     Cotton Root ~ (ALETRIS, BLACK ROOT, CANADIAN HEMP, COLOMBO, COTTON, LAVENDER COTTON  OSHA, PLEURISY ROOT, QUEEN'S DELIGHT, SUMBUL) ~ Men using cotton for birth control should understand that it might cause irreversible sterility. Pleurisy root is POSSIBLY UNSAFE because it contains a powerful chemical that is similar to the prescription drug digoxin (Lanoxin). It might cause serious heart problems. Pleurisy root also can cause side effects such as nausea and vomiting, and skin rash.  It’s UNSAFE to use pleurisy root if you are pregnant. Pleurisy root can stimulate the uterus and it can also act like the hormone estrogen. These effects can endanger the pregnancy.  avoid using aletris if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.  Stomach or intestinal (gastrointestinal, GI) problems: Aletris can irritate the GI tract. Do not use it if you have stomach or intestinal problems.
  •     Devil’s Claw ~ (CAT'S CLAW, CAT'S FOOT, CLUB MOSS, CORAL ROOT, DELPHINIUM, FIGWORT) ~  About 8% of the people participating in one research study developed diarrhea. Other possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, headaches, ringing in the ears, loss of appetite, and loss of taste. It can also cause allergic skin reactions, menstrual problems, and changes in blood pressure. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Devil's claw has a long history as one of the 'abortion drugs' because it can cause uterine contractions, and other problems. It can affect heart rate, heartbeat, and blood pressure. Diabetes: Devil's claw might lower blood sugar levels. Using it along with medications that lower blood sugar might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor blood glucose levels closely. Gallstones: it increase bile production. This could be a problem for people with gallstones. Avoid using devil's claw.  Peptic ulcer disease (PUD): Since devil's claw might increase the production of stomach acids This might further harm people with stomach ulcers..
  •     Dong quai ~ can cause skin to become extra-sensitive to the sun. This might put you at greater risk for sunburn and skin cancer, also contains chemicals that may cause cancer.  Taking dong quai by mouth during pregnancy affects the muscles of the uterus. Do not use dong quai if you are pregnant. Bleeding disorders. slows blood clotting and increase the chance of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders. Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Dong quai might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by estrogen, don't use dong quai.  Protein S deficiency: People with protein S deficiency have an increased risk of blood clots. Surgery: can slow blood clotting. It might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking dong quai at least 2 weeks before surgery.
  •     Ephedra or Ma Huang ~ (BABASSU,BAIKAL, SKULLCAP, EPHEDRA, MANNA, MARJORAM, MORMON TEA, OREGANO, OREGON GRAPE, SALEP, TANGERINE) ~ Ephedra can cause severe life-threatening or disabling conditions in some people. Ephedra use is linked to high blood pressure, heart attacks, muscle disorders, seizures, strokes, irregular heartbeat, loss of consciousness, and death. Doses greater than 32 mg per day might more than triple the risk for bleeding within the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). The risk for serious side effects seems to be greater than any potential benefit. Ephedra is banned in the U.S. 
  •     Elecampane ~ Diabetes: There is some concern that elecampane may interfere with blood sugar control. Affects the central nervous system and can cause sleepiness. There is a concern that it might cause too much sleepiness if combined with anesthesia and other medications used during and after surgery. Stop using elecampane at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  •     Feverfew ~ Chewing unprocessed feverfew leaves can cause mouth sores; swelling of the mouth, tongue, and lips; and loss of taste. There is concern that it might cause early contractions and miscarriage. Don't use feverfew if you are pregnant. Slows blood clotting. 
  •     Ginseng ~ One of the chemicals in Panax ginseng, a plant related to American ginseng, has been linked to possible birth defects. Do not take ginseng if you are pregnant (or trying to get pregnant). Ginseng might lower blood sugar. In people with diabetes who are taking medications to lower blood sugar, adding American ginseng might lower it too much. Monitor your blood sugar closely. High doses of ginseng have been linked with sleep problems and agitation in people with schizophrenia. Stop taking American ginseng at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  •     Gentian ~ Low blood pressure: There is a concern that using gentian might make low pressure worse or interfere with drug treatment to increase blood pressure.  Surgery: Because gentian might affect blood pressure, there is a concern that it might interfere with blood pressure control during and after surgery. Stop using gentian at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  •     Ginkgo ~  It might cause early labor or extra bleeding during delivery if used near that time. Might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding. Ginkgo thins the blood and decreases its ability to form clots. A few people taking ginkgo have had bleeding into the eye and into the brain, and excessive bleeding following surgery. Diabetes: Ginkgo might interfere with the management of diabetes. Seizures: There is a concern that ginkgo might cause seizures. Infertility: Ginkgo use might interfere with getting pregnant.
  •     Goldenseal ~ is NOT effective for its most famous use, masking illegal drugs in the urine, despite rumors to the contrary, goldenseal won’t cause false-negative results for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines or numerous other illegal drugs. A hazardous chemical in goldenseal can cross the placenta and can also find its way into breast milk. Brain damage (kernicterus) has developed in newborn infants exposed to goldenseal. Do not use goldenseal during pregnancy or breast-feeding.
  •     Gotu Kola ~ Liver disease: There is concern that gotu kola might cause liver damage. People who already have a liver disease such as hepatitis should avoid using gotu kola. It might make liver problems worse.  Surgery: Gotu kola might cause too much sleepiness if combined with medications used during and after surgery. Stop using gotu kola at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery. 
  •     Gravel root ~   contains chemicals called hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), which may block blood flow in the veins and cause liver damage. Hepatotoxic PAs might also cause cancer and birth defects. Gravel root preparations that are not certified and labeled “hepatotoxic PA-free” are considered LIKELY UNSAFE.
  •     Guarana ~ Doses greater than 250-300 mg daily have been linked to side effects.  At typical doses, the caffeine in guarana can cause insomnia, nervousness and restlessness, stomach irritation, nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate and blood pressure, rapid breathing, tremors, delirium, diuresis, and other side effects. Large guarana doses might cause headache, anxiety, agitation, ringing in the ears, pain when urinating, stomach cramps, and irregular heartbeats. People who take guarana regularly may experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms if they reduce their usual amount.  Guarana is LIKELY UNSAFE and even deadly, due to its caffeine content, when taken by mouth or injected in very high doses. Consuming more than 200 mg has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage and other negative effects. Guarana may affect the way people with diabetes process sugar (glucose) and may complicate blood sugar control. Might increase the risk of seizures and reduce the benefits of many medications used to control seizures. If you have seizures, talk to your healthcare provider before using guarana.  Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Guarana can worsen diarrhea and might worsen symptoms of IBS.  Heart disease: might cause irregular heartbeat in certain people. Use with caution. High blood pressure: Taking guarana might raise blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. However, this effect might be less in people who are regular coffee-drinkers or otherwise use caffeine on a regular basis.  Glaucoma: guarana increases the pressure inside the eye. The increase occurs within 30 minutes and lasts for at least 90 minutes after. Bladder control problems (Incontinence): Guarana might reduce bladder control, especially in older women. Osteoporosis: Guarana can flush calcium out of the body through the kidneys. This calcium loss might help to weaken bones. To minimize this problem, don't use more than 300 mg of caffeine per day. Taking calcium supplements may also help to offset these calcium losses. Postmenopausal women who have a genetic problem that affects how vitamin D is used by the body should use caffeine with caution. Schizophrenia: Guarana might make some symptoms of schizophrenia worse. If you have schizophrenia, use guarana cautiously. 
  •    Hawthorn ~ Hawthorn can interact with many prescription drugs used to treat heart disease. If you have a heart condition, don’t use hawthorn without the recommendation of your healthcare provider. 
  •     Honeysuckle ~ Surgery: Honeysuckle might slow blood clotting, so there is concern that it might increase the risk of extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using honeysuckle at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  •     Hops ~ Hormone sensitive cancers and conditions: Some chemicals in hops act like estrogen. People who have conditions that are sensitive to hormones should avoid hops. Some of these conditions including breast cancer and endometriosis. Surgery: Hops might cause too much sleepiness when combined with anesthesia and other medications during and after surgical procedures. Stop taking hops at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  •     Horse chestnut ~ Raw horse chestnut seed, bark, flower, and leaf are UNSAFE and can even cause death when taken by mouth by adults or children. Horse chestnut might lower blood sugar. Might slow blood clotting. Surgery: Horse chestnut might slot blood clotting. Horse chestnut might increase the risk of bleeding if used before surgery. People using horse chestnut should stop at least 2 weeks before surgery.
  •     Horseradish ~ LIKELY UNSAFE when used regularly or in large amounts because it might cause a miscarriage. Stomach or intestinal ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, infections or other digestive tract conditions: Horseradish can irritate the digestive tract. Don’t use horseradish if you have any of these conditions. Underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism): There is concern that using horseradish might make this condition worse. Kidney problems: There is concern that horseradish might increase urine flow. This could be a problem for people with kidney disorders. Avoid using horseradish if you have kidney problems.
  •     Horsetail ~ Horsetail might flush potassium out of the body, possibly leading to potassium levels that are too low. There is a concern that horsetail could make thiamine deficiency worse.
  •     Hydrangea ~ POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth for only a few days. Side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and chest tightness. It’s LIKELY UNSAFE to use more than 2 grams of dried hydrangea rhizome/root at a time. It is also LIKELY UNSAFE to use hydrangea for long period of time.
  •     Hyssop ~ do not use the oil product because it has caused seizures in some people. Special Precautions & Warnings: Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is UNSAFE to use hyssop during pregnancy because it might cause the uterus to contract or start menstruation. These effects could lead to a miscarriage.
  •     Ipecac ~ It can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach irritation, dizziness, low blood pressure, shortness of breath, and a fast heartbeat.  Ipecac is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth long-term or in large amounts, as well as when injected at a dose of more than 1 gram. Misuse of ipecac can lead to serious poisoning, heart damage, and death. Signs of poisoning include difficulty breathing, digestive tract problems, abnormal heart rates, blood in the urine, convulsions, shock, coma, and death. 
  •     Juniper ~ Taking juniper by mouth long-term or in a high dose is LIKELY UNSAFE as it can cause kidney problems, seizures, and other serious side effects.
  •     Kava ~ Kava is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth. Don't use it. Serious illness, including liver damage, has occurred even with short-term use of normal doses. The use of kava for as little as one to three months has resulted in the need for liver transplants, and even death. Early symptoms of liver damage include yellowed eyes and skin (jaundice), fatigue, and dark urine. If you decide to take kava, despite warnings to the contrary, be sure to get frequent liver function tests.  Using kava can make you unable to drive or operate machinery safely. Do not take kava before you plan on driving. "Driving-under-the-influence" citations have been issued to people driving erratically after drinking large amounts of kava tea. 
  •     Kola nut (aka Cola nut) ~ When cola nut is used in larger amounts or for a long period of time, it is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Chewing cola nut is associated with an increased risk of mouth cancer and gastrointestinal cancer. Also, due to its caffeine content, large amounts of cola nut might cause headache, anxiety, agitation, ringing in the ears, and irregular heartbeats. Stopping the use of caffeine suddenly can sometimes result in headaches, irritation, nervousness, anxiety, and dizziness. Taking cola nut by mouth in very large doses is LIKELY UNSAFE due to its caffeine content. Very high doses of caffeine can cause death. The fatal dose is estimated to be about 10-14 grams; that’s 150-200 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight.
  •     Licorice root ~ Licorice is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in larger amounts for medicinal purposes and when applied to the skin for a short amount of time. However, it is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts for more than 4 weeks or in smaller amounts long-term. Consuming licorice daily for several weeks or longer can cause severe side effects including high blood pressure, low potassium levels, weakness, paralysis, and occasionally brain damage in otherwise healthy people. In people who eat a lot of salt or have heart disease, kidney disease, or high blood pressure, as little as 5 grams per day can cause these problems.  Other side effects of licorice use include tiredness, absence of a menstrual period in women, headache, water and sodium retention, and decreased sexual interest and function in men.  People who chew tobacco flavored with licorice might develop high blood pressure and other serious side effects.
  •     Lemon balm (may be consumed in small quantities) ~ Lemon balm is LIKELY SAFE when used in food amounts. It's POSSIBLY SAFE in adults when taken by mouth or applied to the skin in medicinal amounts, short-term. It's been used safely in research for up to 4 months. Not enough is known about the safety of lemon balm when used long-term. When taken by mouth, lemon balm can cause some side effects including increased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, and wheezing.  When applied to the skin, lemon balm may cause skin irritation and increased cold sore symptoms.
  •     Lily of the Valley ~ Lily-of-the-valley might be safe for most people when used under proper medical supervision. But, it is UNSAFE when used for self-medication. Since lily-of-the-valley can affect the heart and other systems, the dose must be carefully chosen and side effects checked by a healthcare professional. If you swallow lily-of-the-valley accidentally, get medical treatment right away. Lily-of-the-valley can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, abnormal heart rhythm, headache, decreased consciousness and responsiveness, and visual color disturbances. 
  •     Lobelia ~ Lobelia is considered LIKELY UNSAFE for most people when taken by mouth. Side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, dizziness, tremors, and more serious effects.  Overdose may cause many serious toxic effects including sweating, convulsions, fast heartbeat, very low blood pressure, collapse, coma, and possibly death. Taking 0.6-1 gram of the leaf is said to be toxic, and 4 grams may be fatal.  Not enough is known about the safety of applying lobelia to the skin.
  •     Lovage ~ Lovage is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people. It might increase sensitivity to the sun, especially with long-term use. This might put you at greater risk for rashes from the sun, sunburns, and skin cancer. Wear sunblock and protective clothing outside, especially if you are light-skinned. Special Precautions & Warnings: Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Lovage is LIKELY UNSAFE during pregnancy. There are some reports that it might cause the uterus to contract or start the menstrual period. This could cause a miscarriage.
  •     Mistletoe ~ American mistletoe can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased heart rate, hallucinations, and heart problems in some people. Also, one of the chemicals in American mistletoe seems to be similar to poisons in cobra venom. This chemical can cause “cardiac arrest,” a condition in which the heart suddenly stops beating.
  •     Mandrake ~ European mandrake is POSSIBLY UNSAFE and should be avoided. It can cause many side effects, including confusion, drowsiness, dry mouth, heart problems, vision problems, overheating, problems with urination, and hallucinations. Large doses can be fatal. Special Precautions & Warnings:  It is UNSAFE for anyone to use European mandrake, but people with the following conditions are especially likely to experience harmful side effects. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Don’t take European mandrake by mouth if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. It can cause serious or even fatal side effects.
  •     Mate (occasional use okay) ~ Yerba mate is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people, when taken by mouth for short periods of time. It contains caffeine, which can cause some side effects such as inability to sleep (insomnia), nervousness and restlessness, stomach upset, nausea and vomiting, increased heart rate and breathing, high blood pressure, headache, ringing in the ears, irregular heartbeats, and other side effects.  When taken in large amounts or for long periods of time, yerba mate is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. It increases the risk of mouth, esophageal, laryngeal, kidney, bladder, and lung cancer. This risk is especially high for people who smoke or drink alcohol.  When taken in very large amounts, yerba mate is LIKELY UNSAFE, due to its caffeine content.
  •     Motherwort (small quantities okay) ~ Motherwort is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth appropriately. Side effects include diarrhea, stomach irritation, uterine bleeding, sleepiness, and allergic reactions. Contact with the skin can cause rashes and increased sensitivity to the sun. Special Precautions & Warnings: Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking motherwort by mouth during pregnancy is LIKELY UNSAFE and should be avoided. Motherwort can stimulate the uterus and might cause a miscarriage.
  •     Mugwort ~ Special Precautions & Warnings: Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s LIKELY UNSAFE to use mugwort if you are pregnant. Mugwort might cause a miscarriage because it can start menstruation and also cause the uterus to contract.
  •     Myrrh ~ Myrrh seems safe for most people when used in small amounts. It can cause some side effects such as skin rash if applied directly to the skin, and diarrhea if taken by mouth.  Large doses may be UNSAFE. Amounts greater than 2-4 grams can cause kidney irritation and heart rate changes. Special Precautions & Warnings: Taking myrrh by mouth during pregnancy is UNSAFE and should be avoided. Myrrh can stimulate the uterus and might cause a miscarriage. It’s best to avoid this use. Diabetes: Myrrh might lower blood sugar. There is a concern that if it is used along with medications that lower blood sugar, blood sugar might drop too low. If you use myrrh as well as medications for diabetes, monitor your blood sugar carefully.  Fever: Myrrh might make a fever worse. Use with caution. Heart problems: Large amounts of myrrh can affect heart rate. If you have a heart condition, get your healthcare provider’s advice before starting myrrh.  Surgery: Since myrrh might affect blood glucose levels, there is a concern that it might interfere with blood glucose control during and after surgery. Stop using myrrh at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.  Systemic inflammation: If you have systemic inflammation, use myrrh with caution, since it might make this condition worse. Uterine bleeding: Myrrh seems to be able to stimulate uterine bleeding, which is why some women use it to start their menstrual periods. If you have a uterine bleeding condition, use myrrh with caution, since it might make this condition worse.
  •     NEEM ~ might cause the immune system to become more active. This could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions. If you have one of these conditions, it’s best to avoid using neem. Diabetes: There is some evidence that neem can lower blood sugar levels and might cause blood sugar to go too low. If you have diabetes and use neem, monitor your blood sugar carefully. It might be necessary to change the dose of your diabetes medication. Reduced ability to have children (infertility): There is some evidence that neem can harm sperm. It might also reduce fertility in other ways. Organ transplant: There is a concern that neem might decrease the effectiveness of medications that are used to prevent organ rejection. Do not use neem if you have had an organ transplant. Surgery: Neem might lower blood sugar levels. There is a concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using neem at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery. 
  •     Nutmeg (may be consumed in small quantities) ~ Long-term use of nutmeg in doses of 120 mg or more daily has been linked to hallucinations and other mental side effects. People who have taken larger doses of nutmeg have experienced nausea, dry mouth, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, agitation and hallucinations. Other serious side effects have included death. In pregnant women, they may cause miscarriages or birth defects.
  •     Osha ~ Special Precautions & Warnings: Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s UNSAFE to take osha if you are pregnant. It might start menstruation, and this might cause a miscarriage. Avoid use.
  •     Oregon Grape ~ Special Precautions & Warnings: Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s LIKELY UNSAFE to use Oregon grape if you are pregnant. One of the chemicals in Oregon grape, berberine, may cross the placenta and might cause harm to the fetus. Brain damage (kernicterus) has been reported in newborn infants exposed to berberine. Berberine can also be transferred to the infant through breast milk. It’s also LIKELY UNSAFE to use Oregon grape if you are breast-feeding due to the berberine in Oregon grape.  It’s LIKELY UNSAFE to give Oregon grape to children, especially newborns. The berberine in Oregon grape can cause brain damage (kernicterus) in newborns, particularly premature newborns who have jaundice. Jaundice is a condition in which there is yellowing of the eyes and skin caused by bile pigments in the blood. It can happen in newborns who have a different blood type than their mother.
  •     Parsley (small quantities okay) ~ Consuming very large amounts of parsley is LIKELY UNSAFE, as this can cause other side effects like “tired blood” (anemia) and liver or kidney problems.
  •     Passion Flower ~ POSSIBLY SAFE when taken short-term (less than two months) as medicine or tea. It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large amounts. Passionflower can cause some side effects such as dizziness, confusion, irregular muscle action and coordination, altered consciousness, and inflamed blood vessels. There has also been a report of nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, a rapid heart rate, and abnormal heart rhythm.  Special Precautions & Warnings: Don’t take passionflower if you are pregnant. It is UNSAFE. There are some chemicals in passionflower that might cause the uterus to contract. Not enough is known about the safety of taking passionflower during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and don’t use it.  Surgery: Passionflower can affect the central nervous system. It might increase the effects of anesthesia and other medications on the brain during and after surgery. Stop taking passionflower at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  •     Pennyroyal ~ Pennyroyal oil is LIKELY UNSAFE. It can cause serious liver and kidney damage, as well as nervous system damage. Other side effects include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, burning of the throat, fever, confusion, restlessness, seizures, dizziness, vision and hearing problems, high blood pressure, abortion, lung failure, and brain damage. Repeated use of an alcoholic pennyroyal leaf extract over a period of 2 weeks has been linked to a death. Not enough is known about the safety of using pennyroyal leaf as a tea. Special Precautions & Warnings: Pennyroyal is especially unsafe for children and people with the following conditions.  Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is some evidence that pennyroyal oil can cause abortions by causing the uterus to contract. But the dose needed for this effect could kill the mother or cause her life-long kidney and liver damage.  Pennyroyal leaf tea seems to be able to start menstruation, which could also threaten a pregnancy. Children: It is LIKELY UNSAFE. Two infants developed serious liver and nervous system injuries after taking pennyroyal, and one infant died.  Kidney disease: The oil in pennyroyal can irritate the kidney and make existing kidney disease worse.  Liver disease: The oil in pennyroyal can cause liver damage and might make existing liver disease worse.
  •     Periwinkle ~ Periwinkle is UNSAFE. It can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and other stomach and intestinal symptoms. It can also cause nerve, kidney, and liver damage. Large amounts can cause very low blood pressure. Special Precautions & Warnings:  Periwinkle is UNSAFE for anyone to use, but people with certain conditions are especially at risk for harmful side effects.  Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Periwinkle is UNSAFE. Don’t use it.  Constipation: Periwinkle has a drying effect on tissues. This means it can make constipation worse. Don’t use it.  Low blood pressure: Periwinkle can lower blood pressure. If you already have low blood pressure, using periwinkle can make it drop too low. Don’t use it.  Surgery: Periwinkle can lower blood pressure. There is a concern that it might interfere with blood pressure control during and after surgery. Stop using periwinkle at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  •     Poke weed ~ is UNSAFE to use. All parts of the pokeweed plant, especially the root, are poisonous. Severe poisoning has been reported from drinking tea brewed from pokeweed root and pokeweed leaves. Poisoning also has resulted from drinking pokeberry wine and eating pokeberry pancakes. Eating just 10 berries can be toxic to an adult. Green berries seem to be more poisonous than mature, red berries.  Pokeweed can cause nausea, vomiting, cramping, stomach pain, diarrhea, low blood pressure, difficulty controlling urination (incontinence), thirst, and other serious side effects.  Don’t touch pokeweed with your bare hands. Chemicals in the plant can pass though the skin and affect the blood. If you must handle pokeweed, use protective gloves.  Special Precautions & Warnings:  Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Pokeweed is UNSAFE for anyone to use, but pregnant women have extra reasons not to take it by mouth or apply it to the skin. Pokeweed berry might cause the uterus to contract and cause a miscarriage. Breast-feeding women should avoid pokeweed, too. Children: Pokeweed is UNSAFE for children. Even one berry can be poisonous to a child.
  •     Queen of the meadow (aka Queens Delight) ~ . It contains chemicals that might cause cancer. It might also activate viruses harbored in the body.  Queen’s delight is very irritating and can cause swelling wherever it comes in contact with the body such as the skin, mouth, throat, and digestive tract. It can also cause vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. In large amounts, queen’s delight may cause a burning sensation of the mouth and throat, painful urination, aches and pains, itching, rash, cough, depression, fatigue, and sweating. Special Precautions & Warnings: It’s UNSAFE to take queen’s delight by mouth if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, especially if you are using fresh root instead of dried root. It’s also UNSAFE to apply queen’s delight directly to the skin. Stomach and intestinal (gastrointestinal, GI) conditions: Don’t use queen’s delight if you have GI irritation or swelling (inflammation), nausea, or vomiting.
  •     Ragwort ~ There’s a lot of concern about using alpine ragwort as medicine, because it contains chemicals called hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), which may block blood flow in the veins and cause liver damage. Hepatotoxic PAs might also cause cancer and birth defects. Alpine ragwort preparations that are not certified and labeled “hepatotoxic PA-free” are considered UNSAFE. It’s also UNSAFE to apply alpine ragwort to broken skin. The dangerous chemicals in alpine ragwort can be absorbed quickly through broken skin and can lead to dangerous body-wide toxicity. Products containing it might cause birth defects and liver damage.  The chemicals can pass into breast-milk and might harm the nursing infant.  Alpine ragwort may cause an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking alpine ragwort.  Liver disease: There is concern that the hepatotoxic PAs in alpine ragwort might make liver disease worse. Stay on the safe side and avoid using any alpine ragwort preparation if you have liver disease. 
  •     Rhubarb ~ POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts for up to 3 months. Rhubarb can cause some side effects such as stomach and intestinal pain, watery diarrhea, and uterine contractions. Long-term use can result in muscular weakness, bone loss, potassium loss, and irregular heart rhythm.  There is a report of kidney failure in someone who took a product containing rhubarb. Special Precautions & Warnings:  There is one report of a 4-year-old who ate rhubarb leaves and died. Rhubarb leaves contain a lot of oxalic acid, which can be deadly if taken in large enough doses. Because of their small size, children are at highest risk for oxalic poisoning after eating rhubarb leaves.  Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Rhubarb is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used in amounts greater than those found in foods.  Diarrhea or constipation: Rhubarb can make diarrhea or constipation worse, depending on the preparation used.  Gastrointestinal (GI) conditions: Don't take rhubarb if you have a bowel obstruction; appendicitis; unexplained stomach pain; or inflammatory conditions of the intestines including Crohn's disease, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).  Kidney disease: There is a chemical in rhubarb that might harm the kidneys. In fact, a supplement that contained rhubarb has been linked to one report of kidney failure. If you already have kidney disease, don't risk making it worse by taking rhubarb.  Kidney stones: Rhubarb contains a chemical that the body can convert into kidney stones. If you have ever had kidney stones, don't take rhubarb.  Liver problems: Rhubarb can make liver function worse in people who already have liver problems. People who have liver problems should avoid rhubarb.
  •     Red Clover ~ Red clover acts like estrogen and might disturb important hormone balances during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Don’t use it. Bleeding disorders: Red clover might increase the chance of bleeding. Avoid large amounts and use with caution.  Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Red clover might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don’t use red clover. Protein S deficiency: People with protein S deficiency have an increased risk of forming blood clots. There is some concern that red clover might increase the risk of clot formation in these people because it has some of the effects of estrogen. Don’t use red clover if you have protein S deficiency.  Surgery: Red clover might slow blood clotting. It might increase the chance of extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking red clover at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.  
  •     Rosemary ~ Rosemary is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts. Rosemary might stimulate menstruation or affect the uterus, causing a miscarriage. Not enough is known about the safety of applying rosemary to the skin during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, it’s best to avoid rosemary in amounts larger than food amounts.  Aspirin allergy. Rosemary contains a chemical that is very similar to aspirin. This chemical, known a as salicylate, may cause a reaction in people who are allergic to aspirin.  Rosemary might increase the risk of bleeding and bruising in people with bleeding disorders. Use cautiously.  Rosemary might make seizure disorders worse. Don’t use it.
  •     Roman Chamomile ~ Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Roman chamomile is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts during pregnancy. Roman chamomile is believed to cause miscarriages. Not enough is known about the safety of applying it to the skin during pregnancy. Avoid using Roman chamomile if you are pregnant.
  •     Rue ~ It is UNSAFE when used as a medicine. When taken by mouth, it can cause side effects such as stomach irritation, changes in mood, sleep problems, dizziness, spasms, serious kidney and liver damage, and death. When applied to the skin, it can cause rash and increased sensitivity to the sun. Special Precautions & Warnings: It is UNSAFE for anyone to use rue in medicinal amounts, but people with the following conditions are especially likely to experience dangerous side effects. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is UNSAFE. Rue can cause uterine contractions, which can cause a miscarriage. That’s why rue is used to cause an abortion. But it also has serious effects for the mother. Some women who have tried using rue to cause an abortion have died. Stomach and intestinal (gastrointestinal, GI) problems: Rue can make existing GI problems worse. Rue can harm the kidney and irritate the urinary tract. Rue can make existing liver problems worse. If you have any liver disorder, you have an extra reason not use rue. 
  •     Saw Palmetto ~ LIKELY UNSAFE when used during pregnancy or breast-feeding. It acts like a hormone, and this could be dangerous to the pregnancy. Don’t use during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Saw palmetto might slow blood clotting. There is some concern that it might cause extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using saw palmetto at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  •     Sage ~ is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in high doses or for a long time. Some species of sage, such as common sage (Salvia officinalis), contain a chemical called thujone. Thujone can be poisonous if you get enough. This chemical can cause seizures and damage to the liver and nervous systems. The amount of thujone varies with the species of plant, the time of harvest, growing conditions, and other factors.  Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) might have the same effects as the female hormone estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, don’t use Spanish sage. Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) might increase blood pressure in some people with high blood pressure, while common sage (Salvia officinalis) might lower blood pressure in people with blood pressure that is already low.  
  •     Scotch Broom ~ It can cause heart and circulation problems. It might also cause side effects such as nausea and diarrhea. Poisoning can occur with doses greater than 30 grams of Scotch broom. Symptoms of poisoning include dizziness, headache, heartbeat changes, leg weakness, sweating, sleepiness, and widening of the pupils.
  •     Senna ~ POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth long-term or in high doses. Don't use senna for more than two weeks. Longer use can cause the bowels to stop functioning normally and might cause dependence on laxatives. Long-term use can also change the amount or balance of some chemicals in the blood (electrolytes) that can cause heart function disorders, muscle weakness, liver damage, and other harmful effects.  Special Precautions & Warnings:  Electrolyte disturbances, potassium deficiency: Overuse of senna can make these conditions worse. Senna should not be used in people with dehydration, diarrhea, or loose stools. It can make these conditions worse.  Senna should not be used by people with abdominal pain (either diagnosed or undiagnosed), intestinal blockage, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, appendicitis, stomach inflammation, anal prolapse, or hemorrhoids.  Heart disease: Senna can cause electrolyte disturbances and might make heart disease worse.
  •     Shepherd’s purse ~ It can cause drowsiness, changes in blood pressure, thyroid function changes, and heart palpitations. An overdose of shepherd's purse might cause paralysis, breathing difficulty, and death.  Special Precautions & Warnings: Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Shepherd's purse is UNSAFE when taken by mouth or applied to the skin during pregnancy. It might cause the uterus to contract or start menstruation, resulting in miscarriage.
  •     Stillingia (aka Queen's Delight) ~ It contains chemicals that might cause cancer. It might also activate viruses harbored in the body. Very irritating and can cause swelling wherever it comes in contact with the body such as the skin, mouth, throat, and digestive tract. It can also cause vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. In large amounts, May cause a burning sensation of the mouth and throat, painful urination, aches and pains, itching, rash, cough, depression, fatigue, and sweating. 
  •     Tansy ~  It contains a poisonous chemical called thujone. People have died after taking as little as 10 drops of tansy oil. Deaths have also been reported from prepared tansy teas or powdered forms. Short of death, tansy can cause restlessness, vomiting, severe diarrhea, stomach pain, dizziness, tremors, kidney or liver damage, bleeding, abortions in pregnant women, and seizures.
  •     Tea tree ~ LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth. Don't take tea tree oil by mouth. As a general rule never take undiluted essential oils by mouth due to the possibility of serious side effects. Taking tree tea oil by mouth has caused confusion, inability to walk, unsteadiness, rash, and coma.
  •     Thuja ~ An overdose of thuja can cause queasiness, vomiting, painful diarrhea, asthma, seizures, and death.  Thuja products can contain a chemical called thujone. Thujone can cause low blood pressure, asthma, seizures, and death.
  •     Thyme ~ Thyme is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken as medicine for short periods of time. It can cause digestive system upset.  Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Thyme might act like estrogen in the body.  Surgery: Thyme might slow blood clotting, so there is some concern that it might increase the risk of extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using thyme at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  •     Valerian ~ Valerian can cause some side effects such as headache, excitability, uneasiness, and even insomnia in some people. A few people feel sluggish in the morning after taking valerian, especially at higher doses. It’s best not to drive or operate dangerous machinery after taking valerian. The long-term safety of valerian is unknown. To avoid possible side effects when discontinuing valerian after long-term use, it's best to reduce the dose slowly over a week or two before stopping completely. Valerian slows down the central nervous system. Anesthesia and other medications used during surgery also affect the central nervous system. The combined effects might be harmful. Stop taking valerian at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  •     Vitex Agnus Castus (avoid high quantities) ~ Hormone-sensitive conditions such as endometriosis; uterine fibroids; or cancer of the breast, uterus, or ovaries: Vitex agnus-castus can affect hormones and might affect estrogen levels. Don't use vitex agnus-castus if you have a hormone-sensitive condition.  Parkinson's disease. Vitex agnus-castus contains chemicals that affect the brain. These chemicals affect the brain similarly to some medications used for Parkinson's disease. Therefore, vitex agnus-castus might affect therapy for Parkinson's disease.  Schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders. Vitex agnus-castus seems to affect a chemical in the brain called dopamine. Some medications for mental disorders help to decrease dopamine. Therefore, taking vitex agnus-castus might affect therapy for certain mental disorders.
  •     White Horehouse ~ taking white horehound by mouth in very large amounts is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Large amounts can cause vomiting.   It might start menstruation and could cause a miscarriage.  Might lower blood sugar. Taking white horehound along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. Can cause irregular heartbeat in people with heart problems. White horehound might lower blood sugar. This might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking white horehound at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery. 
  •     Wormwood ~ Wormwood is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in the amounts commonly found in food and beverages including bitters and vermouth, as long as these products are thujone-free. Wormwood that contains thujone is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when it is taken by mouth. Thujone can cause seizures, muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis), kidney failure, restlessness, difficulty sleeping, nightmares, vomiting, stomach cramps, dizziness, tremors, urine retention, thirst, numbness of arms and legs, paralysis, and death.  Wormwood contains thujone, which can cause seizures. There is concern that wormwood might make seizures more likely in people who are prone to them.
  •     Woodruff ~ Sweet woodruff can cause headaches, blackouts, and liver damage when used long-term.  Sweet woodruff contains certain chemicals that might slow blood clotting. This might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders. Surgery: Sweet woodruff contains certain chemicals that might slow blood clotting. It might cause extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using sweet woodruff at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  •     Wood Sorrell ~ is UNSAFE, especially when used when used in higher doses. Wood sorrel can cause diarrhea, nausea, increased urination, skin reactions, stomach and intestine irritation, eye damage, and kidney damage. Swelling of the mouth, tongue, and throat can make speaking and breathing difficult. Taking wood sorrel by mouth can lead to crystals forming in the blood and depositing in the kidneys, blood vessels, heart, lungs, and liver.  Special Precautions & Warnings:  While wood sorrel isn’t safe for anyone, some people are at even greater risk for serious side effects. It contains crystals made of oxalic acid that can damage the organs. One four-year old child died after eating rhubarb leaves, which also contain oxalic acid.  UNSAFE for both mothers and infants. Avoid use.  Blood-clotting (coagulation) problems: Chemicals in wood sorrel can make blood clot too fast.  Stomach or intestinal disorders: Wood sorrel can irritate the lining of the stomach and intestines and might make ulcers worse.  Can make existing kidney problems worse. 
  •     Yarrow ~ UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy as it can affect the menstrual cycle and might cause miscarriage. Taking yarrow might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders. Stop taking yarrow at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  •     Yucca ~ is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth short-term. It can cause side effects such as stomach upset, bitter taste, nausea, and vomiting.  However, with long term use, because yucca contains steroid saponins, which are chemicals related to steroids, they can actually cause a reversal or degradation in joint health with daily use for a prolonged period of time. They also decrease the immune respone, and steroids have been shown to slow the products of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) which are a major component of joint tissues. The main use of Yucca in animal feed has been to promote feed efficiency and growth, while lowering the amount of ammonia in the manure (so that it won't smell as bad). Science has proven that animals with daily prolonged use of Yucca have joints that appear to age much quicker. However, because these animals have a limited life expectancy, the results are ignored. For livestock, it probably doesn't matter... but for people, human joints, animals that are supposed to live longer then 2 or 3 years, it should absolutely matter!

More can be read about the 'ingredients commonly found in "Joint Supplements: The Good, Bad, and Useless" in the updated 2018 FREE Report you can sign up for at: www.jointsreport.com


All information in this article is for educational purposes only. Nothing herein is for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription, or cure of any disease or health condition. If you have medical concerns, please see a real licensed doctor, who can actually see you... run any necessary tests, and focus on your specific needs, symptom(s), and unique situation. 

© Copyright 2018, Terry Mercer - any other respective holders. All Rights Reserved