The Dangers of Taking St. John’s Wort Supplements

by Marie on 25/09/2015

Dangers of St. John’s Wort Supplements

St. John’s Wort is an herb usually used for making medicines. Its supplements are used to fight against depression, loss of appetite, anxiety and other symptoms associated with depression. According to researchers, people who are consuming supplements for St. John’s are putting themselves at risk. It is not an unknown fact that taking supplements can cause thinning of blood, reduce concentration levels and can even lead to cancer.

Unfortunately, people assume just because St. John’s Wort is a ‘natural treatment’ it will not have any side effects or harmful outcomes. It should be noted that any chemical or compound consumed by the body will interfere with its chemical reactions and metabolism. Some dangers of taking St. John’s Wort supplements are:

Interference with the Body’s Natural Reactions
Taking St. John’s Wort supplements can cause possible drug interactions with the chemicals in the body, resulting in harmful health risks, such as serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome is a fatal condition in which high levels of serotonin accumulate in the body. Serotonin syndrome further causes and leads to other potential health risks, such as heart attacks, high blood pressure and unplanned pregnancies due to contraceptive failure.

Allergic Reactions
One of the potential side effects of St. John’s Wort supplements is the increased level of sensitivity to the sun. People have reported to have experienced uncommon allergic reactions after taking these supplements. Allergic reactions are not to be taken lightly as it can lead to swelling of the lips, tongue, face or hives and even difficulty in breathing. It is thus advised you consult your doctor before taking any kinds of supplements.

Harmful For Pregnant Women
Prior to taking any herbal/health supplement, it is advisable you first consult your doctor or pharmacist, especially if you are pregnant. The dangers of this supplement are still unknown for pregnant women but there is a potential risk it is harmful for unborn babies. It should be noted that any supplement or medication consumed by a pregnant woman finds a way inside her womb via the placenta. It is thus advisable pregnant women stay away from such supplements.

Decreased Level of Concentration
St. John’s Wort supplements causes decreased levels of concentration. One of the side effects of this supplement is it causes dizziness and drowsiness. It is thus recommended people taking this medication do not operate heavy machinery or indulge in activities which are potentially life-threatening. It is also advisable you do not drive till you are completely sure about how this supplement reacts with your body functions.

Interference with Other Medications
If you are taking these supplements with other medication, vitamins or supplements, there is a potential risk that it will interfere with the reactions of the other drugs in your body. This chemical interference can have dangerous outcomes and affect the way your liver metabolizes drugs in your body.

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