Notes of Interest
nutrition should be your first choice. "If a disease can
not be cured with food, it can not be cured." - an old Chinese
saying. Eat foods that your grandparents would recognize, simple
and whole; organic if possible, - and variety! As your acupuncturist,
I can guide you in food selections that will help support energetic
balance in your body. Sometimes our bodies get extremely depleted
or out of balance and then we may turn to tried and true traditional
herbal formulas to bring the patient back into balance.
According to a survey published in the November 11, 1998 issue
of the Journal of the American Medical Association, at
least 15 million Americans take dietary supplements along with
prescription drugs. More significantly, the findings have also
jump-started new research on the interactions between supplements
and prescription drugs -- an area that until now has received
are scarcely few drug / herb interactions. There are far more
drug / drug interactions. Some simple guidelines for using medications
with herbal formulas and they are as follows:
Guidelines for Drug Herb Interactions: 2/09
drugs and herbs 2 hours apart to prevent interactions.
- If you
are taking an MAO inhibitor, do not explore herbal therapy.
- If you
are taking Coumadine, or Warfrin, know that it's effectiveness
is reduced with many food items including green tea. We have
yet to explore what effect diet soft drinks have on these
- St Johns
Wort* is known to reduce the effectiveness of other medications,
including possibly , birth control pills. In the Middle Ages,
St. Johns Wort was used to prevent poisoning and toxicity.
This relates to current use today, in formula to assist people
in withdrawing from drug addictions.
- St, Johns
Wort may reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills.
However, this has not been demonstrated. If you are on birth
control pills, check with your herbalist to make an herbal
is currently no data verifying that blood movers such as turmeric,
garlic, salvia (dan shen), and the like, interact to magnify
the effects of a blood thinner. It may be that their mechanisms
are dissimilar enough. Their interaction is a theoretical
one only, and not demonstrated.
- The constituents
of traditional herbal formulas are complex and this complexity
lends a safety factors. Ingesting single herbs is not the
same as ingesting an herbal formula. Ingesting random herbs
without obtaining a proper TCM diagnosis is not recommended.
- If you
have been advised by your M.D., to avoid fresh fruits and
vegetables, it may be best to not explore herbal therapy.
Note: Herbal therapies may be best left for supporting one's
health following cancer treatment. Closely following the doctor's
prescription for eradicating the cancer is the best plan. The
doctors, nurses at the Cancer Center have a plan for your recovery
and are invested in this process. It is not wise to do anything
that might compromise the results. Saying this, there are complementary
therapies that clearly will not interfere with CA treatment. Acupuncture,
therapeutic touch, yoga , qi gong, exercise, good nutrition, finding
reasons to love more and engage in life, getting sleep! - all
clearly contribute to your health and sense of well being resulting
in better responses to CA treatment.
are a few traditional herbal formulas being researched in several
US medical institutions. All are manufactured in the US for their
quality. These herbs have a long history in proving their usefulness
in building one's qi and blood, in TCM terms. They are safe and
there have been no negative consequence to an herb / drug interaction.
Japan, some herbs are used intentionally to enhance the effectiveness
of certain drugs.
It is useful for patients to know the dynamics of drug herb
interactions, that one might enhance or negate the usefulness
of the other. An herb drug interaction to date, - as long as drugs
have been around- has not resulted in spontaneous combustion,
or any kind of scary event. St. Johns Wort is known to lessen
the effects of other medication, so the patient is not getting
their full prescribed dose. This certainly can be a serious matter.
Ingesting grapefruit juice with a medication may make more of
the drug available to the body. No one has looked at marketing
the usefulness of grapefruit juice to reduce the cost of medication!
interactions are too often taken as verified. Read a study thoroughly
and know that knowledge changes. Numerous accusations about the
dangers of herbs have been later attributed to other causes, after