July is Herbal/Prescription Awareness Month

Posted on July 1st 2017 in General

I was visiting one of our cherished friends, who also happens to be a client, and during the conversation, I watched her take a handful of vitamins and supplements. She had surgery recently and was complaining about the retarded healing she was undergoing. "Wow!" I said, watching her pop a bunch of I guessed was vitamin C and turmeric. She responded with a frown and keep popping. "Maybe, that's why you're not bouncing back as fast. Did you know that turmeric can cause excessive bleeding and slow down the healing process?"

With July being Herbal and Prescription Awareness Month, we look at some of the important reminders about interaction and safety with prescription meds and supplements. Supplements like vitamins can sometimes increase the effects as well as the side effects of medications. One good example is the "superberry" schisandra which could stop your body from changing a medication to an inactive substance increasing a medication's effect.

And sometimes, they can slow down medication processes. St. John's Wort may decrease the efficacy of more than seventy percent of all medications.


Drug interactions are not just limited to prescription medications. Interactions from supplements and drugs can cause harmful side effects too. That's why, it's important to tell all your health care providers about all dietary supplements and drugs you take so that way, they can help you avoid harmful interactions. More and more, especially here in California, doctors have be herbalists and nutrionists as well family practitioners and the chances they can help you avoid a problem are far greater than you "prescribing" on your own. In addition, the are naturopathic doctors, MDs with a profund experience in herbal as well as traditional medicine.


Some supplements may cause problems during surgery because:

They may affect your response to anesthetics or to other medicines that you may be given before, during, or after the operation.
They may increase your risk of bleeding.
Some doctors will ask patients to discontinue all herbal supplements several weeks before having elective surgery (surgery that can be scheduled in advance).

If you’re having an emergency operation, you won’t have a chance to stop taking supplements ahead of time. But it’s still important for you or a family member to tell your surgeon and anesthesiologist about all dietary supplements you’re taking, so they can be prepared for any problems that may occur.

If you need to find a naturopathic physician, we can help.


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