The Benefits and Risks of Herbal Supplements
Another factor to be aware of when using herbal supplements is their possible effect on anesthesia during surgery. If you are scheduled for any surgical procedure, make certain that you first inform your doctor about any herbal supplements that you are taking. Such popular supplements as garlic and ginger may cause excessive bleeding, and St. John's Wort may either increase or decrease the effects of many post-surgical drugs.
In most cases, physicians will instruct their patients to stop using herbal supplements for a period of time prior to surgery. The amount of time that it will take for the herbal supplements to leave your system may take as long as three weeks, so make certain that you discuss their use with your physician well in advance.
The information presented here is in no way intended to infer that many benefits cannot be safely derived from adding herbal supplements to one's diet. Millions of people have found herbal supplements to be a viable alternative to prescription drugs. For most people, when taken properly, herbal supplements pose no threat to their health. For those with existing health problems, and for those taking prescription medications, the use of these herbal products should be first discussed with a medical professional.