A number of popular herbal remedies may pose a threat to people taking heart disease medications, warns a new report. The report focuses on several commonly used herbal supplements (including St. John's wort, ginkgo biloba, and garlic), highlighting their potentially harmful interactions with cardiovascular drugs.
The report's authors caution that certain herbs can reduce the effectiveness or augment the potency of drugs used to treat heart disease, which may in turn lead to serious health problems. Ginkgo biloba and garlic, for instance, have been found to raise the risk of bleeding in people taking warfarin, while St. John's wort may contribute to the recurrence of high blood pressure or increases in cholesterol in people taking cardiac drugs.
In order to protect against dangerous herb-drug interactions, the report's authors urge supplement consumers to fully disclose their use of herbal remedies to their healthcare providers.