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Thread: Herbal Safety Issues

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    Default Re: Comfrey, Alkanet, et al - safety issues

    Quote Originally Posted by mellie View Post
    Wow, I didn't know that one!
    It is all about the sources. I have been using those 2, for a quite a while now. They are very current, well referenced and reviewed.

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    Default Re: Comfrey, Alkanet, et al - safety issues

    Sometimes though, those sources are lacking information on herbs/plants that are more obscure and one has to dig deeper, but still with referenced material, IMO. When it comes to pregnancy, babies and young children, I do not recommend using any plant/herb with referenced containdications, for those categories, if the warnings are applicable.

    Traditionally, many of these plants and herbs are used safely because the traditions dictate when and how they are to be used. It is taking them out of the traditional context and usage, that can be a problem, as I see it. Here in the West, many people do not know or understand why or how certain traditions and uses are followed, and in what proportions plants/herbs can be safely mixed with other plants/herbs to possibly balance and counteract certain adverse effects. In Ayurvedic medicine for example, that is determined on an individual basis, from what I understand. Plants/herbs are powerful drugs and used without proper guidance and knowledge, caution is advised.

    Vetiver or Vettiver

    2008
    Vetiver
    "Currently .... lack of available high-quality clinical trials assessing .... safety and efficacy of vetiver for any indication."
    http://www.naturalstandard.com/index...ts/vetiver.asp

    2002
    Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) also spelled vettiver

    See "Downsides" in the link below the text that I summarized.
    It is not recommended for pregnant women, newborns, nor is it recommended for children under about 12 years of age. It is classidied as an abortifacient, emmenagogue and a uterine stimulant.
    http://books.google.ca/books?id=UcLY...um=5&ct=result
    Last edited by ktani; December 23rd, 2008 at 06:17 AM. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: Comfrey, Alkanet, et al - safety issues

    From the thread I started last year. This issue of skin absorption in this case is to get these cosmetics to work better. Skin absorption is strong factor for some chemical constituents, less so for others.

    "Bioactives are a major focus of the recent developments in cosmetics. Most of these ingredients will work only if they penetrate the stratum corneum and reach the living epidermis. The extent and rate of penetration of bioactive ingredients from cosmetic products is of paramount interest."
    http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=1925000
    Last edited by ktani; December 22nd, 2008 at 08:35 AM. Reason: clarification

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    Default Re: Comfrey, Alkanet, et al - safety issues

    Not sure if it was pointed out before (trying out my researching skills )

    31 Jan 2007: Lavender and Tea Tree Oils May Cause Breast Growth in Boy:
    “The results of our laboratory studies confirm that pure lavender and tea tree oils can mimic the actions of estrogens and inhibit the effects of androgens,” said Korach. “This combinatorial activity makes them somewhat unique as endocrine disruptors.”
    Despite that -
    The oils did not alter the levels of the usual forms of circulating estrogens and androgens in the boys. “We do not anticipate any long term effects on hormonal levels,” said Derek Henley, Ph.D., the lead NIEHS author on the study. It is unknown whether the oils have similar endocrine disrupting effects in prepubertal girls, adolescents or adults.
    http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/releas...312007oils.cfm

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    Default Re: Comfrey, Alkanet, et al - safety issues

    Thanks Heidi!

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    Default Re: Comfrey, Alkanet, et al - safety issues

    Heidi 34

    Thank you. There is added information.

    The link that you posted further states that

    "These essential oils might now be considered endocrine disruptors since they appeared to have caused an imbalance in estrogen and androgen signaling. Endocrine disruptors .... naturally occurring compounds or synthetic chemicals .... may interfere with the production or activity of hormones of the endocrine system leading to adverse health effects."
    http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/releas...312007oils.cfm
    Last edited by ktani; December 23rd, 2008 at 05:42 AM. Reason: adjust text

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    Default Re: Comfrey, Alkanet, et al - safety issues

    I posted this in Honey a while back but this part belongs here too, IMO.

    As the cold and flu season approaches, here is a very short update on honey used to help coughs, including the important warning not to give honey to children under 1 year of age.
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/honey/AN01799

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    Default Re: Comfrey, Alkanet, et al - safety issues

    This is more detail on catnip. I have posted this before.

    2008
    "Documented adverse effects (emmenagogue and abortifacient effects). .... lack of scientific evidence for safety during pregnancy and lactation. Catnip is contraindicated in pregnancy because of its uterine stimulant activities .... may be contraindicated in certain other gynecological conditions because it could lead to excessive menstrual bleeding."
    http://www.drugs.com/npp/catnip.html

    2008 updated Health Canada monograph on catnip
    "Contraindication(s): Do not use if you are pregnant."
    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodn...ataire-eng.php

    Even though topically, with the dilution I use, the amount of catnip is very small, I still think that any risk during pregnancy is one too many, especially if it can be easily avoided.
    Last edited by ktani; December 24th, 2008 at 04:19 PM. Reason: clarification

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    Default Re: Comfrey, Alkanet, et al - safety issues

    Rosemary

    2008

    "Rosemary is generally considered safe when taken in recommended doses. .... there have been occasional reports of allergic reactions. Large quantities of rosemary leaves, because of their volatile oil content, can cause serious side effects, including vomiting, spasms, coma and, in some cases, pulmonary edema ....

    Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use rosemary in quantities larger than those normally used in cooking. An overdose of rosemary may induce a miscarriage or cause damage to the fetus."
    http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/r...tm#Precautions

    2007

    Topical
    Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you have large open wounds or skin lesions, feverish conditions, acute inflammation, severe circulatory disorders or hypertension ....

    Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are pregnant ....

    Contraindication(s):
    Oral: Do not use if you are pregnant ....
    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodn...omarin-eng.php

    2004
    Side Effects
    "Ingestion of large quantities of rosemary may result in stomach and intestinal irritation .... kidney damage. Allergic contact dermatitis has been associated with the plant .... rosemary is not generally considered to be a human skin sensitizer. Rosemary's constituents, monoterpene ketones, are convulsants .... have caused seizures in large doses. Rosemary also is an abortive."
    http://www.drugs.com/npc/rosemary.html
    Last edited by ktani; December 26th, 2008 at 06:23 AM. Reason: added link and text

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    Default Re: Comfrey, Alkanet, et al - safety issues

    Saponins

    From the research 2 points stand out to me. 1. Some saponins are more toxic than others. And 2. Careful consideration/evaluation, as I have always said, needs to be given to any natural product for personal use.

    2008
    Saponins
    "Medical uses. .... tremendous, commercially driven promotion of saponins as dietary supplements and nutriceuticals. .... But as is often the case with wide-ranging therapeutic claims for natural products:
    .... claims for organismal/human benefit .... often based on very preliminary biochemical or cell biological studies (that is, only the most preliminary of data; scrutinize referenced bioactivity citations in MetaCyc 2008b[11]); .... mention is generally omitted of the possibilities of individual chemical sensitivity, or to the general toxicity of specific agents (for the Quillaja molina saponin extract, see JTBaker 2008[12]), and high toxicity of selected cases ...."
    .... despite the myriad of web claims to the contrary, it appears that there are very limited US, EU, etc. agency-approved roles for saponins in human therapy....."
    http://www.answers.com/topic/saponin

    A vendor's notes on sapindus mukorossi toxicity, See "Sapindus Gift of Youth from Nature", no date given, but they have licensing and toxicity reports for their soapnut products, dated 2008. Click on "License."
    http://seeds.myweb.hinet.net/E-1.htm

    2006
    Saponin cautions
    The link below is tricky. Put the text into a browser, search and the link will open. It works for me in a Word document but not here.

    "Saponin is an irritant and may be harmful by inhalation, ingestion, or skin absorption. Do not breathe the dust. Wear .... gloves .... safety glasses .... use in a chemical fume hood."
    Saponin -- 2006 (12): pdb.caut699 -- Cold Spring Harbor Protocols

    Information about the above link.
    http://cshprotocols.cshlp.org/misc/about.dtl

    Sapindis mukorossi properties
    "Abortifacient .... Emmenagogue, Errhine, Expectorant, Insecticidal, Irritant, Muscle Tonic, Narcotic, Nauseant, Oxytocic, Purgative, ...."
    http://www.druginfosys.com/herbal/He...0Gaertn&type=2

    Sapindus mukorossi saponin components have been found to increase the absorption of drugs.
    1985
    ".... In particular, saponin components .... isolated from the extract of Sapindus mukurossi .... recognized to have .... promotion effect of drug absorption ...."
    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4501734.html
    Last edited by ktani; February 9th, 2009 at 06:29 AM. Reason: added link and text

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