Health Questions and Answers

Question: Which herbs are unsafe?

Answer:

Borage, calamus, chaparral, comfrey, germander, licorice, life root, and sassafras. Kava (Piper methysticum) is currently under investigation by the FDA. There are approximately 25 case reports of hepatic toxicity associated with the use of products containing kava extract in Germany and Switzerland. These products have widespread use in the United States.

Reference: Boullata JI, Nace AM: Safety issues with herbal medicine. Phannacotherapy 20:257-269, 2000.

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