You should be especially cautious about taking plant-based supplements. According
to Bellows, Moore, and Gross of Colorado State University: “Current research
shows limited health benefits from taking herbal and botanical supplements, and
no conclusive evidence that herbals should be used to treat or prevent any type of
medical condition. There is no data to suggest that herbs are more beneficial than
conventional drugs for treating illnesses.” They note that “The body of well-controlled research is growing, but the short-term and long-term benefits and risks, as well as active or beneficial ingredients, are still largely unknown.”

Although 71% of surveyed Americans say supplements are “safe,” the FDA has
issued a warning for the following herbs that are considered toxic and should be
avoided by everyone:
• Aristolochic Acid: kidney damage and a carcinogen. It may be found in
products with guan mu tong, ma dou ling, birthwort, Indian ginger, wild
ginger, colic root, and snakeroot.
• Chapparal: irreversible liver damage
• Comfrey: liver toxicity, carcinogenic effects, and damage to a fetus if used
during pregnancy
• Ephedra/ma huang (ephedra sinca): hypertension, myocardial infarction,
seizure, stroke, psychosis
• Germander: liver damage and death
• Kava: liver damage, especially risky for those with liver problems
• Lobelia (Indian tobacco): breathing problems, rapid heartbeat, low blood
pressure, coma, death
• Magnolia-stephania preparation: kidney disease and permanent kidney failure
• Willow bark: Reye’s syndrome in children and allergic reaction in adults
• Wormwood: seizures, numbness of legs and arms, delirium, and kidney failure
• Yohimbe: hypotension (low blood pressure), heart conduction disorders,
kidney disorders, nervous system disorders, death

This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel