Witches often have a propensity for preferring natural remedies and herbals for treating a variety of common ailments. A news article on Science Daily warns however, that herbal medicines can prove lethal if one is not careful. According to a pathologist from the University of Adelaide, herbal medicines in large quantities, or injected herbal remedies can combine with prescription medications and can result in death.
Professor Roger Byard recently published a paper appearing in the Journal of Forensic Sciences which examines the severely toxic nature of herbal substances. Byard asserts that people hold a false perception that herbal remedies are safe, even safer than prescribed medications, and some herbals actually have high levels of mercury, lead, and arsenic. What’s more, access to herbal remedies is largely unrestricted and many people do not discuss the use of herbals with their doctors before using them. A study on over 250 Asian herbal products which are available in the US have been found to contain either arsenic, lead, or mercury: 36 contained arsenic, 35 contained mercury and 24 contained lead.
One example of a highly toxic herbal can be identified in the herbal medicine called Chan su which is commonly used for heart palpitations, boils, and throat irritations. The herb actually contains the venomous secretions from Chinese toads which can lead to a heart attack or it can render a person into a coma. Herbals can also have a negative effect on the liver and can cause cardiac failure or renal failure as well as seizures, movement disorders, muscular weakness and strokes.
Anyone using herbals should do so with great care. The herbal should be researched thoroughly and you should familiarize yourself with the potential side effects. Look it; researching these things on Wikipedia is not enough; even though Wikipedia is a great launching point for research, it is not the be all and end all answer to all of your questions. Wikipedia can be edited by anyone so the information you are supplied with might not be totally correct. What’s more, reading one or two books on herbals is not enough. You will need to know what you are working with, what levels is safe to consume and if it is safe to consume at all. Talking with your doctor about the use of herbals is important, especially if you are on prescribed medications too; you do not want to run the risk of drug interactions.
One example of a drug interaction with herbals can be identified in the use of St. John’s Wort, which can intensify the power of a drug like warfarin and it can result in intermenstraul bleeding. Garlic and Gingko Biloba also interact with anticoagulants. If you are planning for surgery, you should cease use of any herbal remedies two weeks prior to the surgery to reduce your risks for excessive bleeding too. As a general rule, pregnant women as well as women that are breastfeeding should avoid herbals until after the pregnancy or until finished with breastfeeding to avoid the potential risk of passing on herbals to the child via breast milk. Witchcraft is the “craft of the wise,” so be wise, and always play it safe. Take care when using herbals of any kind. Don’t take a person’s word for it that an herbal remedy will work; question the purity of the products you buy, and always know how to use an herb safely before using it.
Read more about the dangers associated with herb use.