Don’t Take These Herbal with Chemical Medicines

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Combine herbal like jamu with chemical medicine could be very dangerous. Some herbs as material for jamu can cause side-effects if they are mixed with chemical medicines.

According to Dr. Aldrin Nelwan SpAk, jamu is composed by mineral, plants and animals that the composition usually based on experience. Interaction from one material in jamu with chemical medicine can cause unexpected reaction and can endanger body. Sadly, some people still consume the mixture of jamu and drugs since they give faster reaction.

“Don’t ever consume jamu that is mixed with chemical drugs. We never know that reaction that will show in body, so it is better not to consume them,” said Nelwan, who was also a traditional medicine expert in Dharmais Hospital, Jakarta to

Further Aldrin explained that jamu and chemical medicines reactions are vary. It could slow or fast, depend on how a customer’s body reacts. The level of reactions can be light to severe, depend on type, dosage and consumption frequency.

Here, some examples of medicinal plants that cannot be mixed with conventional medicines:

-Tea or guava leaves with general medicines

Consumption of jamu that contains tannin could reduce the ability of body to absorb general medicines that contain codeine, ephedrine, and theophylline. To improve drug effectiveness, it is better to avoid jamu that is made from guava leaves and tea.

Codeine is pain reliever that can cause drowsiness on certain people. Ephedrine is often to use as respiratory decongestant and to treat nasal congestion. And, theophylline is consumed as a stimulant for central nervous system and to relax smooth muscles especially in bronchial for people with asthma.

– Centella asiatica with blood thinner drugs

Aspirin and warfarin are often to be given to prevent blood clotting. If you consume these drugs, you should avoid garlic, ginger, ginseng, Centella asiatica and pineapple. Besides that, avoid some medicinal plants in Chinese traditional medicine such as dan shen and dang qui.

The plants have the effect to improve blood circulation. If they are consumed with aspirin or warfarin, there is a risk of internal bleeding.

-Ginseng with heart medicines

There are some medicinal plants that can affect heart medicines effectiveness, for instance ginseng, Senna fruit/Ispaghula, licorice and ma huang. These plants have potency to disturb heart beat rhythms.

 -Garlic, bitter melon (pare) with blood glucose lowering drugs

Some herbs such as garlic, pare (bitter melon) and fennel have a function to lower blood sugar level. So, it is better to consult to your doctor first to know if you can consume these plants, especially if you use insulin.

-Aloe Vera with laxative

Consume laxative with Aloe Vera or senna fruit are not good. These plants can prevent drug absorption. Aloe Vera and senna fruit can weaken intestinal muscles. Besides that, they can cause dependency if they are consumed in long-term.

-Cat’s Whisker and diuretic drugs

Some plants such as keji beling (Strobilanthes crispa), tempuyung and Cat’s whisker have a diuretic effect. If they are consumed with anti-hypertension and diuretic drugs can add the effects of them. However, excessive urination can increase the risk of potassium deficiency and also the risk of urinary tract infection.



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