Jul 20, 2019 | Updated: 08:54 AM EDT

Can Herbal Medication Increase the Risk Of Complications In Certain Heart Conditions

Feb 28, 2017 06:22 PM EST

Herbal Medication
(Photo : Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) In the US, most herbal medications are sold without being tested.

Herbal medication is definitely a popular alternative for people who are fearful towards synthetic drugs. And while the safety and effectiveness of herbal medicines have yet to be determined, they are also a popular choice for people living with heart problems. But still, the question remains. Are herbal medicines safe and effective to use especially for people suffering from heart disease?

Healthline cites a number of herbal options for the treatment of heart diseases like pomegranate and green tea and both of these options have undergone a clinical study to determine their positive effects on the heart. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said with a whole lot of other herbal medicines. The problem with herbal medicine is that they are often sold without being clinically tested which gives only less evidence and proof to their safety and effectiveness. In the US alone, the Food and Drug Administration can only deem an herbal medicine unsafe after it has already hurt an individual. However, this doesn't mean that herbal medications are dangerous and unsafe.

A new study has been conducted identifying 42 herbal medications that could possibly be a treatment for certain heart conditions like heart failure, high blood pressure, and heart disease, WebMD reports. The study headed by Dr. Graziano Onder, a professor from the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome, found little to no evidence linking herbal medications to potential complications.

According to Dr. Onder, natural does not always mean the safer choice but at the same time, physicians should also try to expand their knowledge of herbal medications so that they could properly balance the clinical implications in connection with their use. The problem with most patients suffering heart diseases today is that they often refrain from informing their doctors that they use herbal medications as the patients themselves don't think of them as treatments.

What's even more problematic is that more often than not, these patients are failing to follow through with the clinical medicines prescribed by their doctors. For Dr. Onder, communication is the key and physicians should try to communicate with their patients well so that they could inform them of the repercussions and complications of the medications they use. 

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