Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of allspice:
nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, and appetite loss (from stomach and bowel inflammation)
seizures (with excessive use)
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Don’t take allspice when using iron and other mineral supplements.
Important points to remember
Don’t use allspice if you have a chronic digestive disease, such as duodenal ulcers, reflux disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel, diverticulosis, or diverticulitis.
Don’t use this herb if you have a history of cancer or an increased risk for cancer.
Eugenol, a substance in allspice, may pose a cancer risk.
Avoid allspice if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
Know that allspice may cause allergic skin reactions when used topically.
Be aware that some experts caution against consuming more allspice than the amounts normally found in foods, toothpastes, and similar products .
What the research shows
Although allspice is safe to consume in small amounts (such as in foods and dental products), controlled clinical trials must be done to validate herbalists’ medicinal claims. Right now, scientists have too little information about allspice to recommend medicinal uses.
Other names for Allspice: –
Other names for allspice include clove pepper, Jamaica pepper, pimenta, and pimento.
The Greeks supposedly used agrimony to treat eye problems. The Anglo-Saxons, who called the herb garelive, apparently used it for wounds. One early herbal remedy for Internal bleeding involved swallowing a mixture of agrimony, human blood, and pulverized frog parts. Today, some herbalists recommend agrimony as a throat-soothing gargle for speakers and singers.
Sometimes used as a dye, agrimony comes from the leaves, stems, and flowers of the dried herb Agrimonia oupstoria, which grows in the western United States, Europe, and Asia. Pale yellow in September, this plant turns deep yellow later in the year. Some people use agrlmony as a tea or poultice as well as a gargle.
Common doses of Agrimony
Agrimony is available as tablets or teas. Experts know little about appropriate doses for any medicinal use. One source suggests adding 2 to 4 teaspoons of dried leaves per cup of water to make a tea to be taken once a day. Other sources suggest making a compress of agrimony to apply topically to sores.
Aconite comes from the leaves, flowers, and roots of Aconitum napellus, an erect perennial with tuberous roots. This herb is native to the mountainous regions of North America, Europe, Japan, China, and India.
Aconite was first used medicinally in the 1800s. However, because it can be toxic, It’s not recommended for any medicinal use. In fact, this herb was once used as a poison in arrows and has been linked to many suicides.
Common doses of aconite
Aconite is available as a tincture, a tea, and a liniment. However, experts warn against using this herb in any form.
Most people are familiar with herbs as foods-for example, basil and oregano in sauces, parsley as a garnish. However, for thousands of years many cultures around the world have used herbs and plants not just to eat but to treat illness.
Archaeological evidence shows that even prehistoric man used plants to heal. Today, the World Health Organization estimates that 80% of the world’s population uses some form of herbal medicine.
Many of the drugs now prescribed come from plants that ancient cultures used medicinally. (The word drug comes from the Old Dutch word drogge, meaning “to dry,” because pharmacists, doctors, and ancient healers often dried plants to use as medicines.) About one fourth of all conventional pharmaceuticals-including roughly 120 of the most commonly prescribed modem drugscontain at least one active ingredient derived from plants. The rest are chemically synthesized.
Some herbs and plants have value not just for their active ingredients but for other substances they contain, such as
bioflavonoids (colorless substances that help maintain collagen and blood vessels).
In the United States, many traditional health care providers lack knowledge about herbal remedies, and their patients may be reluctant to reveal their use of such remedies. But renewed interest in all forms of alternative medicine has led consumers, health care providers, and drug researchers to reexamine herbal remedies. Medicinal herbs have been touted in magazines, books and television shows, sometimes with advocated making amazing claims for their benefits.
Common drugs made from plants or herbs
Many drugs in common use today have botanical origins. Here’s a selected list.
Aspirin (salicylic acid)-from white willow bark and meadow sweet plant.
Atropine, used to treat irregular heartbeats-from belladonna leaves.
Vinblastine (Velban) and vincristine (Dncovin), anticancer drugs-from periwinkle.
Uses of natural herbs
A plant’s leaves, flowers, stems, berries, seeds, fruit, bark, roots, or any other part may be used for medicinal purposes. Most herbal remedies are used to treat minor health problems, such as nausea, colds, cough, flu, headache, aches and pains, stomach and intestinal disorders (such as constipation and diarrhea), menstrual cramps, insomnia, skin disorders, and dandruff.
Some herbalists have reported success in treating certain chronic conditions, including peptic ulcers, inflammation of the colon, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, and respiratory problems. Some use herbal remedies for illnesses usually treated only with prescription drugs, such as heart failure.
However, if you have a serious disorder and are considering an herbal remedy, don’t discontinue ongoing medical treatment. Also be sure to tell your health care practitioner about any prescribed drugs you’re taking, because these may interact with herbal remedies.
Forms of natural herbs
Herbs come in various forms, depending on their medicinal purpose and the body system involved. You can buy herbs individually or in mixtures formulated for specific conditions. Herbs may be prepared as tinctures or extracts, capsules or tablets, lozenges, teas, juices, vapor treatments, or bath products. Some herbs are applied topically with a poultice or compress. Other are rubbed into the skin as an oil, an ointment, or a salve.
General precautions when you are taking herbs
Check with your health care practitioner before using any herbal product, especially if you’re taking a prescription drug. Tell your practitioner about all drugs you’re taking, including nonprescription medications and vitamins. Many herbal remedies can interact with other drugs. Make sure your health care practitioner is aware of your medical history, including allergies.
When taking an herb, follow the instructions exactly. If you take too much of an herb or take it inappropriately, you may get no benefit from taking it-or put yourself at risk for potentially dangerous side effects.
Never ignore symptoms you’re experiencing. Contact your health care practitioner if you experience side effects of an herbal agent or if you have other health concerns that would normally require medical attention.
Be sure to call your health care practitioner if you experience abdominal cramping, abnormal bleeding or bruising, changes in your pulse or heart rhythm; vision changes, dizziness or fainting; hair loss; hallucinations, inability to concentrate or other mental changes, hives, itching, rash, or other allergic symptoms, appetite loss, or dramatic weight loss.
Don’t use herbal agents to delay seeking more appropriate therapy. Keep in mind that herbs aren’t necessarily a substitute for proven medical therapy.
If you’re a parent or other caregiver, consider each of the preceding precautions before giving herbal medicines to a child or an elderly or debilitated person. Discontinue herbs at least 2 weeks before surgery. They can interfere with anesthesia and cause heart and blood vessel problems.
When to avoid natural medicinal herbs
Avoid herbal preparations if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding. Most herbs effects on the fetus are unknown. If you’re a woman of childbearing age, use birth control when taking herbs.
Don’t use herbs for serious or potentially serious medical conditions, such as heart disease or bleeding disorders.
Never let other people take your herbs or other medicine. Store herbal agents out of reach of children and pets.
If you have questions about the herb you’re taking, seek advice from a qualified health care provider. If your practitioner Isn’t knowledgeable about herbs, ask for a referral to someone who is.