HERBACTIVE Tonics - DMSO: a supreme detoxifier

DMSO: helps to detox; preventive against cancer

 

DMSO - a strong safe extract from trees
Sulphur

Dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO) is a natural organic substance derived from wood. It is a strong sulphur/sulfur extract from tree lignan with many remarkable qualities for medicinal use.
Sulfur is a mineral found in the ground around volcanic craters and hot springs and occurs naturally in some plants, including grains, fruits and vegetables. Protein foods also contain sulfur, which may put vegetarians at risk for developing a sulfur deficiency.
Sulphur is an important mineral that helps form muscles, hair and skin cells.

Why does the body need sulphur?
    The body uses sulfur to continually create new healthy cells to replace old ones. Without it, the body will produce weak dysfunctional cells. Sulfur is needed to maintain cell membrane permeability.
    This is important for detoxification: to ensure, that nutrients are delivered into the cells, and toxins and waste products can exit the cells. Sulfur is essential for the formation and maintenance of connective tissue, to combat inflammation, support a strong healthy immune system.

What happens when we don't have enough sulphur?
    Sulphur deficiencies are common as it is lost in food processing. Sulphur deficiencies are associated with: slow wound healing, scar tissue, brittle nails, brittle hair, gastrointestinal problems, inflammation, lung dysfunction, immune dysfunction, arthritis, acne, rashes, depression, memory loss.

Other Benefits of DMSO
DMSO can assist in Heavy Metal Detoxification. Heavy metals (mercury, lead, aluminum, cadmium, arsenic, nickel ) are very difficult to detoxify from, and they are the root of many diseases.
Sulfur is a mineral and a major ingredient of certain amino acids, which bind with minerals or heavy metals. Body drops heavy metals for minerals, which in this case would be sulfur. Amino acids substitute sulfur for toxic heavy metals, bind with them, and eliminate them via urination, defecation and sweating.
Sulphur and especially DMSO is a powerful detoxifier, containing antitumour activities. It eliminates toxic chemicals from the body cells, especially via the liver. The sulfur switches on liver enzymes to action the detoxification process. It is regarded as one of the most detoxifying of all natural chemicals. DMSO is non-toxic. The most commonly reported side effects include headaches and burning and itching on contact with the skin.
The sulforaphones(1) interact at every stage of cancer, to intercept and stop cancer from progressing, particularly of hormones, so that hormone-driven cancers (eg breast cancer) are inhibited and the cancer cells are destroyed.
(1) - Sulforaphane is a compound within the isothiocyanate group of organosulfur compounds. It is obtained from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts or cabbages. It is produced when the enzyme myrosinase transforms glucoraphanin, a glucosinolate, into sulforaphane upon damage to the plant (such as from chewing), which allows the two compounds to mix and react. Young sprouts of broccoli and cauliflower are particularly rich in glucoraphanin
(wikipedia).

NB Individuals with medical conditions such as ulcerative colitis may experience an increase in symptoms after eating foods high in sulfur because of an inability to breakdown the mineral correctly (Northwest Naturopathic Urology). However their symptoms could improve when taking herbs for colitis combined with DMSO. See Colitis Tonic

Foods high in sulphur
Eggs - the yolk portion of an egg is high in sulfur.
Meat, Legumes and Nuts - meats including beef, chicken and fish contain sulfur.
Legumes, such as beans and jicama also contain protein and sulfur.
Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, cashews, as well as certain seeds, such as sesame seeds and sunflower seeds, contain sulfur.
Dairy - dairy foods contain high amounts of sulfur. The high sulfur foods include milk, cheese and sour cream.
Fruits - sulfur containing fruits include coconut, bananas, pineapple and watermelon.
Vegetables - broccoli and additional vegetables in the same family, including mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and watercress contain sulfur, reports the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Additional vegetables include kale, asparagus, sweet potatoes, leeks, peas, chives, avocados, cauliflower and tomatoes.
Garlic and Onions - garlic contains sulfur and may help boost antibiotic and antiviral capabilities of the body, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Mincing the garlic and adding it to a variety of foods is an easy way to consume the essential amino acids. Cooking onions may help reduce the sulfur content.
Beverages - some beverages, such as coffee, tea and cocoa, contain sulfur.

Glucosamine Sulphate
This is a well-known sulphur-based supplement for joint pain which you can find in your health store. Glucosamine sulphate is an amino acid polymer that combines with sodium or potassium (depending on how it is prepared) and with sulphate (SO4). Neither glucosamine, nor sulphate, are allergenic components. Glucosamine sulfate is not known to cause allergy reactions. Glucosamine sulfate is an existing component in the human body, mainly in the connective tissues. When obtained for use in dietary supplements, glucosamine sulphate is commonly derived from shellfish, such as crabs, where it is present as chitin in the shell materials. If it were poorly prepared, persons with shellfish allergy (the allergy is mainly to the muscle portion that is eaten rather than the shell) might have to worry about taking this product. However, purification of the glucosamine sulfate in the standard processing used for dietary supplements makes it safe for virtually everyone with a shellfish allergy problem. Glucosamine sulfate appears helpful as a dietary supplement for nourishing the joints, because it is involved in the production of cartilage and synovial fluid and may help replenish depleted or damaged tissues; it has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and may protect against development of atherosclerosis.

Herbactive DMSO External Lotion with Aloe Vera Gel

Lotion sizes available: 60ml, 120ml, 300ml, 555ml - find the prices in our Store
DMSO Gel 25%
DMSO Gel 60%
DMSO Gel 70%
DMSO Gel 90%

These lotions are used for:
Arthritic pain and swollen joints (use with PainLess Joints Tonic)
Muscular injuries (use with MuscleMore Tonic)
Sensitive skin
​Telangiectasias - visible fine capillaries on the face and elsewhere (with added horse chestnut)
Shingles (use with AntiViral Tonic)
Acne (use with SpotLess Tonic)
Sunburn
Low back pain (use with LumbagoLess Tonic)
Sciatica (use with SciaticaLess Tonic)
Cold hands and feet (to stimulate blood flow - use with Heart and Circulation Tonic)
Inflamed skin
Muscle cramps
Sprains, strains or twists (ankle, knee, wrist) with bruising
Stiff neck
Tendonitis
Scars
Fungal nails (athletes foot) (use with FungalLess Tonic)
Skin fungal infections (use with FungalLess Tonic)
Eczema (use with SkinClear Tonic)
and many similar

Or you can order a DMSO 70% Cream - jar sizes 30g or 60g - price at our online store

Select the bottle size and strength in our store

DMSO Medicinal Uses
Interstitial cystitis
• Scleroderma
• Lupus
• Different forms of Arthritis
Ulcerative Colitis
• Burns, scar tissue, wounds
• Tendonitis, sprains, bruises see MuscleMore
• Different types of abnormal cellular diseases
• Different forms of nerve conditions
DMSO has a powerful protective effect against liver damage.

DMSO helps to:
· Reduce pain and swelling
· Act as a strong anti-oxidant
· Form a water molecule in the body which is easily excreted
· Act as a powerful free radical scavenger
· Can be used orally, topically and intravenously
· Can be used as a transdermal (eg it carries active herbal constituents through the skin)

Other reported benefits of DMSO:
Bursitis – Dimethyl sulfoxide relieves acute bursitis 80 to 90 percent of the time. Even in chronic bursitis with calcium deposits, dimethyl sulfoxide brings good results in weeks to months, and the calcium deposits eventually fade away. DMSO research: A study (John and Laudahn, 1967) involving 293 patients with acute bursitis showed complete relief in 136 patients, partial relief in 121, and 36 with no change. In the same study, of 782 patients with chronic bursitis, 345 enjoyed complete relief, 321 showed partial remission, and 116 saw no change in three months. The protocol was five milliliters of 90 percent solution to the affected and surrounding area two to four times daily.
Frostbite – People using DMSO even up to 24 hours after the frostbite showed total recovery.
Frozen shoulder – A 70 percent solution of dimethyl sulfoxide can relieve pain and increase mobility. Apply for up to a month.
Hemorrhoids – Apply a 70 percent solution to the hemorrhoid for quick relief of pain and swelling.
Injuries – Strains, sprains, bruising, bone fractures, whiplash, athletic injuries etc: DMSO produces really impressive results with these types of injuries with its anti-inflammatory capabilities and its ability to relieve pain and increase circulation. The sooner the treatment after the injury, the better the result. There is usually pain relief in 20 minutes or less, and pain and swelling often go away almost completely within a few hours of application. Topical application of a 90 percent solution two to four times daily is the usual protocol. “I’ve seen swollen ankles shrink in size in less than an hour,” says Robert Jay Rowen, M.D., who practices in San Jose, California.
Interstitial cystitis – In the study that led to FDA approval, 64 percent of the men and 54 percent of the women obtained relief of symptoms.
Muscle spasms, including nighttime muscle cramps – Dimethyl sulfoxide helps remove toxins and waste material and improves circulation in the muscles to help relieve muscle spasms.
Neuritis – The pain of the nerve inflammation is relieved from 50 to 95 percent of the time.
Osteoarthritis – DMSO can relieve joint pain, increase range of motion and increase grip strength. Many studies have been conducted, both in the U.S. and in other countries, on the effects of dimethyl sulfoxide on arthritis. All found it to relieve pain and inflammation.
DMSO research: In the largest study, in Germany, over 1641 patients were given two to five milliliters of dimethyl sulfoxide topically two to four times daily for the first week, then twice daily for the remainder of two to six months, until remission of symptoms occurred. Eight hundred fifty one patients enjoyed full remission, 553 had partial relief, and 237 reported no benefit.
In another study (Steinberg 1967) with 152 patients, a 90 percent solution was applied topically four times a day to the joints and surrounding areas. Patients reported considerable pain relief just minutes after application, lasting four to six hours. Almost 85 percent reported significant results.
In a Russian test, scientists concluded that “the use of DMSO for inflammatory and degenerative joint disease is well founded. Treatment with DMSO in different combinations is tolerated well by patients and adverse side effects are seldom encountered.” Dimethyl sulfoxide is most effective for those who have had arthritis for a short time.
Although it relieves pain in both acute and chronic arthritis, it works best in the acute forms. Dimethyl sulfoxide works here because it is an anti-inflammatory and because it reduces autoimmune antibodies that damage or destroy tissue. It also prevents free radicals from destroying lubricating fluid in the joints.
DMSO works best of all in osteoarthritis. Patients of all ages get good results, no matter how long or how severe the condition. Larger joints–hip, knee, shoulder–may require longer treatment. Dimethyl sulfoxide injections (rather than application to the skin) may be indicated in really severe conditions.
Peyronies disease – Topical application to the penis removes pain about 50 percent of the time.
Phantom limb pain – Apply topically.
Phlebitis – Relieves some of the pain and superficial clotting when applied to the skin.
Post-operative pain – Topical treatment.
Prostatitis – About 75 percent of those treated may get relief from associated pain.
Pruritis ani – Up to 90 percent of those affected find relief from rectal itching and pain from the application of 70 percent dimethyl sulfoxide to the anal area.
Sciatic nerve pain – Apply topically.
Scleroderma – Two studies, one at the Cleveland Clinic and one in Russia, found that DMSO brings the best results of any kind of therapy for this condition. More than 50 percent of those treated showed major improvement.
Sunburn – Apply to the burned area.
Tendonitis – The pain of tennis elbow, golf elbow, tendonitis of the foot/ankle are eased when dimethyl sulfoxide is applied regularly. Sometimes it takes several months. A study (Steinberg, 1967) of 50 patients showed significant results in 94 percent of patients. A 90 percent solution was applied to the area every four hours at the beginning, then decreased for the remainder of the treatment period. Patients usually found relief within ten to fifteen minutes following the treatment.
Varicose veins – Those treated with a 70 to 90 percent solution applied to the skin experienced prompt relief from pain, cramping and swelling. (from www-http://www.-dmso.co.za/)

DMSO, which comes from the lignan (the vital part of the structure of all plant material; lignan holds plant cells together) of pine trees mainly; is the source of MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) which you can buy from your local health store and recommended as a health alternative remedy for joint pains.

DMSO is an effective pain killer, blocking nerve conduction fibers that produce pain. It reduces inflammation and swelling by reducing inflammatory chemicals. It improves blood supply to an area of injury by dilating blood vessels and increasing delivery of oxygen and by reducing blood platelet stickiness. It stimulates healing, which is a key to its usefulness in any condition. It is among the most potent free radical scavengers known to man, if not the most potent one.

DMSO is an intermediate product of the global Sulphur Cycle which distributes bioavailable sulfur for all animal and plant life (Parcell, 2002). Sulfur compounds are found in all body cells and are indispensable for life, they are needed for a number of chemical reactions involved in the detoxification of drugs and other harmful toxins, and they have potential clinical applications in the treatment of a number of conditions such as depression, fibromyalgia, arthritis, interstitial cystitis, athletic injuries, congestive heart failure, diabetes, cancer, and AIDS (Parcell, 2002). Among the sulphur compounds, DMSO is probably the one that has the widest range and greatest number of therapeutic applications ever shown for any other single chemical. It has around 40 pharmacological properties that may be beneficial in the prevention, relief or reversal of numerous diseases (Morton, 1993).

DMSO aids in heavy metal detoxification. Sulphur binds with toxic heavy metals (mercury, lead, aluminium, cadmium, arsenic, nickel) and eliminates them via urination, defecation and sweating. This is effected using our Herbal Total-Detox Tonic

Eyes. DMSO is effective for macular degeneration and retinal disease, both diseases of the eye. This effectiveness was first discovered when patients with retinitis pigmentosa, a retinal disease, were taking DMSO for certain musculoskeletal disorders. They sensed that their vision had improved and some had remarkable results (Morton, 1993).

Stroke - Given soon after a stroke, DMSO can dissolve the clot that causes the stroke, restoring circulation and avoiding paralysis. Once DMSO gets into the body either daubed on the skin, given in I.V., or by mouth, it permeates the body and crosses the brain barrier, so even taken orally it can improve circulation. Ideally it should be I.V. To prevent strokes take Atherosclerosis Tonic

DMSO may help neutralize harmful effects on the heart and brain in medical disorders involving the head and spinal cord injury, stroke, memory dysfunction, and ischemic heart disease (Jacob, de la Torre, 2009). A 40% DMSO solution should be administered within four hours to be effective, within ninety minutes is best.

Infections
When combined with antibiotics, DMSO will convert bacteria which are resistant to a given antibiotic to being sensitive to that same antibiotic and probably a 80 to 90 per cent solution of DMSO will be required in order to be clinically useful ( Pottz, Rampey, Benjamin,1967). DMSO has been used to transport antibiotics to hard-to-reach areas of the body with excellent results, such as the bone marrow and brain (Sanders, 1967).
DMSO can dissolve a virus protein coating, leaving the virus core unprotected with its nucleic acid exposed to the immune system. Applied topically, it alleviates the lesions that occur as a result of Herpes Zoster, shingles (Morton, 1993).
Placed into the nostrils or topically in the face, DMSO can open blocked sinuses within a few minutes and it has been used with success in patients with polyps (Marvin, 1967).
DMSO can clear up gum disease and reduce tooth decay and their pain by painting it on the involved areas.

Keloids, Scars, Burns, Bruises
A concentration of 50 to 80% put on two or three times a day will flatten a raised scar after several months. It is of considerable value in superficial burns (Goldman, 1967) and when applied quickly to an injury, it can eliminate any bruising.
    “I have been applying it to my face for two weeks… I had a bout of acne in March, and this healed the damage pretty well but what amazed me is that my hyperpigmentation (melasma) has also faded very noticeably. In fact, it’s amazing!” – HG, United States

DMSO can be effective in the treatment of painful corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, bunions, hammertoes, heel spurs, and the inflammation of gouty big toes.
Varicose veins and thrombophlebitis
Topical DMSO can whiten telangiectasias, small dilated blood vessels near the surface of the skin. It can also decrease the size of varicosities in the legs and the inflammation that goes with it, along with a relief of their cramping discomfort (Marvin, 1967. Blumenthal, Fuchs, 1967).

Mental Disorders
DMSO has been useful in the treatment of patients with the following diagnoses: (1) overexcited states (acute schizophrenic reactions, manic phase of the manic-depressive psychoses, alcoholic psychoses, symptomatic psychoses); (2) some symptoms of the chronic psychoses (autism, stereotypia, negativism, abnormal behavior or delusional states) ; (3) severe neuroses (anxiety reactions, obsessives)( Ramírez, Luza, 1967).

Scleroderma
DMSO also has excellent results in the skin of people afflicted with scleroderma, results which have never been observed with any other method of therapy (Scherbel et al, 1967).
Mrs. Jean Puccio of Washington, DC testified at hearings of Senator Edward Kennedy’s sub-committee on health in 1980 on her recovery from scleroderma. Diagnosed in 1971, she was told that no medication would help, and that she would probably soon face a wheelchair and early death. By the time she found Dr. Jacob (through word of mouth), she told the Senators, “I was having difficulty breathing, walking, and eating”. The disease “thickens the tissue and makes your skin so tight you cannot move. It was difficult for me to drive, to turn the ignition in my car or turn my body”. Her dentist could not work on her for awhile because she could not open her mouth. “Now I can open my mouth like anybody”, she said. After her sensitized skin burned from topical application of DMSO, Dr. Jacob suggested taking it orally. “Within six months”, she testified, “my condition reversed almost immediately. I can do anything anybody else can do now” (Haley, 2000).

Other Uses of DMSO
DMSO is a great pain reliever. When topically applied, DMSO is easily absorbed into the skin, neutralising the nerve fibers transmitting pain sensations. It is often used to diminish or eradicate joint pain and/or back pain.
DMSO is a wonderful anti-inflammatory medication. It is used most often in the treatment of interstitial cystitis which is a very painful bladder condition. However, many people claim it does wonders with treating rheumatoid arthritis and eradicates any kind of inflammation in the body.
DMSO has potent anti-bacterial properties. That is why it is often recommended in the treatment of acne, cuts as well as scars.
DMSO can help cardiovascular diseases. Especially if one copes with poor blood circulation, memory dysfunction, anxiety, and some other widely spread symptoms of poor circulation in the body, DMSO will help to improve blood circulation.
DMSO is highly efficient in the treatment of brain injury. This product is siad to do wonders for people who have suffered from any mild to severe brain injury.
DMSO is claimed to be used as preventive cancer treatment and many people claim it has saved their lives. There is evidence that DMSO can cause abnormal cells to become benign. It may stop or slow the development of rogue cells, and prevent the development of breast, ovarian, bladder and colorectal cancers. It is thus known and promoted as an immune system booster.
DMSO is effective in urinary tract disorders. It is considered that DMSO has the ability to treat many different urinary tract disorders experienced in both men and women spanning various age groups.
DMSO has the capacity to treat respiratory disorders including asthma and COPD. Non-traditional health care practitioners usually recommend that patients dealing with respiratory disorders make use of DMSO. Up to now, there has been much talk about its positives when it comes to treating these disorders.
DMSO has proven its efficiency in treating muscle spasms and cramps. Especially athletes or sports aficionados who often experience muscle spasms and cramps.
DMSO is a said to be a great cure for varicose veins, alleviating its painful symptoms and treat severe cases to prevent surgical stripping.

DMSO Natural Occurrence in:
apple
beer
cabbage raw cabbage
cocoa
coffee
corn sweet corn
cucumber
malt
milk
onion
oyster
peppermint
pork liver
raspberry
rum
shrimp cooked
spearmint
tea black tea
tomato
 

DMSO and AgeLess Tonic

----------------

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DMSO Tonics to help the brain
MentalPepTalk
ForgetLess
EnergyMore
DepressionLess
MoodStepUp
BloodCleanser
SpleenShield
Wheatgrass

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Herbal tonics with DMSO
MoodStepUp
EnergyMore
MentalPepTalk
DepressionLess
BrainMore
SynergyPluss
HerbShield
SportSupport
BloodCleanser
MoveMore
PainLess
TireLess
Total Detox
WorryLess
SAD Syndrome

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Prescriptions

Our herbal tonic medicines are carefully prepared on a personal and individual basis for your healing by medical herbalist Alan Hopking MA MNIMH FINEH.

Only whole herbs are used in our herbal medicines. Nothing else is added. If you have symptoms which you consider might be helped with herbal medicine please contact herbal practitioner Alan Hopking for a friendly confidential professional consultation. See terms and fees.

Once you have received your herbal prescription you can contact Alan Hopking at any time for more free advice (preferably by email). When you have completed your bottle of herbal medicine and if you want a repeat prescription you are requested to phone or email so that your progress can be assessed and adjustments made if necessary so that there is no break in your treatment. To order or re-order, click here.

MRCHM - see Alan Hopking's statement about renouncing his association with membership of this organisation

HERBACTIVE Centre of Herbal Medicine, England, UK. Freephone 0800 0834436

General advice to consumers on the use of herbal remedies from the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (www.mhra.gov.uk) Department of Health, UK

• Remember that herbal remedies are medicines. As with any other medicine they are likely to have an effect on the body and should be used with care. • Herbal remedies may sometimes interact with other medicines. This makes it particularly important to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking a herbal remedy with other medicines such as prescribed medicines (those provided through your doctor or dentist). • Treat with caution any suggestion that a herbal remedy is '100% safe' or is 'safe because it is natural'. Many plants, trees, fungi and algae can be poisonous to humans. It is worth remembering that many pharmaceuticals have been developed or derived from these sources because of the powerful compounds they contain. Any medicine, including herbal remedies, which have an effect on the body should be used with care. • Treat with caution any herbalist or other person who supplies herbal remedies if they are unwilling or unable to provide written information, in English, listing the ingredients of the herbal remedy they are providing. • If you are due to have a surgical operation you should always remember to tell your doctor about any herbal remedy that you are taking. • Anyone who has previously experienced any liver complaint, or any other serious health complaint is advised not to take any herbal remedy without speaking to their doctor first.

PRECAUTIONS:

Pregnant/Breast-feeding mothers

Few conventional medicines have been established as safe to take during pregnancy and it is generally recognised that no medicine should be taken unless the benefit to the mother outweighs any possible risk to the foetus. This rule should also be applied to herbal medicinal products. However, herbal products are often promoted to the public as being “natural” and completely “safe” alternatives to conventional medicines. Some herbal ingredients that specifically should be avoided or used with caution during pregnancy. As with conventional medicines, no herbal products should be taken during pregnancy unless the benefit outweighs the potential risk.

Volatile Oils

Many herbs are traditionally reputed to be abortifacient and for some this reputation can be attributed to their volatile oil component.(6) A number of volatile oils are irritant to the genito-urinary tract if ingested and may induce uterine contractions. Herbs that contain irritant volatile oils include ground ivy, juniper, parsley, pennyroyal, sage, tansy and yarrow. Some of these oils contain the terpenoid constituent, thujone, which is known to be abortifacient. Pennyroyal oil also contains the hepatotoxic terpenoid constituent, pulegone. A case of liver failure in a woman who ingested pennyroyal oil as an abortifacient has been documented.

Uteroactivity

A stimulant or spasmolytic action on uterine muscle has been documented for some herbal ingredients including blue cohosh, burdock, fenugreek, golden seal, hawthorn, jamaica dogwood, motherwort, nettle, raspberry, and vervain. Herbal Teas Increased awareness of the harmful effects associated with excessive tea and coffee consumption has prompted many individuals to switch to herbal teas. Whilst some herbal teas may offer pleasant alternatives to tea and coffee, some contain pharmacologically active herbal ingredients, which may have unpredictable effects depending on the quantity of tea consumed and strength of the brew. Some herbal teas contain laxative herbal ingredients such as senna, frangula, and cascara. In general stimulant laxative preparations are not recommended during pregnancy and the use of unstandardised laxative preparations is particularly unsuitable. A case of hepatotoxicity in a newborn baby has been documented in which the mother consumed a herbal tea during pregnancy as an expectorant. Following analysis the herbal tea was reported to contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are known to be hepatotoxic.

Breast-feeding mothers

A drug substance taken by a breast-feeding mother presents a hazard if it is transferred to the breast milk in pharmacologically or toxicologically significant amounts. Limited information is available regarding the safety of conventional medicines taken during breast-feeding. Much less information exists for herbal ingredients, and generally the use of herbal remedies is not recommended during lactation.

Paediatric Use

Herbal remedies have traditionally been used to treat both adults and children. Herbal remedies may offer a milder alternative to some conventional medicines, although the suitability of a herbal remedy needs to be considered with respect to quality, safety and efficacy. Herbal remedies should be used with caution in children and medical advice should be sought if in doubt. Chamomile is a popular remedy used to treat teething pains in babies. However, chamomile is known to contain allergenic sesquiterpene lactones and should therefore be used with caution. The administration of herbal teas to children needs to be considered carefully and professional advice may be needed.

Perioperative use

The need for patients to discontinue herbal medicinal products prior to surgery has recently been proposed. The authors considered eight commonly used herbal medicinal products (echinacea, ephedra, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, kava, St John’s Wort, valerian). On the evidence available they concluded that the potential existed for direct pharmacological effects, pharmacodynamic interactions and pharmacokinetic interactions. The need for physicians to have a clear understanding of the herbal medicinal products being used by patients and to take a detailed history was highlighted. The American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) has advised patients to tell their doctor if they are taking herbal products before surgery and has reported that a number of anaesthesiologists have reported significant changes in heart rate or blood pressure in some patients who have been taking herbal medicinal products including St John’s Wort, ginkgo and ginseng. MCA is currently investigating a serious adverse reaction associated with the use of ginkgo prior to surgery. In this case, the patient who was undergoing hip replacement experienced uncontrolled bleeding thought to be related to the use of ginkgo.

From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (www.mhra.gov.uk) Department of Health, UK

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