Medications & Herbs: A Risky Recipe

The good old phrase "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" paints a vivid picture of optimal health requiring our full attention. However, we aren't just talking about adding more fruits to your diet.

medicinal herbs

This conversation is about the "Dangers of mixing prescription drugs with natural remedies." Often, seniors resort to natural remedies as a way to complement or substitute their prescribed medications without fully realizing the potential hazards that could be lurking beneath their noble intentions.

You may be under the impression that natural remedies are innocuous, but mixing these with your regularly prescribed drugs may not always lead to the most harmonious results. For example, St. John's Wort, a popular natural remedy used for depression, might severely diminish the effectiveness of heart medications and birth control pills when used in tandem.


Another example is garlic, which, while excellent on toast and in certain pasta dishes, may not mix well with prescribed medicines for managing blood clots and HIV. It could significantly interfere with the medicine's functionality.

The dilemma that arises from mixing prescription drugs with natural remedies is often subtle and unnoticed at the initial stage. Over time, these minor interferences could blossom into significant medical complications or become life-threatening.

The Bible reminds us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own." As such, we must show PROPER care for our bodies. As seniors, this is even more significant as our immune systems and facilities need extra care.

This does not mean that you should completely abandon natural remedies. Take your tea, enjoy your garlic, but remember that making wise decisions about what you ingest matters considerably. This all boils down to carefully managing what goes into your body.


Returning to our example of St. John's Wort, who would have thought that this little plant with yellow flowers could have a profound effect on prescribed medication? But now that you know, the ball is in your court.

Making wise decisions should include engaging your healthcare provider or a knowledgeable pharmacist who can guide you through the process of ingesting only compatible substitute ingredients along with prescribed drugs.

Understanding when and how to take your remedies is also key. Depending on your regimen, it can make sense to ingest some medicines or natural remedies at different times or on a full or empty stomach.

natural remedies

Also, ensure that you are sourcing your natural remedies from reputable sources. Unfortunately, the markets for such remedies are not strictly regulated, leaving room for fraudulent or poorly produced remedies.

Whenever you feel tempted to dismiss natural remedies as unnecessary because all this seems too complex, just think of it as a new hobby—a hobby where the trophy is your health.

You wouldn't want to ruin a delicious Sunday roast by adding incompatible ingredients, would you? So why would you mix remedies that do not complement each other into your body?

a medication plan

Funny though it may sound, mixing incompatible remedies could land you in a 'pickle', speaking metaphorically and literally.

However, a positive resolution would be developing an intelligent medication intake plan. Make this a fun and involving activity. Get a diary, make a chart, or use an App that keeps you on track with the necessary medicines.

At the end of the day, causing no harm to your body must be at the forefront of your health decisions. Remember, taking control means being responsible. It means keeping a vigilant eye on what is good for you and what could pose a danger.

It's not just about popping the prescribed pills in a timely manner but also about simultaneously ensuring that natural remedies do not undermine the medicines' effects.

So, the courtyard to the kitchen will no longer look like a walk from the pharmacy aisle to the organic food section but rather a well-reasoned and informed health journey that features a perfect blend of both worlds.

Remember, the ultimate goal should be to provide your body with the most comprehensive and effective healthcare, just as our Heavenly Father would want for us.

Always consult a healthcare provider, do your research, and stay safe. After all, no one wants any surprises regarding their health.


National Institutes of Health, 

U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 

Mayo Clinic.

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