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Hypertension and Herbal Medication

The herbal medication industry has skyrocketed. A trip to the drugstore will surprise the casual shopper of the shelves of medication one can buy without a prescription and without a doctor’s supervision. Herbal products have been used to treat insomnia, depression, gastrointestinal distress, muscle aches, bruising after surgery and an endless number of other maladies.

Unfortunately the side effects of those herbal medications are not always clearly elucidated to the consumer who buys those products. It is a ‘buyer beware’ mentality that is necessary when purchasing herbal products specifically. A quick Google search of any product you are thinking of purchasing may save you great future physical distress. More importantly when you are contemplating surgery of any kind it is imperative to tell your doctor about ALL the medicine you take including herbal medication.

A recent published study in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal by Bahman Guyuron MD of Case Western Reserve University highlighted herbal medication that may contribute to hypertension (high blood pressure). He divided those medications into common and uncommon herbal products that may contribute to hypertension. Some people may take herbal medication to help with depression, for example, only to unknowingly bring on hypertension that is medically induced by the herbal medication.

Among the common herbal products that may induce or contribute to hypertension listed by Dr. Guyuron were: Arnica, Bitter orange, Blue cohosh, Ephedra, Ginkgo, Ginseng, Guarana, Licorice, Pennyroyal oil, Scotch broom, Senna, Southern bayberry, St. John’s wort, and Yohimbine. The uncommon herbal products that may contribute to hypertension were: Areca nut, Belladonna, Calamus, Chilli pepper, Coltsfoot, Goldenseal, Henbane, Jimsome weed, Khat, Lobelia, Mandrake, Mate, Scopolia, and Vervain.

In a previous study by Eisenberg et al found in the New England Journal of Medicine research showed that 70 percent of patients do not reveal the use of herbal supplements to their health care provider. As a result of the possible deleterious effect of their herbal medicine and poor communication with their health care provider the American Society of Anesthesiologists recommended that all surgical patients stop their herbal medication two weeks before their operation.

At Sono Bello we concur with the literature and also desire our patients to refrain from taking all types of herbal medication for two weeks before surgery. Aside from a causative factor in hypertension some herbal medication may contribute to other medical issues such as excessive bleeding during surgery and interactions with medication given for surgery. We, at Sono Bello, desire liposuction surgery to be a safe experience and want you to help yourself by understanding the effects that herbal medicine may have on you and your liposuction surgery.

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