Herbal Supplements to Avoid Post Surgery

Below is a list of Herbal Supplements and the possible interactions/complications you may experience after surgery:

  • Aloe - May lower potassium level if eaten.
  • Bilberry- May cause bleeding.
  • Cayenne- May cause bleeding.
  • Danshen- May cause bleeding.
  • Dong guai- May cause bleeding.
  • Echinacea- Can affect liver during general anesthesia and can be harmful to immunosuppressed patients. It may interfere with healing and should be stopped several months before surgery.
  • Ephedra- May cause abnormal heartbeat; may cause extreme high blood pressure and coma if combined with certain antidepressants and anesthesia.
  • Feverfew- May cause bleeding.
  • Garlic- May cause bleeding. You should stop taking at least a week before surgery.
  • Ginger- May cause bleeding.
  • Ginkgo- May cause bleeding. You should stop taking about 2 days before surgery.
  • Ginseng- May slow blood clotting; may cause low blood sugar levels in fasting patients; may cause rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure. You should stop taking 2 days before surgery.
  • Goldenseal- May cause or worsen high blood pressure.
  • Kava- Increases the effects of anesthesia and may slow the recovery. You should stop taking at least 24-3 6 hours before surgery.
  • Licorice (not including licorice candy)- May increase blood pressure. May interact with Demerol.
  • Melatonin- Decreases the amount of anesthesia needed.
  • PC-SPES-  Has an estrogenic effect that may increase the risk of blood clots in the legs.
  • Senna- May cause electrolyte imbalance.
  • St. John’s Wort- May increase or decrease the effects of some drugs used during and after surgery. May interact with Demerol. You should stop taking about 5-7 days before surgery.
  • Valerian-  Increases the effects of anesthesia and may slow the recovery. Do not stop suddenly, but gradually taper off for several weeks.
  • Yohimbe (natural Viagra)- May interact with Demerol