We use herbs with low toxicities. We recommend the use of medium to high toxicity herbs only under the advice of a certified physician or naturopath trained in herbology.
There are some herbs with low to medium toxicity when used alone have little toxicity, but when combined with other herbs can lead to serious complications. We will tend to avoid these if possible unless you come to our clinic where we can make certain you are not creating toxic combinations.
Simple Toxicity Scale
Current in-depth studies show some herbal preparations demonstrate potential patient risks. We have developed a proprietary system to simplify herbal toxicities for the consumer called the Simple Toxicity Scale (STS).
STS has simplified the recognition of toxicities for consumers. We proudly use it on all our products.
An Example of a Toxic Herb
A compound that is found in many herbs is pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Ingested orally (but not externally), pyrrolizidine alkaloids may have low to medium levels of toxicities. When taken orally (but not externally) at high levels they have been associated with liver toxicity and death from liver failure. Some governments have removed use of these herbs in oral herbal supplements.
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids compounds are found in many herbs that are frequently used by herbalists in the USA. We understand that the consumer may add many herbal preparations to their daily ingestion. If the consumer uses 3-4 and each one of these products contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, serious toxicities when combined can develop serious side effects. We avoid the use of these plants in our orally ingested products for this reason.
Most herbalists use some of these herbs in their oral products and do not warn you of this synergistic harmful potential, so caution is needed. Some of the more common plants with pyrrolizidine alkaloids are comfrey, borage and the borage family, coltsfoot, forget-me-not, alkanet, lungwort or cowslip, and boneset. Other less common herbs that have pyrrolizidine alkaloids are pestilence-wort or butterbur, artic coltsfoot, golden ragwort, tansy ragwort, fiddleneck, red tasselflower, hound's tongue, white heliotrope, stickseed, gromwell, and rattlebox. For more information on pyrrolizidine alkaloids please refer to this article.
Our Herbal Preparations
In general we do not sell herbal preparations with medium or high toxicity to the public. We do have them available in our clinic to be used under the guidance of our physicians.
Safety When Using Herbal Products
Any ingested or topically used herbal supplement product may cause allergies and or reactions. A test trial of any product should be done by the consumer before initial use. We recommend that you take a small drop of tincture or a small smear of balm to initially test for side effects for the first 24 hours prior to regular usage. If any reaction develops, you should consult your physician. One should not take herbs except under the guidance of a physician if you are a child less than 16 years of age, are pregnant, have organ diseases of significant degree, or are on multiple medications.
BUYER BEWARE: We urge you to purchase herbs from companies that are knowledgable about plant toxicities.