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It’s Just an Herb, Supplement, or Remedy

Published December 10, 2012


Horizons in Hemophilia, December 2012

By Penny Kumpf, RN, Outreach Nurse

You might have heard this or thought it yourself:  “what’s the harm, it’s just an herb.”  There are many medications used today that originally came from plants and are now used for cancer chemotherapy (Pacific Yew Tree; Taxol) and heart medications (Foxglove; Digoxin) among others. Like medications, herbs have side effects and may interact with something else you are using.  People with bleeding disorders need to consult with their health care providers before using any vitamin, supplement, herb, remedy, drug, etc. 

You should also educate yourself about everything you take and make a list of these things so you can speak with your practitioner with knowledge.  Have your list ready for your next medical appointment.

The Hemophilia, von Willebrand Disease, & Platelet Disorders Handbook has information about drugs and herbal supplements that may affect bleeding. Herbs and other supplements that can increase bleeding risk include:

  • angelica
  • cat's claw
  • chamomile
  • feverfew
  • garlic
  • ginkgo
  • goldenseal
  • grape seed extract
  • green leaf tea
  • horse chestnut seed
  • psyllium
  • fish oil
  • vitamin E
  • turmeric

Source: "Pharmacology Review: Drugs that Alter Blood Coagulation" American Nurse Today, Nov 2012

Here are additional resources for your education: