Wicca, Witchcraft and Paganism, for the Novice to the Crone

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Herbs are good medicine. There is no doubt about that fact. However, there are over 300,000 higher plant species. A good herbalist may know of one or two thousand of them. This means that even an experienced herbalist can make mistakes. Let's take a look at some of the most common problems.


Pregnant women should avoid barberry root bark, cascara sagrada, feverfew, juniper berries, mugwort, pennyroyal, pokeroot, rue, senna, southernwood, tansy, thuja and wormwood. All of those herbs can increased a risk for miscarriage. Safe herbs during pregnancy would be Manna, Butternut Bark or Root, Flax Seed, Slippery Elm and Lemon Verbena.


No matter what herb(s) you are taking, be mindful of anything unexpected. Stop taking whatever it is and consult an expert you can trust.


Make certain you have the correct diagnosis. Diagnosis is n

ot easy and sometimes doctors make mistakes. Generally, however, a doctor is much better equipped to diagnose. Discuss any planned herbal discipline you plan to undertake with your physician.


Watch for any allergic reactions. Even though you may have never had any allergies in the past, if you are embarking on an herbal journey, watch carefully for any adverse reactions. If you experience difficulty in breathing within 30 minutes of trying a new herb, food or drug, call 911 immediately! You may be having an anaphylactic reaction which is the most severe form of allergic reaction. This condition can quickly become fatal unless treated promptly. This reaction is rare, but you need to be careful and be aware.


Watch for any interactions. Medicines often interact negatively with one another. So do herbs. Always be careful when taking more than one drug or herb or a combination of both. If you suspect an interaction consult your physician or pharmacist.


One interaction that you should be aware of is Antidepressants known as monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. They interact badly with wine, cheese and many other foods. St. John's Wort is also an MAO inhibitor so the same food restrictions apply. If you plan on using St. John's Wort, discuss it with your physician or pharmacist.


Lastly, make certain that both your physician AND your herbalist are fully aware of all medications and/or herbal treatments you are using.


No matter what herb(s) you are taking, be mindful of anything unexpected


DISCLAIMER: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.


Since natural and/or dietary supplements are not FDA approved they must be accompanied by a two-part disclaimer on the product label: that the statement has not been evaluated by FDA and that the product is not intended to "diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease."

Harmful Effects of Herbs and Herbs to Avoid

No matter what herb(s) you are taking, be mindful of anything unexpected

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Juniper Berries

St John’s Wort