Safety precautions while consuming these popular herbs & herbal formulations

Carefully harvested and purified herbs in general are safe and do not cause long term harmful side effects like some modern medicines. However there are a few scenarios you should avoid a few of these popular herbs or seek advice from your Ayurvedic vaidya while consuming for a long period of time
We will cover the following herbs in the article

  • Amalaki powder is generally a safe herbal supplement. No toxic or adverse effects are reported even with continuous use. Safety of Amlaki  is attributed to its anti-mutagenic, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic,anti-oxidant, anti-tumour and immunomodulatory activities and numerous indications for its use in children and pregnant women. It is also safe to the baby if the nursing mother is taking this medication.
  • Amalaki has a cooling property and hence individuals intolerant to cold should consume it with ginger powder and warm water or honey.

Trikatu is used in combination with honey to alleviate diseases such as colds, rhinitis, cough, breathlessness, asthma, dyspepsia and obesity. It also improves the digestive power.

  • No side effect or toxic effect of Trikatu has been mentioned in the classical literature. Clinical studies have also shown no adverse effects in patients treated with recommended dose of Trikatu powder alone as well as in combination with other herbal preparations. 
  • Since Trikatu powder is hot in nature, large dose should be avoided as the patient may complain of burning sensation, burning micturition, etc. In such conditions, the use should be stopped immediately and the patient should be advised to take cooling agents and milk in plenty till the complaints subside completely.
  • Medication with Trikatu is not advisable for pregnant women. However, it is safe for the baby if a nursing mother is taking this medication.

Haritaki is useful in constipation, haemorrhoids, stomatitis, hyperacidity and associated gastrointestinal disorders.

  • No side or toxic effect of Haritaki is reported in classics with its recommended dose. Clinical studies have also shown no adverse effect in patients treated with Haritaki alone or with formulations.
  • It should not be prescribed to pregnant women. It is safe for the baby if the nursing mother is taking this medication.
  • The astringent and dry property of Haritaki may induce nausea in sensitive individuals. This may be masked by consuming it in tablet form or by preparing its decoction and adding jaggery to it.
  • Dose of Haritaki as a laxative varies from person to person according to their constitution, digestive power and bowel habit.

Ajamoda is useful in 
(1) For relief from joint pain in arthritis such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis, and non-specific arthritis.
(2) It is useful in dyspepsia and colic with or without joint pain, when taken with salt and warm water.
(3) Local application of the paste or poultice of Ajamoda seeds is recommended in painful joint condition.

  • Ajamoda powder should not be used during pregnancy and nursing mothers are advised to take it under medical supervision
  • The diuretic action of Ajamoda works by irritating the kidneys and therefore should be used with caution in cases of renal disorder.

Ashwagandha powder is useful in malaise, debility, impotence, neurasthenia, mental stress and fatigue.

  • Alcohol and psychotropic drugs should not be consumer together or immediately after using Ashwagandha powder.
  • Individuals with hot constitution should take a smaller dose of Ashwagandha and should avoid excessive consumption of hot beverages, sour, spicy and stimulant foods.
  • Ashwagandha powder is generally considered as safe. Used in a dose of up to 9 grams per day for four weeks, it is reported to be well-tolerated.
  • Pregnant women should not consume Ashwagandha
  • It is safe for baby if the nursing mother is taking Ashwagandha. 

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