� #1
Old 09-03-2012, 05:46 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: NC
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Default Many herbs potentially harmful for Kidneys?!

So for a couple of days, I've had a minor pain in my back and it suddenly shifted to both sides today. Seems like it could possibly be kidney related. I searched iHerb for kidney formulas to see what I might be able to take to help my kidneys. I found a few formulas that contain some herbs that I have on hand, such as Ginger and Marshmallow. So, after taking a few of each, I decide to do a search for herbs that are harmful to kidneys. The very first link I click leads to The National Kidney Foundation site and an article that identifies 39 herbs that might be harmful to the kidneys, including Ginger!


Herbs that may be toxic to the kidneys
Artemisia absinthium (wormwood plant) / Periwinkle / Autumn crocus / Sassafras / Chuifong tuokuwan (Black Pearl) / Tung shueh /
Horse chestnut / Vandelia / cordifolia

Herbs that may be harmful in chronic kidney disease
Alfalfa / Buckthorn / Ginger / Nettle / Vervain / Aloe / Capsicum / Ginseng / Noni juice / Bayberry / Cascara / Horsetail / Panax / Blue Cohosh / Coltsfoot / Licorice / Rhubarb / Broom / Dandelion / Mate / Senna

Herbs known to be unsafe for all people
Chapparal / Pennyroyal / Comfrey / Pokeroot / Ephedra (Ma Huang) / Sassafras / Lobelia / Senna / Mandrake / Yohimbe

I also take Licorice and Horse Chestnut regularly...
and Lobelia occasionally - figures.

Anyone know how accurate this information might be?

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� #2
Old 09-03-2012, 11:32 PM
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Hmmm, I wonder why willow bark didn't make the list?
I'd rather meander for the prevention than race for the cure.
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� #3
Old 10-06-2012, 10:40 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Sassafras is harmful for all people? Wow, I made tea from the roots from time to time when I was younger. It was the best tasting tea I've ever had. What is harmful about it?
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� #4
Old 10-06-2012, 12:32 PM
jfh jfh is offline
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It is not just the kidneys that are affected by sassafras.

  • The sassafras tree naturally contains a substance known as safrole. According to the Herbs 2000 website, researchers in the 1960s discovered that safrole caused liver cancer in rats. The results of the research prompted the FDA to consider safrole a carcinogen and banned its use as a food additive. In 1976, the FDA also banned sassafras tea because they discovered consumers would receive a high dose of safrole by drinking it. This led to the manufacture of safrole-free barks, oils and other products.


  • A substance found in sassafras oil, known as MDMA, is a highly toxic substance used in the manufacture of the recreational psychedelic drug ecstasy. This substance is extracted from the root and can be a serious health risk when consumed. According to the MediChat website, MDMA has been known to cause heart palpitations, hallucinations, brain damage and paranoia. Others argue that this same substance is euphoric, heightens awareness of the senses and increases a person's ability to communicate, love and forgive. All of the above may be true for some people, but at a risk.


  • Herbal teas are used for a variety of reasons ranging from relaxation to simple enjoyment of flavor. When teas are made using herbs, the strength of the herbs is concentrated in the drink, resulting in a medicinal dose for the person enjoying the tea. While most herbal ingredients are safe for consumption in moderate amounts, many specific herbal teas can be harmful to pregnant women and their babies.
    Among the herbal teas that should not be consumed by pregnant women is sassafras tea, according to the Baby Center website. Other herbs, including anise, catnip, chamomile, hibiscus, lemongrass, pennyroyal and licorice root may all lead to miscarriage if taken in large amounts. These herbs all stimulate the uterus and may cause miscarriage, especially early in pregnancy. The teas should be avoided altogether unless a physician recommends them.

- Jim

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving." - Albert Einstein
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