Herbal Supplements

Herbal Supplements:

  • We are often asked about continuing herbal supplements prior to surgery.  There are many herbal supplements on the market and evidenced based research on their impact to surgical outcomes and interactions with medications can be limited.  Natural does not always mean safe when it comes to anesthesia and surgery.  If you are taking herbal supplements or vitamins please share that information with your anesthesiologist and surgical staff.  We advise all patients to stop herbal medications and vitamin supplements 7 days prior to surgery.  Popular supplements and interactions are listed below but is not all inclusive.  There are additional links below for further information.
  • Popular Herbal Products and Possible Side Effects or Interactions with Anesthetics
  • Black Cohosh

Blood pressure decrease; may increase bleeding.

  • Echinacea

Immune suppression; liver inflammation.

  • Ephedra

Cardiac instability, Hypertension, heart attack, palpitations, vasoconstriction and sudden cardiac death.

  • Feverfew

Migraine, insomnia, anxiety and joint stiffness; risk of prolonged bleeding.

  • Fish Oil

May increase bleeding.

  • Garlic

Blood pressure changes; risk of prolonged bleeding.

  • Ginger

Sedative effects; risk of bleeding, especially if taken with aspirin and ginkgo.

  • Ginkgo Biloba

May increase bleeding.

  • Ginseng

Insomnia and irritability; risk of cardiac effects, hypotension, may increase bleeding

  • Hoodia

Changes in blood sugar; possible arrhythmia.

  • Kava

Sedative effects; potential liver toxicity; risk of additive effect to medications.

  • St. John’s Wort

Sedation; blood pressure changes; risk of interaction with other medications that prolong effects of anesthesia.

  • Valerian

Increased sedative effects, delayed emergence from anesthesia.



Stockley's Herbal Medicine's Interactions