Birth control pills contain synthetic hormones which are detoxified in the liver. Many herbs either speed up or speed down liver detoxification. Therefore herbs may help to eliminate the synthetic hormones quicker (reduce effectiveness of synthetic hormones), or slow down detoxification (increase effect of synthetic hormones). So yes, herbs could have an effect. St. Johns wort is perhaps the one that can most effect the liver and contraceptive medication (at least that was what was drilled into me in school).
Most natural herbal supplements are not tested or approved by the FDA, so if you use them, you should be cautious. Read the labels carefully and try to use a well-known company, like Puritan's Pride, Schiff, etc. Herbal supplements may be helpful, but they can also have side effects. Use caution when taking them.
Before you begin taking supplements of any kind, check with the physician who prescribes your anxiety medication. Some nutritional supplements might help, but others, like herbal supplements can interfere with or ramp up the effects of certain medications. Check with your doctor. You may be able to get some information from the pharmacist as well.
Most of the Whole Foods stores have an expansive section dedicated to vitamins. It is important when shopping for vitamins, however, to make the distinction between vitamins and herbal supplements since they sometimes are placed on the shelf together, but they are not the same. In Whole Foods vitamins are distinguished by actually having the word vitamin on the label, and generally contain recognized compounds such as vitamin A or beta-carotene. On the other hand, herbal supplements and some nutritional supplements are not vitamins, and might actually make unsubstantiated or dubious claims as to the health benefits of taking them. When in Whole Foods vitamins are generally better for a healthy diet, while herbal supplements should be researched thoroughly before being taken.
Herbal supplements containing kava or passionflower seem to be safe for the symptoms of anxiety. However, before taking any natural supplements, make sure you speak to your doctor first to try and explore all of your options as well as make sure you aren't currently taking any medications that may react with the natural supplements.
"Super supplements are vitamin supplements that contain vitamins and herbal extracts. As with all supplements, taking too much of it may cause poisoning. Iron poisoning, for example, is one of the leading causes of death for children. A lot of the so-called ""super herbs"" are also not medically proven to have effects and may in fact be harmful to one's health."
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can increase the effect of Coumadin, so it should be discussed with your doctor or pharmacist before taking it. There a many, many drugs that should not be taken with Coumadin, including many herbal medicines/supplements, such as garlic, ginko biloba, chamomile and ginseng. You need to tell your doctor and your pharmacist every med you are taking, including all OTC (over the counter) meds and herbal supplements.
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