Some Natural Medicines May Alter Laboratory Test Results*

Chris D. Meletis, N.D.

Practitioners that use natural medicine will freely admit that “just because it’s natural doesn’t make it safe.” It is logical that, because 25–33 percent of conventional prescription medicines originated from natural sources, certain extracts may also have side-effects. Philosophically, some people might argue that there is a difference between an isolated substance used in the form of a drug and using a botanical extract. However, this line of argument for many products has become weakened with the advent and abundant use of standardized products that concentrate isolated active chemicals from plants to create “quasidrugs.”

Indeed, the same trends that originally resulted in the creation of pharmaceuticals are beginning to reshape the traditional use of botanical medicines. If an isolated substance in a drug derived from a plant is made into a prescription medicine and can cause side-effects, then, of course, herbal medicines that are dissected and modified to create quasidrugs increases the likelihood of interactions and side effects. This is especially true when quasidrugs are not used with sufficient knowledge of nature’s intended balance. Drug–drug interactions occur and it follows quite logically that drug–natural medicine interactions also happen.

Read More…