Safety in Herb-Drug Combinations #2
Sample of Course Materials
Diuretic Drugs with Astringent Herbal Medicines
Diuretic drugs and astringent herbal medicine often, but not always, have opposing functions. Astringent herbal medicines are often contraindicated in cases of excess Fire and damp heat.
Common diuretics are furosemide, hygroton, and hydrochlorothiazide. They strongly drain water and lower blood pressure but potentially drain potassium (and other electrolytes) which creates the need for potassium supplementation.
Shan Zhu Yu (Fructus Corni Officinalis) astringes the Kidney & Jing and strengthens the Kidney and Liver. Shan Zhu Yu is both astringent and also exerts a diuretic action. It has been shown to temporarily lower blood pressure without affecting blood sugar levels as a result of inducing... (more in course materials)
Oral contraceptives for females include the combined oral contraceptive pill and the progestogen only pill. The combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP) has both estrogen (oestrogen) and progestin (progestogen). COCPs inhibit follicular development, prevent an LH surge, and prevent ovulation. COCPs also increase the viscosity of cervical mucous which inhibits sperm penetration to the upper genital tract. COCPs may increase coagulation of blood thereby leading to thromboses, embolisms, and myocardial infarction. Smoking increases this risk substantially. COCPs are affected by antibiotics. Antibiotics affect bacterial flora and therefore may diminish absorption of COCPs. The progestogen only pill (POP) contains progestogens. POPs function by thickening cervical mucus and inhibiting follicular development. POPs do not contain estrogen and therefore have a decreased risk of clotting.
Levonorgestrel is a synthetic progestogen. It is used in both COCPs and POPs and is also the active ingredient in intrauterine systems (Mirena) and contraceptive implants (Norplant, Jadelle).
San Qi (Radix Notoginseng, Tian Qi) and Pu Huang (Pollen Typhae ) promote blood circulation, stop bleeding, and stop pain. Both have antiplatelet properties and decrease prothrombin time to stop bleeding. San Qi is warming and reduces swelling. Pu Huang is neutral, promotes urination, and is contraindicated in pregnancy because it can stimulate uterine contractions.
Qian Cao (Gen) (Radix Rubiae Cordifoliae) stops bleeding, cools the blood, and promotes blood circulation.
Di Yu (Radix Sanguisorbae Officinalis) stops bleeding in the Lower Jiao, clears heat toxins and damp heat, and cools the blood.
Ce Bai Ye (Cacumen Biotae Oracientalis) cools the blood, stops bleeding, and dissolves hot phlegm.
Bai Mao Gen (Rhizoma Imperatae Cylindricae) stops bleeding in the Upper Jiao, cools the Lung and Stomach heat, and promotes urination.
Zi Zhu (Cao) (Folium Callicarpae Formosanae ) and Xian He Cao (Herba Agrimony Pilosae ) are astringent and stop bleeding. Zi Zhu clears heat toxins. Xian He Cao strengthens the Qi, stops diarrhea, reduces swellings, and kills parasites. Xian He Cao can increase the platelet count to stop bleeding and it contains vitamin K. Warfarin (Coumadin) may be reduced in efficaciousness due to vitamin K present in this... (more in course materials)