Popular Natural Supplements to Avoid

With people becoming more health conscious, the market for natural supplements have grown steadily over the years. These supplements come in different forms and offer a variety of benefits. But not all of these natural supplements may be something that people should be taking. Some may also carry with them some potential danger that some of its marketers may neglect to point out in order to sell them. Here are some of those supplements that should be avoided.

Aristolochic Acid

Aristolochic acid is also sometimes known as birthwort, snakeweed, snakeroot or wild ginger. This supplement is mainly sold as a a weight loss supplement and is also known to relieve allergies, menstrual cramps and gastrointestinal problems. The potential danger to using such a supplement is that aristolochic acid is known as a carcinogen and has been linked to the development of tumors in the urinary tract as well as possible kidney damage.


Supplements containing comfrey are also known as blackwort, bruisewort, knitbone and slippery root. This supplement is usually marketed as a good anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. It is said to lower cholesterol levels, relieves anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome. But there is also some potential dangers that lurk with using comfrey. It contains unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids, compounds known to cause significant liver damage.


Kava has slong been used by Western Pacific cultures as a slightly intoxicating drink. But consuming kava supplements has been linked to reports of people sustaining liver injuries by taking them. Taking kava supplements are also known to react when used with other prescription medicines. More studies may be needed in order to better understand how this supplements may be tied to liver damage. For now, people are advised to avoid taking such supplements for their own safety.


Androstenedione is a supplement popular among body builders. Also known as andro, it is being sold as a muscle mass builder. Its use may have several undesirable results. In women, it is linked to male pattern baldness as well as increased facial hair. More serious side effects linked to the use of this supplement include, breast and endometrial cancer, blood clots as well as impotence in men.


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