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“Natural” Supplements that Injure and Kill


Herbal supplements are available over-the-counter to assist consumers with any number of health issues, including everything from trouble sleeping to inflammation, anxiety to the common cold. But although herbal medicines sound like a great alternative to pharmaceuticals, don’t assume that just because they are “natural” they can’t have serious risks to your health. In the event such a supplement causes severe harm or death, you may wish to contact an experienced local attorney for assistance.

Tragedy here in Florida

A Port St. Lucie man overdosed on kratom and died in December of 2017. The medical examiner for the area said his office had dealt with almost 20 deaths involving this herbal supplement throughout that year.

Problems Worth Noting

Quite often, people do not discuss their herbal treatments with a physician, and are unaware of possible risks:

  • Negative interactions with other medications;
  • A lack of regulation for many herbal remedies;
  • Interference with anesthesia during surgical procedures;
  • Interactions with blood pressure and/or blood clotting following surgery;
  • Limited scientific data supporting the effectiveness of these products.

Those at Highest Risk

Some note that it is particularly important for certain groups to avoid herbal supplements:

  • Individuals who take prescribed medications;
  • Those who suffer from kidney disease or other serious conditions;
  • People who are about to undergo surgery;
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding;
  • Elderly individuals;
  • Children.

Unforeseen Outcomes

Unfortunately, a number of herbal supplements have been connected with grave, even fatal outcomes:

  • Kava: This supplement, intended to assist with anxiety, has been connected with severe liver damage and death;
  • Kratom: Used to treat pain and inflammation, this product has been linked with at least 40 deaths due to the addictive opioids it contains;
  • John’s Wort: Taken to battle depression, there are reports of its interfering with the effectiveness of birth control pills;
  • Comfrey: Although reportedly effective at helping to heal sprains and fractures, it is also connected to serious damage to the liver and lungs.

Before Taking an Herbal Supplement…

Because so many products have potential problems, particularly when taken in conjunction with other medicines, it is important to do some research into any herbal product you are considering taking. If you think a supplement is a good idea, discuss it with your physician first. Once your medical team is on board, be sure to get a product that contains a high quality seal, such as USP, NSF or CL. These seals indicate that contaminants, if present, don’t exceed acceptable levels, and ensure that high standards were used in the manufacture of the product.

Following Serious Issues

If you or a loved one has suffered serious consequences or death related to the use of herbal supplements, there must be some accountability. At the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton, our professional team will fight for justice on your behalf. Contact us in Daytona & Ormond Beach for a confidential consultation today.