Although they are natural, the use of these products is not always totally safe. Indeed, some natural products are incompatible with each other or with other drugs. We have designed this little guide where popular natural products are listed with their few side effects and drug interactions.

Garlic is cons indicated in cases of gastro-intestinal irritation, and dysfunction of the thyroid. Furthermore, it increases the effect of anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs (Coumadin), and decreases the effect of drugs against HIV (Fortovase, Invirase).

Echinacea is cons-indicated in patients with asthma, immune system dysfunction in prolonged use (more than eight weeks).

St. John’s Wort is not recommended in cases of severe depression or pregnancy, among others there are numerous drug interactions. It increases the effect of many antidepressants (Prozac, Norpramin, Tofranil, Celexa…), etc.

Evening primrose oil, cons-indicated in cases of epilepsy or schizophrenia, presents an increased incidence of seizures when taken along with anticonvulsants or antipsychotics to treat schizophrenia.

Some Remedies from Around the World

Reminder: Consult a health professional as soon as possible.

Bronchitis. Crush two cloves of garlic, add a pinch of ginger powder, mix well with a tablespoon of olive oil. Swallow the mixture and cover to transpire. At sunrise, take a tablespoon of olive oil on an empty stomach.

Slight burn. Before going to the emergency, break an egg, take the white and put in profusion, for 10 to 30 minutes on the burnt part.(The blistering, which aims to expel the party threatened the rest of the body is no longer necessary as ovalbumin, macro-egg protein, nourishes and soothes the burn from the outside. Healing is often accelerated.)

Cracked feet or hands. Over low heat, stir the melted beeswax (half a cup) and olive oil (a cup). Add 10 drops of lavender oil once the mixture is warmed. Coat the heels or dry hands, cover (optional) with a sock or a glove and keep overnight. If necessary, repeat for one or two nights. For maintenance of the dry hands and feet, prepare a pot of this mixture, refrigerate it and put once a week at night.

Digestion. Make an infusion a tablespoon of oregano kept 10 minutes on fire. Drink warm or cold.

Abdominal pain due to cold. Cut in half a head of garlic, softened in olive oil on the fire and use it as a suppository. Cover up and rest.

Premenstrual pain. Make a decoction of cinnamon (bark rough or a teaspoon of powder) and add a handful of chamomile in the end to infuse. Sweeten with honey if necessary.

Sprain. Prepare a poultice of clay with cold or warm water by mixing one cup of crushed green clay with a cup of water. Let it soften for 30 minutes until it is a smooth paste. Spread a layer of about an inch in flowing around the sprain. Cover with a cabbage leaf (mid vein removed) and surround it all with plastic wrap or gauze. Change when the clay is hot after an hour. Remove it immediately if you feel any discomfort.

Boil. Take a slice of fresh lemon and rub on the nascent boil until it stings. Glue a slice of lemon on the boil with a Band-Aid and change every two hours. If the boil is advanced, use alternating clay poultice added with lemon slices and lemon, to empty and sanitize the boil.

External hemorrhoids. Take two sheets of red or green cabbage, remove the central rib, blanch (immerse four minutes in boiling water). Apply cabbage leaves as a poultice. Cover with a protective pants. Change every four hours, and keep one for the night.

Insomnia. Prepare an infusion of dried lemon verbena and drink 30 minutes before bedtime. You can add chamomile or linden.

Bad breath. Chewing a clove or a coffee bean. Gargle with salt water. Brush the tongue while brushing your teeth.

Toothache. Daisy-leaf or chewing cloves, or with a Q-tip spread some of the essential oil of cloves or nutmeg (careful to burn the gum!). If it does not heal then a visit to the dentist is necessary.

High blood pressure. * Make an infusion of three leaves of fresh lemon in a quart of water. Drink all through the day, warm or cold (you will find the leaves of lemon trees in Asian food stores). Medical examination is required.

Warts. Break a leaf from a fig tree (one finds it in the Italian community) and coat the warts with the juice. Repeat three times daily for two or three days. Another remedy: Grind a flower of marigold and coat the wart with the pulp obtained and cover it with a square of plastic wrap. Leave for 30 minutes and repeat once a day for one week. The mother tincture of calendula is easier to use. Apply four times a day by letting it dry.

Infusion (for leaves and flowers). Heat the water and add the leaves and take it off the fire, cover the pot and allow it to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes.

Decoction (for roots, bark and seeds). Leave the boiled products for 20 to 45 minutes, and then filter it.