Na­ture Nur­ture

…Can lead to com­pli­ca­tions. Spot­light­ing the side ef­fects of nat­u­ral im­mu­nity boost­ers.

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS - DR S K MunDRA HOD, In­ter­nal Medicine, Saroj Su­per Spe­cial­ity Hos­pi­tal, New Delhi

Side ef­fects of nat­u­ral im­mu­nity boost­ers


Though giloy has anti-pyretic, anti-arthritic, an­tiox­i­dant, anti-in­flam­ma­tory and anti-can­cer­ous prop­er­ties, it is a nat­u­ral and safe herbal rem­edy that is used to treat a large num­ber of health prob­lems, from the sim­plest to life-threat­en­ing ones. But it may have long-term im­pli­ca­tions on health:

1. Con­sti­pa­tion – Per­sons with stom­ach ir­ri­ta­tion should avoid giloy in any form as it may lead to con­sti­pa­tion.

2. Auto-im­mune dis­eases – Giloy can over stim­u­late the im­mune sys­tem and make it ac­tive re­sult­ing in auto-im­mune dis­or­ders like lu­pus, mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis and rheuma­toid arthri­tis. Peo­ple with such con­di­tions should avoid strict us­age of giloy.


1. Hyper­acid­ity – Be­ing a rich source of vi­ta­min C, amla is highly acidic in na­ture. Though pre­scribed to con­sume on an empty stom­ach, it may ac­tu­ally upset the stom­ach by trig­ger­ing acid­ity and pa­tients with a case his­tory of hyper­acid­ity or sen­si­tiv­ity to vi­ta­min C foods should avoid eat­ing this fruit.

2. Con­sti­pa­tion – Amla is, unar­guably, a good nat­u­ral rem­edy for con­sti­pa­tion. The pro­fusely rich amounts of fi­bre present in this fruit con­trib­ute to this prop­erty. How­ever, if you con­sume amla in high quan­ti­ties, it might har­den the stool. The con­di­tion wors­ens if your water in­take re­duces. Hence, to pre­vent con­sti­pa­tion, take the fruit in the form of juice or dried amla pow­der with ad­e­quate water in­take.

3. Re­nal dis­or­ders – Peo­ple suf­fer­ing from re­nal dis­or­ders and hy­per­ten­sion should avoid rel­ish­ing amla in the form of pick­les. This is due to the pres­ence of salt in the pick­les that is used gen­er­ally as a preser­va­tive. Higher lev­els of sodium will pose a great risk to those suf­fer­ing from kid­ney is­sues and high blood pres­sure.

5. Hy­poten­sion – Peo­ple suf­fer­ing from hy­poten­sion should use amla quite cau­tiously. Amla is known to pos­sess the po­ten­tial to lower blood pres­sure level and main­tain the same.

Aloe Vera

1. Skin al­lergy – Pro­longed use of aloe gel can cause skin al­ler­gies like hives and wide­spread in­flam­ma­tion. It can also cause red­ness of the eye­lids. Other ef­fects on the skin in­clude its hard­en­ing, dry­ness, split­ting, and the de­vel­op­ment of pur­ple spots. The gel can also cause skin rashes or ir­ri­ta­tion and de­cel­er­ate the heal­ing of sur­gi­cal wounds.

2. Hy­po­glycemia – Aloe vera has lax­a­tive ef­fects, which might in­crease the chances of de­hy­dra­tion or elec­trolyte im­bal­ance in di­a­betic in­di­vid­u­als. Aloe vera juice can lower blood glu­cose lev­els, which, in turn, can af­fect the per­for­mance of cer­tain med­i­ca­tions that are used to treat di­a­betes.

3. De­hy­dra­tion – The lax­a­tive ef­fects of aloe vera can also lead to de­hy­dra­tion. Pa­tients suf­fer­ing from se­vere de­hy­dra­tion should avoid it.

4. Ir­reg­u­lar heart­beat – Us­ing aloe vera can in­crease the risk of ar­rhyth­mia, or ir­reg­u­lar heart­beat.

5. Kid­ney fail­ure – Aloe vera can in­ter­act with cer­tain med­i­ca­tions and ag­gra­vate a few con­di­tions, with kid­ney dis­ease be­ing one of them. Aloe vera juice can, in some cases, cause se­ri­ous kid­ney in­jury that might even lead to death. Hence, in­di­vid­u­als suf­fer­ing from any kid­ney prob­lem must ab­stain from con­sum­ing aloe vera.

6. Liver tox­i­c­ity – High dose in­ges­tion of aloe vera can lead to liver in­flam­ma­tion. The bioac­tive com­pounds in aloe vera might in­ter­fere with the liver’s detox­i­fi­ca­tion process, thereby caus­ing com­pli­ca­tions in sen­si­tive in­di­vid­u­als.

Wheat Grass

1. Headache and nau­sea – Wheat­grass can also get con­tam­i­nated, most of­ten by an or­gan­ism called Lis­te­ria mono­cy­to­genes. This or­gan­ism can cause se­ri­ous side ef­fects, one of them be­ing a se­vere headache. Nau­sea could also hap­pen due to the body’s in­tol­er­ance to wheat­grass.

2. Al­ler­gies – Wheat grass could cause al­ler­gies, es­pe­cially when con­sumed in the pill or juice form. You might de­velop symp­toms in dif­fer­ent parts of the body just within a few mo­ments of con­sum­ing wheat­grass. This usu­ally hap­pens due to the over­pro­duc­tion of cer­tain chem­i­cals that com­bat the sus­pected al­ler­gen. The al­lergy can af­fect your di­ges­tive and cir­cu­la­tory Tulsi has the prop­erty to thin the blood in our bod­ies. And hence it should not be taken along with other anti-clot­ting med­i­ca­tions. sys­tems. It can cause nau­sea, cramp­ing, vom­it­ing and di­ar­rhea. Your skin might get in­flamed and break out into hives. Other al­ler­gic re­ac­tions in­clude short­ness of breath and con­ges­tion.

3. Con­sti­pa­tion – Con­sti­pa­tion is one of the other side ef­fects of wheat grass juice.


1. Blood thin­ner – Tulsi has the prop­erty to thin the blood in our bod­ies. And hence it should not be taken along with other an­ti­clot­ting med­i­ca­tions. Peo­ple who are on blood-thin­ning med­i­ca­tions like war­farin and hep­arin should re­strict the con­sump­tion of tulsi.

2. Hy­po­gly­caemia – Hy­po­gly­caemia is a con­di­tion of ab­nor­mally low lev­els of blood su­gar. Though it is not a dis­ease, it is a sign of health prob­lem. Tulsi is taken by peo­ple with high blood su­gar to lower their blood su­gar lev­els. But if peo­ple who are suf­fer­ing from di­a­betes or hy­po­gly­caemia and are un­der med­i­ca­tion con­sume tulsi, it might lead to ex­ces­sive re­duc­tion in blood su­gar.

3. Re­ac­tions in preg­nant women – Ex­ces­sive con­sump­tion of tulsi by preg­nant women may have long-term ef­fects both on the mother and the baby. One of the side ef­fects in­cludes in­crease in uter­ine con­trac­tions in preg­nant women, lead­ing to com­pli­ca­tions dur­ing child­birth or men­stru­a­tion.

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