A. Giloy 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 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. Hypoglycemia – diabetic patients should strictly avoid as it leads to reduce blood sugar levels. Consult a specialist for the dosages of prescribed medications.
  3. Auto-immune diseases – giloy 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.

B. Amla

  1. Hyperacidity – Being a rich source of vitamin C, amla is highly acidic in nature. Though prescribed to consume in empty stomach, but it may actually upset 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 fiber 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. Anti- diabetic – amla in raw form is a good antidote for diabetes, but being a diabetic patient should consult doctors. Amla is known to lower the sugar level in the blood, which might hamper the anti-diabetic medications, subjecting the person to hypoglycemia. The high quantity of sugar used in this increases the sugar level in the blood, which could prove to be dangerous for diabetics.
  4. 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 the blood pressure level and maintain the same. If you are on a hypertension medication or you are hypotensive, then you should start exercising to thwart off any undesirable medical complications.

C. 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. The topical application of aloe vera can cause a stinging sensation and it can also cause a mild form of dermatitis in some.
  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.

D. 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. Just like headache, nausea could also be attributed to body’s intolerance to wheatgrass, which people think the nauseated feeling is due to detoxification.
  2. Allergies – 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 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 wheatgrass juice. Certain individuals can experience constipation after drinking wheatgrass juice. If you encounter similar effects, and the symptoms don’t improve even after a few hours, do visit your doctor.

E. Tulsi

  1. Blood thinner – Tulsi has the property to thin the blood in our bodies. And hence it should not be taken along with other anti-clotting medications. People who already are taking blood-thinning medications like warfarin and heparin should restrict the consumption of Tulsi. Tulsi can intensify the blood thinning properties of the prescribed drugs and lead to more severe complications.
  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. This is one of the most dangerous side effects of Tulsi that one should be aware of.
  3. Reactions In Pregnant Women – Excessive consumption of Tulsi by pregnant women may have long term effects both on the mother and the baby. Tulsi might also trigger reactions in pregnant women. One of the holy basil side effects also includes increase in uterine contractions in pregnant women. This side effect of Tulsi can lead to complications during childbirth or menstruation.

About the Author

Dr SK Mundra
HOD, internal medicine,
Saroj Super Speciality Hospital