(Foreword: This is the continuation of our response to Josie of Sta. Cruz regarding her query on the dangers in using natural products.)

Dear Josie of Sta. Cruz,

Now, let’s get to the others in the list of natural products and their potential side effects.

2. Kava Kava

Some people are using this herb to help them with their anxiety. But, the problem is, it may cause liver damage. So, you have to think not just twice, but, more than thrice.

3. Vitamin C

This could help a lot with the absorption of iron and also is remarkable for those men who have low sperm count and are smoking. The problem only comes in to those undergoing chemotherapy and radiation for cancer, that is - if you take them in high doses, because this could affect how well these treatment modalities work.

4. Herbal Products Used in Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine

My concern here is, some of these may contain heavy metals, like lead or arsenic. Remember, most of these drugs are not regulated. Again, that is something to think about. So, think before you leap, and not leap before you think. Otherwise, it will be late.

5. Dietary Supplements

The problem here, they can possible interfere with different cancer treatments. For example, some of them might cause your skin to become sensitive if you take them while you are on radiation. This is one of the reasons why oncologists usually would tell you (if you are a cancer patient getting radiation) to avoid taking them if you’re undergoing radiation treatment. So, again, that is something for you to ponder.

6. Chiropractic Treatment

There are very rare cases where this natural therapy, which has been used on the spine, ended in a stroke, instead. The more common side effects, include headaches, which are mild and don’t last long. So, it’s really up to you to take that risk.

Now, finally, how would you know that Complementary Medicine Right for You? If you want to know the answer, you have to talk to your doctor before making a decision. Tell him about the complementary medicine you are getting and contemplating to get. He’ll help you get the best choice and probably, you will get the best of both worlds.

Good luck!

Dr. Fritz

(Dr. Fritz Legarde Espedilla is an aesthetic dermatologist and surgeon and a clinical sexologist. She is also trained in hypnotherapy and Medical Acupuncture. She has been in the broadcast media for more than a decade and has written a book based on her 15 year stint with her radio program, “Healthy is Sexy Secrets ni Dr. Fritz.” She is also a faculty in a College of Pharmacy. For your questions, you may send them to Dear Dr. Fritz, c/o Sunstar-Davao Publishing Inc., Ebro-Pelayo Building, Jacinto St., Davao City, (former Department of Foreign Affairs office), across Ateneo de Davao University and beside Holy Child School of Davao, or you e-mail them to dokfritz@yahoo.com. If you don’t wish your letter to be published, we regret that we can not answer them. Thank you for your understanding.)