Do I need to tell anyone that I use herbal products?

It is very important that you tell your health care provider whether you are using any herbal supplements. Many of the popular herbal products can cause harmful side effects or interact with other medications. Anesthesiologists are finding that:
    St. John's Wort may intensify or prolong the effects of some narcotic drugs and anesthetic agents. Ginko Biloba and Feverfew may reduce platelets, which are needed for blood to clot. This increases the risk for bleeding. Ginseng has been associated with episodes of high blood pressure and rapid heart rate.
Our anesthesiologists advise patients to stop taking herbal medications at least two to three weeks before surgery. This should be enough time for the herbals to be cleared from the body. If there is not enough time to stop your herbal medications before surgery, please let the anesthesiologist know so that they may be aware of the risks.