If you have your daily coffee and are on the pill, you should perhaps, try some light brews.

Alder: Overuse or misuse can cause potassium loss, leading to increased toxicity of cardiac glycosidesd e.g. digitalis. Aggravates potassium loss caused by diuretics.

Aloe: Overuse or misuse can cause potassium loss, leading to increased toxicity of cardiac glycosides e.g. digitalis.

Balm (Lemon Balm/Melissa): This sedative oil increases hypnotic effect of pentobarbital and hexobarbital.

Bearberry (uva ursi): Urinary acidifiers inhibit conversion of arbuttin to active hydroquinone, rendering bearberry less effective.

Bitter Melon: Hypoglycemic effect requires adjustment of insulin.

Buckthorn: Overuse or misuse can cause potassium loss, leading to increased toxicity of cardiac glycosidesd e.g. digitalis.

Calendula (Marigold): Sedative effect increases sleeping time of hexobarbital.

California Poppy: Enhances hypnotic efefct of pentobarbital.

Cascara sagrada: Overuse or misuse can cause potassium loss, leading to increased toxicity of cardiac glycosidesd e.g. digitalis. Aggravates potassium loss caused by diuretics.

Cassia cinnamon: Reduced absorption of tetracycline occurs due to adsorption by the bark powder.

Castor bean: Overuse or misuse can cause potassium loss, leading to increased toxicity of cardiac glycosidesd e.g. digitalis.

Cedarwood: Inhalation of fragrance reduces effects of dicoumarol and hexobarbital.

Cinchona: Potentiates coumarin derivatives.

Cocoa: Excess chocolate taken with MAOi can cause a hypertensive crisis. Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor).

Coffee: Cimetidine and contraceptives increase the effect of caffeine. Also inhibits iron absorption.

Ephedrine combines with caffeine to induce weight loss thermogenesis, tremors, insomnia etc.

Excess caffeine taken with MAOi can cause a hypertensive crisis.

Cola: (Parallel to coffee i.e. caffeine) Cimetidine and contraceptives increase the effect of caffeine. Inhibits iron absorption.

Ephedrine combines with caffeine to induce weight loss thermogenesis tremors insomnia etc.

Excess caffeine taken with MAOi can cause a hypertensive crisis.

Eucalyptus: Can increase the rate of metabolism and clearance of aminopyrine, amphetamine, pentobarbital.

Frangula: (see alder).

Ginseng: Concurrent use of phenelzine has resulted in manic-like symptoms.

Hops: Sedative activity increases sleeping time induced by pentobarbital.

Horsetail: Overuse or misuse can cause potassium loss, leading to increased toxicity of cardiac glycosidesd e.g. digitalis. Causes breakdown of thiamine.

Kava: CNS depressants enhanced due to sedative and muscle-relaxant effects. Hypnotic effect of alcohol is enhanced.

Licorice: Overuse or misuse can cause potassium loss, leading to increased toxicity of cardiac glycosidesd e.g. digitalis. Increases potassium loss from thiazide diuretics. Also contraindicated with amiloride and spironolactone. Not to be used with corticoid steroids, prolonged life.

Ma Huang: Increased weight loss and thermogenesis due to a reduction of body fat when ephedrine component is combined with methylxanthines e.g. theophylline and caffeine. Can induce toxicity with MAOi and should be avoided for two weeks after ceasing MAOi.

May Apple: Table salt increases its purgative power.

Myrrh: Precipitates when mixed with water.

Nutmeg: Inhibits MAOi which may potentiate psychoactive drugs.

Passion Flower: Sedative component increases sleeping time induced by hexobarbital.

Psyllium (psyllium seed): Reduce insulin dosage due to slowing of dietary carbohydrate absorption.

Rhubarb: Overuse or misuse can cause potassium loss, leading to increased toxicity of cardiac glycosidesd e.g. digitalis. Aggravates potassium loss caused by diuretics.

Scotch Broom: MAOi due to high tyramine content.

Senna: Overuse or misuse can cause potassium loss, leading to increased toxicity of cardiac glycosidesd e.g. digitalis. Aggravates potassium loss caused by diuretics.

Siberian Ginseng: Increases effect of hexobarbital. Increases efficacy of antibiotics.

St. John’s Wort: Inhibits MAOi.

Sweet Clover (yellow): Acetaminophen Salicylates Due to potential hemorrhagic diathesis from its coumarin components.

Tea: Cimetidine increases the effect of caffeine. Ephedrine increased weight loss and thermogenesis due to a reduction of body fat when ephedrine component is combined with MAOi can cause a hypertensive crisis. Oral contraceptives increase the effect of caffeine.

Tobacco: Decreases blood levels of acetaminophen and B12. Speeds the elimination of benzodiazepines tricyclic antidepressants and vitamin C. Blocks cimetidine. Estrogen, phenylbutazone and theophylline are metabolized more quickly. Enhances glutethimide. Increases risk of clots with oral contraceptives for women over age 30.

Valerian: Increases sleeping time induced by pentobarbital.

Yohimbe: Tricyclic antidepressants such as imipramine can cause hypertension. Toxicity increased by phenothiazines e.g. chlorpromazine. Reverses hypotensive effects of clonidine and similar antihypertensives. Anxiety induced by yohimbine was blocked by reserpine. Hypertension induced by yohimbine blocked by amobarbital, atropine and reserpine. N.B. MAOi Monoamine Oxidase inhibitor.