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BasilNatural health supplements sometimes have unexpected side effects or interactions with medication that can lead to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening. The following is a list of cautions that you should be aware of before using Basil (Ocimum Basilicum). These are referred to as drug/herb interactions.
Warning 1 - Insulin: Using Basil with insulin may increase hypoglycemic effects. Chemicals in basil may lower blood sugar levels.
Warning 2 - Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs: Basil interacts with drugs that slow blood clotting and may increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Drugs that slow blood clotting include aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), dalteparin (Fragmin), clopidogrel (Plavix), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, ticlopidine (Ticlid), and others.
Warning 3 - Surgery: Because basil might slow blood clotting there is a concern that it could increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Since there isn't enough data to know the extent of this concern you may want to stop using holy basil at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Warning 4 - Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough data to know how basil will effect pregnancy and breast-feeding. To error on the side of safety avoid use.
Warning 5 - Pentobarbital: There is some concern that taking basil seed oil internally while using pentobarbital might cause too much drowsiness. However there isn't enough data to know if this is a big concern.
Used as a natural health remedy: Basil is used internally for the following benefits and conditions:
Side Effects of BasilThere are no known side effects of this herb. Basil is probably safe for most people but the long-term effects are still unknown.
One of the ingredients in basil volatile oil is estragole, a substance that may be carcinogenic and has been thought to stimulate uterine contractions. However, this is unlikely to be a concern when basil is used as a seasoning in food.
As with any herb, a serious allergic reaction is possible. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. These may include a rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.Return to the Herb List.
For questions and answers about the side effects of herbs see the Herb Forum
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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright © 2011-2012 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on Basil and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.