Just because something is natural doesn't make it safe, says pharmacologist Joe Graedon. Always check with your doctor before taking supplements—especially if you use medication, have surgery scheduled, or are over 65.
St. John's Wort
Skip if you take: Antidepressants
If used with certain other depression drugs, SJW may cause serious side effects, including serotonin syndrome (a buildup of the brain chemical). It also interacts with many other drugs.
Smart Swap: Fish oil supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids may boost mood and help mild to moderate depression.
Some research has shown that the spice turmeric can help reduce inflammation and consequent pain from arthritis, but it may interact with Coumadin (warfarin) and other meds, which increases the possibility of bleeding.
Smart Swap: Antioxidant-rich juices like grape, pomegranate, or tart cherry, all of which may be able to ease the symptoms of arthritis.