Comfrey, otherwise known as blackwort and slippery root, is used topically for wounds, scratches, sunburn, and skin irritations. It is brewed into a tea and used for cough, diarrhea, and heavy menstrual periods. Unfortunately, comfrey also contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which are highly toxic to the liver. Symptoms of toxicity include stomach pain, water retention, nausea, and jaundice.
Germander is a plant in the mint family that has been brewed into a tea for the management of weight, gallbladder disease, and mild diarrhea. Several countries have banned the use of germander due to side effects such as liver toxicity and death. Signs of liver toxicity are yellowing of the skin, yellowing of the eyes, itching, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and dark urine.
Lobelia inflata is also known as Indian tobacco. It is used to improve respiration through relaxation of the bronchial tubes and the breakup of mucus in the respiratory tract. Lobelia can be applied topically or added to a warm bath to relax the muscles. Some claim it can be effective in seizure prevention. However, the use of lobelia does not come without risks. High doses can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, rapid heartbeat, coma, and even death.
2. Red Yeast Rice
Red yeast rice is used to lower cholesterol and lipids. According to the National Institutes of Health, some red yeast rice products contain monacolins. Monacolin K is similar to lovastatin, a cholesterol-lowering drug. As such, similar side effects are seen with red yeast rice. These include muscle pain and weakness, kidney damage, and liver toxicity. Additionally, citrinin is sometimes formed during the culturing of red yeast rice. This substance can cause kidney failure. Symptoms of kidney failure are decreased urination, swelling in the lower extremities, shortness of breath, confusion, and chest pain.
Chaparral is used for stomach ailments such as intestinal cramping and gas. Also, it can be used for colds, infections, skin rash, and weight loss. When used topically, chaparral can cause skin rash and itching. Chaparral has been linked to stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and fever. Serious side effects include hepatitis, kidney failure, and liver failure.Related: Can Turmeric Supplements Damage Your Liver?