For those of you who know me a bit, you'll know that the phone number 888-MYCURE8 is enough to set alarm bells sounding loudly in my head. The product associated with this phone number has been the subject of three SharePosts on our site, and it's time for me to respond.
The product in question here is Headache Stay Gone. (And, no, I will not link to their site here.) According to the site, the product contains:
- ginger mint
- blue vervain
- slippery elm
- white willow bark
It is stated on the site that "Headache Stay Gone is affordable and free from side effects." Free from side effects? That is truly just impossible. These ingredients certainly do have potential side effects. I'm not going to take the time to track down every ingredient, but here are some potential side effects and notes of caution for some of them:
White Willow Bark:
- "Because willow bark contains salicin, people who are allergic or sensitive to salicylates (such as aspirin) should not use willow bark. Some researchers suggest that people with asthma, diabetes, gout, gastritis, hemophilia, and stomach ulcers should also avoid willow bark. If you have any of these conditions, take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) regularly or blood-thinning medication, be sure to consult your health care provider before taking willow bark. Willow bark should not given to children under the age of 16.
- Side effects tend to be mild. However, gastrointestinal irritation and ulcers are potentially associated with all compounds containing salicylates. Overdoses of willow bark may cause skin rash, stomach inflammation/irritation, nausea, vomiting, kidney inflammation, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
- Salicylates are not recommended during pregnancy, so pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take willow bark.
- Because willow bark contains salicylates, it has the potential to interact with a number of drugs and herbs. Talk to your doctor before taking willow bark if you take any other medications, herbs, or supplements." (1)
- Hops can increase the symptoms of depression.
- Because of potential hormonal effects, hops should not be taken by small children and pregnant or breast-feeding women.
- Hops can cause daytime drowsiness.
- Drug interactions: "Taking hops may increase the sleepiness from sedating drugs and herbals. Sedation may be increased, as well, if hops is taken with certain other types of drugs, such as anticonvulsants and tricyclic antidepressants. Hops may also interfere with the body's ability to use certain allergy, antifungal, cancer, cholesterol-lowering, or contraceptive agents." (2)
- Meadowsweet can cause bronchospams, a tightening of the air passages in the lungs. Bronchospasm can trigger an asthma attack or make it worse. People with asthma should avoid using meadowsweet.
- Because of its aspirin-like component, meadowsweet should not be given to children. Individuals with allergies to aspirin or sulfites should also avoid taking meadowsweet due to its similarities to aspirin.
- Meadowsweet showed a slight possibility of causing uterine contractions in animal studies, therefore women who are pregnant should not take meadowsweet.
- The salicylate component in meadowsweet may cause problems with blood clotting. People with clotting problems should avoid using meadowsweet. (3)