Asthmatics: avoid ephedra and bee pollen products. (The Nutrition Detective).
Ephedra (known also as Ma Huang) is sometimes used by asthmatics
for its bronchodilating effects. Ephedra is an easy herb to misuse. Too
much can cause anxiety, which in itself can trigger an attack. It can
raise your blood pressure and contribute to irregular heartbeats.
Ephedra also reduces the effectiveness of some steroids. It should not
be taken by people on Nardil or other antidepressants containing
phenelzine, or by anyone taking allergy or cold remedies containing
phenylpropanolamine. Don't take ephedra for asthma unless
you're being monitored by a health practitioner, and have checked
first with your doctor or pharmacist about any interactions.
Bee pollen, and products made from it, have been used as remedies
for some people with airborne allergies. However, Jonathan Brostoff, MD,
author of Asthma: the Complete Guide to Integrative Therapies (Healing
Arts Press, 2000) cautions that these products can cause anaphylaxic
shock--a severe allergic reaction. Avoid any products with pollen,
propolis, or royal jelly.