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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.
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Publication:Women's Health Letter
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2002
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