UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Cardiology

Title: Herbal products and potassium effects

Keywords: hypokalemia, herbal supplements, hyperkalemia (PubMed Search)

Posted: 4/25/2010 by Amal Mattu, MD (Updated: 1/26/2022)
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Three common herbal supplements are reported to be associated with clinically significant hypokalemia: aloe vera, gossypol (used as a male contraceptive), and licorice.

Another popular herbal supplement is reported to be associated with clinically significant hyperkalemia: oleander.

Always ask your cardiac patients (especially those on digoxin) if they are taking any of these herbal supplements!


[Tachjian A, Maria V, Jahangir A. Use of herbal products and potential interactions in patients with cardiovascular diseases. J Am Coll Cardiol 2010;55:515-525.]