Why shouldn't I take Echinacea?
I am very surprised now because I just found out accidentally on the internet that Echinacea should NOT be used by hiv positive people!
Is that true? Why? I have been using it for many months now and I thought it was improving my health!
I also need to know if Valeriana and HIV drugs have any interactions.
The reason why someone living with HIV would be advised not to take Echinacea is because it appears to have possible interactions with Atripla (which is an ARV – antiretroviral treatment for HIV). Although the interaction has not been fully studied, the way in which Echinacea works in the body means it has the potential to interact with efavirenz – one of the drugs in Atripla.
In response to your second question, valerian (Valeriana officinalis) does not interract with ARVs.
However as regards taking supplements, it is important to tell your doctor if you are taking any supplements. This is because supplements have the potential to interact with medication.
You may also find it helfpul to follow this link to an earlier question which provides more detailed information on herbal medications and HIV.