Herbal medicines are very popular among Americans. Millions of people use them for their health benefits. For example, gingko is beneficial for the memory, and Echinacea is used to fight against cold. While it may seem like a good idea to use these herbal products, they should be avoided before any type of surgery, including plastic surgery. According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists and other major medical bodies, patients must stop taking herbal medications at least 2-3 weeks before surgery, including plastic surgery. The herbal products come with a number of side effects that can make a surgery life threatening for you. They can react with the anesthesia in negative ways and trigger excessive and prolonged bleeding during and after surgical intervention. The herbal supplements that can cause excessive bleeding and must be avoided include Gingko Biloba, garlic, Ginseng, fish oil, Dong Quai, and Feverfew. Furthermore, you must avoid ephedra and garlic because they can trigger cardiovascular diseases during or after the surgery. Herbal medicines that can prolong the effects of the anesthesia include kava, St. John’s wort, and valerian root. These herbal medicines must be avoided before the surgery. There are also a number of herbal medicines that can react adversely with other medications. These include: • Licorice • St John’s wort • Kava • Valerian • Echinacea • Goldenseal You must be sure to avoid these herbal medications as well before the surgery. Though herbal medications are dubbed as natural treatments and are available in pharmacies and stores, they are not safe when used before surgery. Just because something is natural does not mean it is safe for your health. Also, there is no supervisory body to look after herbal supplements. Even the FDA doesn’t regulate herbal medicines. If you are taking herbal medications, be sure to bring this to the knowledge of your plastic surgeon during the initial consultation.