Skip to content

    Find a Vitamin or Supplement


    Other Names:

    Bizniega, Cinoglosa, Cynoglosse, Cynoglosse Officinale, Cynoglossi Herba, Cynoglossi Radix, Cynoglossum officinale, Dog-Bur, Dog's Tongue, Fleur Gitane, Gypsy Flower, Langue-de-Chien, Langue de Chien, Lengua de Perro, Oreja de Liebre, Sheep-Lice...
    See All Names

    HOUND'S TONGUE Overview
    HOUND'S TONGUE Side Effects
    HOUND'S TONGUE Interactions
    HOUND'S TONGUE Overview Information

    Hound's tongue is a plant. The leaf and root are used to make medicine.

    Despite serious safety concerns, people take hound's tongue for cough, pain, infections, skin diseases, and bronchitis, as well as diarrhea and other digestion problems.

    Some people apply hound's tongue directly to the skin for pain, muscle pain, nerve pain, trauma, wounds, and scars.

    How does it work?

    There isn't enough information available to know how hound's tongue might work as a medicine.

    HOUND'S TONGUE Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

    Insufficient Evidence for:

    • Diarrhea and other digestion problems.
    • Skin diseases.
    • Bronchitis.
    • Cough.
    • Pain, when taken by mouth or applied to the skin.
    • Wounds, when applied to the skin.
    • Other conditions.
    More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of hound's tongue for these uses.

    HOUND'S TONGUE Side Effects & Safety

    Hound's tongue is UNSAFE and poisonous. There’s a lot of concern about using hound’s tongue as medicine, because it contains chemicals called hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), which may block blood flow in the veins and cause liver damage. Hepatotoxic PAs might also cause cancer and birth defects. Hound’s tongue preparations that are not certified and labeled “hepatotoxic PA-free” are considered UNSAFE.

    It’s also UNSAFE to apply hound’s tongue to broken skin. The dangerous chemicals in hound’s tongue can be absorbed quickly through broken skin and can lead to dangerous body-wide toxicity. Steer clear of skin products that aren’t certified and labeled “hepatotoxic PA-free.” There isn’t enough information to know if it’s safe to apply certified hepatotoxic PA-free hound’s tongue to unbroken skin. It’s best to avoid use.

    Special Precautions & Warnings:

    Hound's tongue isn't safe for anyone to use. Some people may be extra sensitive to the toxic effects and should be particularly careful to avoid use.

    Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s UNSAFE to use hound’s tongue preparations that might contain hepatotoxic PAs during pregnancy. These products might cause birth defects and liver damage.

    It’s also UNSAFE to use hound’s tongue preparations that might contain hepatotoxic PAs if you are breast-feeding. These chemicals can pass into breast-milk and might harm the nursing infant.

    It’s not known whether products that are certified hepatotoxic PA-free are safe to use during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Stay in the safe side and avoid using any hound’s tongue preparation if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

    Liver disease: There is concern that the hepatotoxic PAs in hound’s tongue might make liver disease worse.

    HOUND'S TONGUE Interactions What is this?

    Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination

    • Medications that increase break down of other medications by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) inducers) interacts with HOUND'S TONGUE

      Hound's tongue is broken down by the liver. Some chemicals that form when the liver breaks down hound's tongue can be harmful. Medications that cause the liver to break down hound's tongue might enhance the toxic effects of chemicals contained in hound's tongue.
      Some of these medicines include carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), rifampin, rifabutin (Mycobutin), and others.


    The appropriate dose of hound's tongue depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for hound's tongue. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

    Be the first to share your experience with this treatment.

    Review this Treatment

    Learn about User Reviews and read IMPORTANT information about user generated content

    Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

    This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

    Search for a Vitamin or Supplement

    Ex. Ginseng, Vitamin C, Depression

    Today on WebMD

    vitamin rich groceries
    Do you know your vitamin ABCs?
    St Johns wart
    Ease hot flashes and other symptoms.
    Are you getting enough?
    Take your medication
    Wonder pill or overkill?
    fruits and vegetables
    Woman sleeping
    Woman staring into space with coffee
    IMPORTANT: About This Section and Other User-Generated Content on WebMD

    The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatment or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.

    Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.