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COLOCYNTH

Other Names:

Alhandal, Bitter Apple, Bitter Cucumber, Citrullus colocynthis, Colocynth Pulp, Colocynthidis Fructus, Colocynthis vulgaris, Coloquinte, Coloquíntida, Concombre Amer, Cucumis colocynthis, Koloquinthen, Pulpe de Coloquinte, Tumba, Vine-of-Sodom, ...
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COLOCYNTH Overview
COLOCYNTH Uses
COLOCYNTH Side Effects
COLOCYNTH Interactions
COLOCYNTH Dosing
COLOCYNTH Overview Information

Colocynth is an herb. The ripe fruit is used as a medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, colocynth is used in combination products for treating constipation, liver, and gallbladder ailments.

How does it work?

Colocynth contains the chemical cucurbitacin, which is extremely irritating to the mucous membranes, including the mucous membranes in the stomach and intestines.

COLOCYNTH Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Constipation.
  • Liver problems.
  • Gallbladder problems.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of colocynth for these uses.


COLOCYNTH Side Effects & Safety

Colocynth is UNSAFE for use. It was banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991.

Taking even very small amounts of colocynth can cause severe irritation of the stomach and intestine lining, bloody diarrhea, kidney damage, bloody urine, and inability to urinate. Other side effects include convulsions, paralysis, and death. There have been reports of death following ingestion of just 1-1/2 teaspoons of the powder.

In case of poisoning, a dilute tannic acid solution should be taken, followed by large quantities of drinks that contain eggs (albuminous drinks).

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Colocynth is UNSAFE. Don’t take it.

COLOCYNTH Interactions What is this?

Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination

  • Digoxin (Lanoxin) interacts with COLOCYNTH

    Colocynth is a type of laxative called a stimulant laxative. Stimulant laxatives can decrease potassium levels in the body. Low potassium levels can increase the risk of side effects of digoxin (Lanoxin).

  • Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with COLOCYNTH

    Colocynth can work as a laxative. In some people colocynth can cause diarrhea. Diarrhea can increase the effects of warfarin and increase the risk of bleeding. If you take warfarin do not to take excessive amounts of colocynth.

  • Water pills (Diuretic drugs) interacts with COLOCYNTH

    Colocynth is a laxative. Some laxatives can decrease potassium in the body. "Water pills" can also decrease potassium in the body. Taking colocynth along with "water pills" might decrease potassium in the body too much.
    Some "water pills" that can decrease potassium include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, Hydrodiuril, Microzide), and others.


COLOCYNTH Dosing

The appropriate dose of colocynth 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 colocynth. 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.

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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.

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