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Find a Vitamin or Supplement


Other Names:

Arbre Sacré des Druides, Chinwood, Common Yew, English Yew, Himalayan Yew, If, If à Baies, If Commun, If de l’Himalaya, If de l'Ouest, Ifreteau, Pacific Yew, Taleespatra, Talispatra, Taxus baccata, Taxus brevifolia, Tejo, Western Yew.

YEW Overview
YEW Uses
YEW Side Effects
YEW Interactions
YEW Dosing
YEW Overview Information

Yew is a tree. People use the bark, branch tips, and needles to make medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, yew is used for treating diphtheria, tapeworms, swollen tonsils (tonsillitis), seizures (epilepsy), muscle and joint pain (rheumatism), urinary tract conditions, and liver conditions. Women use it for starting menstruation and causing abortions.

Pharmaceutical companies make paclitaxel (Taxol), a prescription drug for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancer, from the bark of the yew tree. They extract paclitaxel, leaving the poisonous chemicals in yew behind.

How does it work?

Yew might affect various parts of the body including nerves, the heart, and muscles.

YEW Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Insufficient Evidence for:

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of yew for these uses.

YEW Side Effects & Safety

Yew is LIKELY UNSAFE for people. All parts of the yew plant are considered poisonous. Yew can cause severe stomach problems and can cause the heart rate to slow down or speed up dangerously. Signs of poisoning might include nausea, dry mouth, vomiting, stomach pain, dizziness, weakness, nervousness, heart problems, and many others. Death has occurred after taking 50-100 grams of yew needles.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

It is LIKELY UNSAFE for anyone to take yew, but some people have extra reasons not to use it:

Children: It is UNSAFE for children to eat the berries or needles of yew. Swallowing one berry can be fatal in a child. Eating the berries or needles can cause the heart to beat dangerously slow or fast.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is UNSAFE for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding to take yew. Yew needles might cause an abortion. Also, taking the needles can poison the mother.

YEW Interactions What is this?

We currently have no information for YEW Interactions

YEW Dosing

The appropriate dose of yew 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 yew. 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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