Baie de Brindall, Camboge, Gambodia, Gambooge, Garcinia hanburyi, Gomme-Gutte, Gummigutta, Gutta Cambodia, Gutta Gamba, Tom Rong.


Overview Information

Gamboge is a gum-like substance (resin) from the trunk of the Garcinia hanburyi tree. Don’t confuse gamboge with garcinia (Garcinia cambogia).

Despite serious safety concerns, people take gamboge for constipation, generally in combination with other laxatives. They also take it for expelling intestinal worms.

Some gamboge products are “stretched” by adding rice and wheat starches, sand, and vegetable fragments. You can spot these adulterated products because they are usually coarser and hard.

How does it work?

Gamboge has a strong laxative effect.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

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

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Gamboge seems to be UNSAFE. It can cause stomach pain and vomiting. Large amounts are poisonous and may cause death.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

While gamboge seems UNSAFE for anyone to use, some people are especially sensitive to the toxic effects. Be particularly careful not to use gamboge if you have one of the following conditions:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s UNSAFE to use gamboge if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. It contains chemicals that may cause harmful side effects or death.

Heart conditions: Since gamboge is a stimulant laxative, it might cause the body to lose too much potassium. This can cause heart damage or make existing heart disease worse.

Digestive tract conditions including Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, appendicitis, stomach pain, ulcers, obstruction, nausea, or vomiting: Gamboge is a stimulant laxative. It might make these conditions worse.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Digoxin (Lanoxin) interacts with GAMBOGE

    Gamboge 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).

  • Medications for inflammation (Corticosteroids) interacts with GAMBOGE

    Some medications for inflammation can decrease potassium in the body. Gamboge is a type of laxative that might also decrease potassium in the body. Taking gamboge along with some medications for inflammation might decrease potassium in the body too much.
    Some medications for inflammation include dexamethasone (Decadron), hydrocortisone (Cortef), methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisone (Deltasone), and others.

  • Stimulant laxatives interacts with GAMBOGE

    Gamboge is a type of laxative called a stimulant laxative. Stimulant laxatives speed up the bowels. Taking gamboge along with other stimulant laxatives could speed up the bowels too much and cause dehydration and low minerals in the body.
    Some stimulant laxatives include bisacodyl (Correctol, Dulcolax), cascara, castor oil (Purge), senna (Senokot), and others.

  • Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with GAMBOGE

    Gamboge can work as a laxative. In some people gamboge 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 gamboge.

  • Water pills (Diuretic drugs) interacts with GAMBOGE

    Gamboge is a laxative. Some laxatives can decrease potassium in the body. "Water pills" can also decrease potassium in the body. Taking gamboge 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.



The appropriate dose of gamboge 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 gamboge. 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.

View References


  • Osol and Farar. The Dispensatory of the United States of America. 25th ed. JB Lippincott Co., 1955.

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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.
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