||Aristolochia, Birthwort, Heartwort, Long Birthwort, Pelican Flower, Serpentaria, Snakeroot, Snakeweed, Virginia Snakeroot
||C and S Europe
||Well-drained soil in sun or partial shade. Thin out previous year's growths or cut back to two or three nodes in late winter. Aphids, whitefly, and spider mite may damage foliage of plants under cover.
||By seed sown in spring at 13-16°C (55-61°F); by semi-ripe cuttings in summer; by division in early spring or autumn; by layering in autumn
||Roots are harvested in autumn, and fruits collected when ripe, and dried for liquid extracts, decoctions, powders and tinctures. Oil is distilled from dried roots (A. serpentaria).
||Roots, leaf, stem, flower.
||An aromatic, tonic herb that stimulates the uterus, reduces inflammation, controls bacterial infection, and promotes healing.
Stimulates stomach secretions
Stimulates smooth-muscle contractions of the gastrointestinal tract and heart
|Possible Additional Effects:
May increase circulation
May stimulate heart action
May treat dyspepsia
May reduce fever
May treat stores on skin
||Internally for gynecological and obstetric disorders. A toxic herb, prescribed in small doses for short-term used only and not given during pregnancy. For use by qualified practitioners only. Externally for skin infections and diseases, and wounds (especially snakebite or insect bites.)
To treat gastrointestinal and gallbladder colic caused by allergies, joint pain, stomacheache, malaria, and gynecological disorders; to stimulate the immune system.
|Warnings and Precautions:
||Toxic if eaten.
This herb is subject to legal restrictions in some countries.
Don't take if you:
Are pregnant, think you may be pregnant or plan pregnancy in the near future
Have any chronic disease of the gastrointestinal tract, such as stomach or duodenal ulcers, reflux esophagitis, ulcerative colitis, spastic colitis, diverticulosis, or diverticulitis
Consult your doctor if you:
Take this herb for any medical problem that doesn't improve in 2 weeks (There may be safer, more effective treatments.)
Take any medicinal drugs or herbs including aspirin, laxatives, cold and cough remedies, antacids, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, supplements, other prescription or non-prescription drugs.
Dangers outweigh any possible benefits. Don't use.
Dangers outweigh any possible benefits. Don't use.
Infants and Children:
Treating infants and children under 2 with any herbal preparation is hazardous
None are expected if you are beyond childhood, under 45, not pregnant, basically healthy, take it only for a short time and do not exceed manufacturer's recommended dose.
Store in cool, dry area away from direct light, but don't freeze.
Store safely out of reach of children.
Don't store in bathroom medicine cabinet. Heat and moisture may change the action of the herb.
Consult your doctor for the appropriate dose for your condition.
||Rated relatively safe when taken in appropriate quantities for short periods of time.
|Adverse Reactions, Side Effects, or Overdose Symptoms:
||Birthwort is extremely toxic. When taken in low doses over time, its side effects include the development of tumors. Toxic doses lead to vomiting, severe kidney damage, gastroenteritis, and death by kidney failure.
|Signs and Symptoms
||What to Do
||Discontinue. Call doctor immediately.
|Nausea or Vomiting
||Discontinue. Call doctor immeditately.
|Tenesmus (spasm of the rectal spincter)
||Discontinue. Call doctor when convenient.
|Taking birthwort with these drugs may intefere with the action of the drugs:
|Aluminum Hydroxide (AlternaGel, Alu-Cap)
||Aluminum Hydroxide and Magnesium Carbonate (Gaviscon Extra Strength, Gaviscon Liquid)
||Aluminum Hydroxide and Magnesium Hydroxide (Maalox, Rulox)
||Aluminum Hydroxide and Magnesium Trisilicate (Gaviscon Tablet)
|Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Hydroxide, and Simethicone (Maalox, Mylanta Liquid)
||Calcium Carbonate (Rolaids Extra Strength, Tums)
||Calcium Carbonate and Magnesium Hydroxide (Mylanta Gelcaps, Rolaids Extra Strength)
||Cimetidine (Nu-Cimet, Tagamet)
||Famotidine (Apo-Famotidine, Pepcid)
||Famotidine, Calcium Carbonate, and Magnesium Hydroxide (Pepcid Complete)
|Magaldrate and Simethicone (Riopan Plus, Riopan Plus Double Strength)
||Magnesium Hydroxide (Dulcolax Milk of Magnesia, Phillip's Milk of Magnesia)
||Magnesium Oxide (Mag-Ox 400, Uro-Mag)
||Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salts)
|Nizatidine (Axid, PMS-Nizatidine)
||Omeprazole (Losec, Prilosec)
||Pantoprazole (Pantoloc, Protonix)
||Rabeprazole (Aciphex, Pariet)
|Ranitidine (Alti-Ranitidine, Zantac)
||Sodium Bicarbonate (Brioschi, Neut)
|Lab Test Alterations:
||May cause nephropathy and abnormal kidney function test results.
||Can irritate the gastrointestinal tract and may worsen inflammatory or infectious gastrointestinal ailments.
||Encyclopedia of Herbs by Deni BrownCopyright © 1995, 2001 Dorling Kindersley Limited. pg. 129
The Essential Herb-Drug-Vitamin Interaction Guide by George T. Grossberg, MD and Barry Fox, PhD Copyright ©2007 by Barry Fox PhD. Pp.67-68.
Vitamins, Herbs, Minerals & Supplements The Complete Guide by H. Winter Griffith, MD Copyright©1998 Fisher Books pp. 439-440