Similar constituents and actions to Hydrastis canadensis and Sanguinaria canadensis; primarily used for spastic digestive discomfort e.g. gallbladder spasms and promote flow of digestive juices (e.g. bile)
• biliary insufficiency
- biliary dyskinesia
- biliary colic (gallbladder spasm)
- cholelithiasis (gallstones)
• atonic digestive complaints
- pancreatic insufficiency
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
• dyscratic conditions caused by 'bad blood'
Infection (topical application)
• fungal infections
• herpes simplex (HSV)
• Isoquinoline alkaloids (e.g. chelidonine, berberine)
• Tincture (1:10 in 45% EtOH): 1-2 ml tid
• Infusion (herb): 2 tsp tid
• Decoction (dried root): 1 tsp tid
Contraindications: Pregnancy and lactation (uterine stimulant); berberine is considered teratogenic.
Long-term use: Hepatotoxicity; monitor liver function.
Drug-induced hepatitis: Reported cases (due to isoquinoline alkaloid exposure).
Liver toxicity: Sanguinarine is hepatoxic.
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