treats Labor induction, Diuretic, and Cardiovascular conditions
SafetyDISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Avoid if hypersensitive to scotch broom or any of its constituents, including sparteine.
Side Effects and Warnings
Scotch broom contains sparteine and alkaloid with anti- arrhythmic properties and potential cardiac toxicity (reported as similar to class 1A antiarrhythmics such as quinidine). Blood pressure changes and circulatory collapse may occur with large doses taken in any form, including by mouth or smoked in cigarettes. There is a possibility of abnormal heart rhythms, heart attack, and worsening of heart failure. Therefore, use of this herb should only be under medical supervision and extreme caution is warranted in individuals with a history of heart disease, abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, or those taking heart medications.
High doses of scotch broom taken by mouth may cause toxicity symptoms including dizziness, headache, weakness, fatigue, sleepiness, blurry vision, sweating, nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea and confusion. When smoked in cigarette form, headache, confusion, relaxation, and euphoria may occur. Driving or operating heavy machinery should be avoided. Smoking cigarettes containing scotch broom carries a risk of inhalation of fungal contaminants (aspergillus), with a possibility of resulting fungal pneumonia.
Topical (skin) use may cause irritation due to the presence of saponins.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Scotch broom should be avoided during pregnancy. Scotch broom contains the alkaloid sparteine, which is known to cause uterine contractions, and carries a risk of inducing abortion (abortifacient properties).
Scotch broom should be avoided during breastfeeding due to insufficient evidence and a hypothetical risk of serious toxicity.