Drugs A - Z
Ignatia (Strychnos ignatii)
Generic Name: Ignatia
CategoryHerbs & Supplements
Ignatia, Ignatia amara, Ignatius bean, Lu Song Guo, Saint Ignatius bean, St. Ignatius bean, Strychnos ignatia.
Ignatia amara is a homeopathic remedy derived from the seeds of the St. Ignatius bean, Strychnos ignatii, a tree found in the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia. It is used as a homeopathic remedy because of its effects on the nervous system.
Commonly called "homeopathic Prozac," ignatia is often used in treating grief stages. Ignatia was commonly used in the 1800s but has not been studied in modern scientific trials. Although there is little scientific evidence regarding the medicinal use of ignatia, it was added to Materia Medica (book of written descriptions of homeopathic medicines) in the early 1800s.
Ignatia is not widely used because it contains strychnine, which can be fatal to humans.
EvidenceDISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Emotional disorders (emergency use):
Currently, there is insufficient evidence to recommend homeopathic ignatia for emergency use of emotional disorders. Additional study is needed in this area.
TraditionWARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Allergies, anti-inflammatory, anxiety, apprehension, atonic dyspepsia (upset stomach), backaches, bedwetting, belching, bereavement, chills, choking, climacteric symptoms, constipation, coughs, cravings, delusions, depression, faintness, fever, follicular inflammation, gastralgia (stomach pain), grief, hallucinations, headaches, hemorrhoids, hiccups, hysteria, inability to work, indigestion, inflammation, irritability, itching, loss of appetite, menopausal symptoms, menstrual problems, mood swings, mouth dryness, nasal problems, nausea and vomiting, nervousness, oversensitivity to all stimuli, pain, perspiration, placebo alternative, post-partum depression, rectal prolapse (rectum drops down outside the anus), rectal spasms, refresh body function, restless legs syndrome, sensitivity to noise, sleeplessness, sore throat, spasm in vocal cords, spasmodic conditions, sweat, thrush (mouth infection), tonic, trembling, unconsciousness, uncontrollable grief, weakness, weepiness.
Adults (over 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for ignatia.
Children (under 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for ignatia in children.
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 in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to ignatia or to a member of the Loganiaceae family.
Side Effects and Warnings
Ignatia is possible safe when used as a homeopathic remedy. However, due to the strychnine content, taking Ignatius bean by mouth may cause restlessness, anxiety, heightened sense perception, enhanced reflexes, equilibrium disorders, painful back and neck stiffness, twitching, spasms of jaw and neck muscles, convulsions triggered by visual or touch stimulation with possible opisthonos (rigid muscle contraction), extreme muscle tension, hyperthermia (abnormally high body temperature), seizures, metabolic acidosis (blood is too acidic), fatal cardiac arrest, rhabdomyolysis (degeneration of skeletal muscle), agitation and difficulty breathing after respiratory spasms. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned strychnine from non-regulated products in 1989.
Avoid ignatia in patients with liver disease since strychnine accumulates in individuals with liver damage and can cause further damage. Ignatia may also cause myoglobinuric renal failure, and caution is advised in patients with compromised kidney function.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Ignatia is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to toxic effects.
Interactions with Drugs
Interactions with Herbs & Dietary Supplements
Insufficient available evidence.
This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature, and was peer-reviewed and edited by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com): Cathy DeFranco Kirkwood, MPH, CCCJS-MAC (MD Anderson Cancer Center); Chi Dam, PharmD (Northeastern University); Nicole Giese, MS (Boston University); Dana A. Hackman, BS Northeastern University; Tamara Milkin, PharmD (Northeastern University); Lisa Scully, PharmD (University of Rhode Island); Erica Seamon, PharmD (Nova Southeastern University); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Shannon Welch, PharmD (Northeastern University).
BibliographyDISCLAIMER: Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
Oberbaum M, Schreiber R, Rosenthal C, et al. Homeopathic treatment in emergency medicine: a case series. Homeopathy 2003;92(1):44-47.
Wasilewski BW. Homeopathic remedies as placebo alternatives--verification on the example of treatment of menopause-related vegetative and emotional disturbances. Sci Eng Ethics 2004;10(1):179-188.