Drugs A - Z

Lousewort

Generic Name: lousewort

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

Iridoid glycosides, isoverbascoside, lamalbid, martynoside, mussaenoside, Pedicularis artselaeri, Pedicularis axillaris Franch., Pedicularis cephalantha Franch., Pedicularis decora, Pedicularis dichotoma Bonati, Pedicula dicora Franch., Pedicularis gracilis Wall., Pedicularis kansuensis, Pedicularis lasiophrys, Pedicularis likiangensis Franch., Pedicularis longiflora, Pedicularis longiflora Rudolph., Pedicularis longiflora var. tubiformis1, Pedicularis longipes Maxim., Pedicularis muscicola Maxim, Pedicularis nordmanniana, Pedicularis olgae Regel., Pedicularis oxycarpa Franch., Pedicularis rex C.B. Clarke, Pedicularis rhinanthoides Schrenk, Pedicularis siphonantha Don, Pedicularis spicata, Pedicularis striata, Pedicularis striata Pall., Pedicularis tapaoensis Tsoong, Pedicularis tenuisecta Franch., Pedicularis yui Li, phenylpropanoid, Scrophulariaceae (family), shanzhiside methyl ester, verbascoside, wood bettony.

Background

The genus Pedicularis contains several species referred to as louseworts. The common name was derived from the idea that livestock would get lice from eating the plant.

Pedicularis plants are found mainly in temperate northern hemisphere climates, although some are also found in South America.

Although animal studies have indicated that certain chemicals found in the plants may have antiproliferative or antioxidant activity, there is insufficient evidence in humans to support the use of Pedicularis species for any indication.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: 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.

Tradition

WARNING: 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.
Antioxidant, cancer, chelating agent, fatigue (muscular), muscle relaxant, sedative, snakebite.

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older):

There is no proven safe or effective dose for lousewort in adults.

Children (younger than 18 years):

There is no proven safe or effective dose for lousewort in children.

Safety

DISCLAIMER: 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.

Allergies

Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to Pedicularis species or their constituents. Pedicularis is in the same family as snapdragons (Scrophulariaceae).

Side Effects and Warnings

There are very few reports available on the adverse effects associated with lousewort. Of the available literature, one in vitro study indicates that the Pedicularis species may have iron chelating activities. Avoid in patients with hematological disorders, such as anemia.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Lousewort is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

Certain constituents in Pedicularis species may have antiproliferative effects. Patients taking anticancer agents should use lousewort cautiously.

Although not well studied in humans, various Pedicularis species may have antioxidant activity. Caution is advised when taking lousewort with other agents with antioxidant effects.

Pedicularis species may have iron chelating activity. Use cautiously in patients taking chelating agents, due to possible additive effects.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Certain constituents in Pedicularis species may have antiproliferative effects. Patients taking anticancer agents should use lousewort cautiously.

Although not well studied in humans, various Pedicularis species may have antioxidant activity. Caution is advised when taking lousewort with other herbs or supplements with antioxidant effects.

Pedicularis species may have iron chelating activity. Use cautiously in patients taking chelating agents, due to possible additive effects. Also, use cautiously when combining iron supplements with lousewort.

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