Nux Vomica is an evergreen tree, and the seeds are derived for Homeopathic medications from the Strychnos nux-vomica tree. The other names for dried nux vomica seeds are ‘vomiting nut’ and ‘poison nut’.
Traditional medicine practices use the seeds of the tree to cure various health ailments even though it contains two dangerous chemicals called strychnine and brucine that can cause awful health conditions when taken in high dosage.
In Homeopathy, Nux vomica is used to treat allergies, back pain, common cold and flu, constipation, hangover, headaches, hemorrhoids, indigestion, menstrual aches, stress, and anxiety.
The Homeopathic medicine formulations using Nux vomica are sometimes given to treat alcoholism and smoking cessation. It is even used for male erectile dysfunction.
Nux vomica dried seeds are used in various health issues. Nux vomica is deadly in large dosage, but do they help in a minimal dosage? Let’s see it in this article.
Table of Contents
What is Nux Vomica?
Nux Vomica is a commonly used ingredient in Homeopathy medicine for many disorders and symptoms. It sourced from an evergreen tree with the name Nux Vomica tree, also called Strychnos nux vomica, S. nux-vomica, Strychnine tree, Poison nut tree, and Vomiting nut tree that belongs to Loganiaceae family. The tree is native to East India, China, Australia, and Thailand.
The seeds of the Nux Vomica tree must be treated before usage to make them safe. Nux vomica supplements are available in stores as pill and powder forms. The seeds can affect the nervous system, so it is often used to manage acute conditions and have a short course. The nuts may treat male infertility and erectile dysfunction, but there is no scientific evidence or studies to prove its effectiveness.
What is a Homeopathic Remedy?
Homeopathy medicine uses a small dose of a remedy to treat a disease that may cause symptoms in a healthy person when taken in a more massive dose. Homeopathy medicine includes different natural substances in treatments such as plant, animal-based ingredient, mineral, and so on.
FDA defines the homeopathy medicine system as: “Homeopathy is a medical practice of curing conditions and disorders which treats diseases with remedies that can develop the same conditions and disorders when given to healthy people.”
An article published in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine showed that Nux vomica has a high amount of antioxidants. Its seeds contain two active alkaloids called strychnine and brucine that are medically active phytoconstituents of Nux vomica tree. These phytoconstituents and antioxidants of the plant parts have been shown to treat various disorders and conditions in a small dose. Mentioning “Small Dose” is a must as, in high doses, the same active alkaloids become poisonous.
The Nux vomica seeds after drying are called kuchla, which contain the other two main alkaloids, namely vomicine and igasurine, with minor alkaloids. These alkaloids in the seeds have shown some hope on possible health conditions. An animal study established that extract prepared from Nux vomica seeds are effective in maintaining diabetes in check.
All the Nux vomica supplements and drugs will have the information that it can be poisonous in high doses and affect the central nervous system. At the same time, some people use these tree supplements in low doses for specific health conditions.
Common Names of Nux Vomica
- Botanical Name: Strychnos nux-vomica
- English Name: Nux Vomica
- Tamil Name: எட்டி கொட்டை / Ettikkottai
- Malayalam Name: കാഞ്ഞിരം / Kanniram
- Telugu Name: ముషిని/Mushini
- Kannada Name: ಕಂಜಿಹೆಮುಷ್ಠಿ/Kanjihemushti
- Hindi Name: कुचला / Kuchala
- Marathi Name: कजर/Kajra
- Gujarati Name: નક્સ વોમિકા/Naksa vōmikā
- Punjabi Name: ਕੁਚਲ/Kuchla
- Bengali Name: কুচিলা/Kuchila
- Urdu Name: کچلا
Other names of Nux vomica are Vomiquier, Vishamushti, Strychnos Seed, Strychnos nux-vomica, Strychni Semen, Shudha Kupilu, Quaker Buttons, Poison Nut, Nux Vom, Nuez Vomica, Noix Vomique, Kupilu, Kuchla, and Brechnusssamen.
12 Possible Health Benefits of Nux Vomica
Some lab tests and animal studies have shown that nux vomica contains anti-inflammatory properties, which help treat certain health conditions caused by rheumatism, inflammation, hemorrhoids, or asthma.
In an animal study, nux vomica found to treat and reduce inflammation in rat paws effectively. Some other tests and researches show that nux vomica has antioxidants, which can protect us against chemicals like free radicals that can damage our body cells.
The flowers of nux vomica are found to have antibacterial activities, which can potentially be used in antiseptics discovered by research.
Based on the research available for nux vomica, it is necessary to know that these studies may test or concentrate on certain parts of the tree, such as flowers, seeds, or leaves. So, the study results need not be the same for all parts of the nux vomica tree. Further studies and researches about the potential benefits of Nux vomica are required.
Now, let’s check the possible benefits of Nux vomica that are believed by people.
1. Antioxidant Effects
A Chinese medical study published in a Journal showed that Nux vomica has different compounds that make it an antioxidant substance.
The research also showed that Nux vomica might offer some benefits over human health. The same study confirmed that brucine and strychnine, two active compounds in nux vomica, are dangerous in high doses.
2. Pain Relief
A 2015 study showed that extract prepared from the leaves of nux vomica contains potential analgesic or pain-relieving properties. The antioxidants in the plant are reasoned for this effect.
But, we should know that Homeopathy treatments use nux vomica seeds, not the leaves.
Some other researchers are working on finding how to effectively remove the effect of strychnine from the plant seeds. They concluded the research with a statement that removing the poisonous chemical compound improves nux vomica seeds’ analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Researchers said the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects of nux vomica are probably due to the presence of brucine. When tested with animal subjects, brucine in nux vomica reduced markers of pain and swelling. However, more studies and tests are required to derive this effect of nux vomica in humans.
A study in 2012 tried to evaluate and confirm if nux vomica can be used to treat diabetes. Researchers found that nux vomica seed extract helped control sugar levels in the blood than other substances in animal models.
A 2015 study tested various plants for their ability to treat influenza, common flu, or virus. Extract prepared from the stem bark of the tree showed a potent effect on the flu.
The available study results about the effect of nux vomica as a homeopathic medicine include preliminary research published in 2002 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. This journal showed that nux vomica has promising effects on treating alcoholism.
In an animal study, the researchers found that animals induced with nux vomica diluted preparation experienced a major reduction in their alcohol intake. But, as of now, there are studies with evidence to prove the same effect on humans.
Many preliminary studies on human body cell structure found that nux vomica may fight cancer probably by encouraging apoptosis, which is a type of induced cell death that is needed for preventing the development of cancer cells.
7. Motion Sickness
The National Center for Homeopathy said that nux vomica might be used with other substances to treat motion sickness if you experience severe nausea with vomiting and severe headaches at the back of the head or eyes. You lose appetite and feel sick from tobacco and coffee smells.
University of Maryland Medical Center said that scientific research for nux vomica’s effect on treating motion sickness is lacking; however, if you would like to take homeopathy medicine and get a consultation from a homeopath, nux vomica may be used as a remedy based on exact symptoms.
Nux vomica is often recommended in homeopathy medicine for constipation problems. According to the National Center for Homeopathy, nux vomica is used to stop a laxative habit where the person experiences difficulties in bowel movements without inducing a laxative. One dose per day before sleep for certain days is typically recommended.
However, there are not enough studies to determine this effect of nux vomica for constipation.
9. Common Cold
Influenza or flu is the most common health condition that worsens a day. Though it is not considered a pandemic, anyone who gets the flu wants to get rid of it quickly because of the weakness, tiredness, and body pain it causes.
In some cases, nux vomica is used with other herbs to cure flu symptoms. The National Center for Homeopathy said that nux vomica is good medicine for gastric flu with diarrhea and vomiting.
Currently, studies established that stem bark of nux vomica plants contains flavonoids and antiviral properties, which helps itself to be powerful medicine for viral diseases like viruses or flu. But, homeopathy medicine uses its seeds, not stem bark.
10. Urinary Tract Infection
Nux vomica is used for Urinary Tract Infections, aka UTIs with the following symptoms.
- If you feel irritation in the bladder and have a constant feeling of urination passing a small amount, this remedy is recommended.
- When you feel burning pain, the bladder, and itching sensation in urethra during urination.
These UTIs symptoms may be relieved by hot baths or other warmth treatments.
Research about this effect of Nux vomica is limited. A pilot study showed the potential impact of homeopathic medicines like nux vomica with other treatment methods on treating UTIs in people with injuries in spinal cords. The available studies on this effect are small and have no further evidence.
Insomnia, the most common sleeping disorder that affects almost 10% of adults. Maryland University Medical Center lists nux vomica with other homeopathic remedies for treating insomnia, especially in the cases with below conditions.
- If insomnia is caused by anxiety, irritability, anger, excessive use of caffeine, drugs, or alcohol.
- This specific homeopathy medicine is suitable for people who wake up early in the morning, and for children who lose sleep due to little disturbances and often wake up by frightened dreams of fights or school.
- Insomnia caused as side effects of taking severe medications can be treated with nux vomica.
A four-week study on this effect of Nux vomica published in the Homeopathy Journal observed 54 males and females with age ranges of 18 to 31 after inducing insomnia by giving caffeine. The subject was given a 30c dose of nux vomica or another homeopathic medicine, before sleep. That was a small study with various limitations, but in the end, authors found that homeopathic medicines have shown major effects, especially late night.
They concluded that nux vomica could have a positive effect on REM sleep; however, studies are required to test general insomnia, instead of only checking coffee-induced insomnia.
12. Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is considered one of the modern-day health conditions caused by constant sitting, lack of workout, and more that affects the day to day routine and sleep of a person.
With the following terms, nux vomica is recommended for lower back pain.
- Suppose you have cramps in muscles or pain in the back. The discomfort due to back pain may be increased by cold and reduced by warmth.
- Back pain becomes worse at night, and the person feels hard to turn over without sitting up.
- Back pain during constipation is the worst condition where the person gets too much pain during bowel movements.
Other Proposed Benefits of Nux Vomica
Some homeopathic experts and practitioners claim that Nux vomica can treat various health conditions, including:
- Common cold and flu in the early stages.
- Common digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, heartburn, and nausea.
- Infertility and impotence in Men.
- Menstrual pain.
- Migraine symptoms such as frontal pain, sore scalp, stomach aches, or light sensitivity.
- Stress causing impatience, irritability, and sensation of stimuli.
There is no such scientific proof or evidence to claim the effects of Nux vomica in treating the above conditions and symptoms. It is a must to consult your doctor if you like to take homeopathic medicines. There are chances you may have other treatments to treat your health conditions in a more effective way than homeopathic remedies or other homeopathic medications.
Homeopathic Use of Nux Vomica
The appropriate dose of any medicine, even if it is allopathy or homeopathy, depends on several factors, including the patient’s age, medical history, and health status.
Nux vomica 6C or 6 CH and 30 C or 30CH are the standard doses of Nux vomica remedy. The numbers (6, 30) and letters (C, X, M) followed by a remedy name signify the dilution amount and method used on the substance to create a particular remedy.
Remember to check for directions and essential information in the package for dosage and before taking the remedy. Reach the certified homeopathic doctor to guide you in using the homeopathic medications.
Researches About Nux Vomica
Current research that tested nux vomica and its homeopathic properties and uses are limited and leave matters inconclusive.
Some studies found beneficial and healthy compounds in certain parts of the nux vomica tree. However, the results may not apply to nux vomica extract or seeds available in the stores now.
Though some parts of the nux vomica plant showed promising effects, the current results suggest it may be too early to allow nux vomica in treating health conditions.
History and Interesting Facts of Nux Vomica
Some historical stories say that Alexander the Great, who lived in 323 BC, died due to wine consumption that contained strychnine.
If we go back to the mid 16th century, they believed Nux vomica nuts have medicinal properties and use. At that time, a German botanist and physician named Valerius Cordus are said to be the first Europeans who wrote about Nux vomica.
From then on, Germans started using nux vomica nuts as an antidote for treating plague, rabies, worms, gout, hysteria, and rheumatism. The people also have known about the poisonous compounds of nux vomica nuts, and they knew it needed to be used with other appropriate compositions.
Some of the rat poisons have Strychnine. Veterinarians have been using it as a stimulant. Symptoms of Strychnine poisoning usually become apparent within 20 minutes of entering the bloodstream.
Selection, Preparation & Storage
Nux vomica homeopathic preparations are available as tinctures and pellets at many online stores, homeopathic medicine stores, manual food stores, traditional medicine stores, and stores selling dietary supplements.
There is no appropriate dosage for nux vomica, but it is usually sold in 30X, 30C, or 1M packages. You must consult the homeopathic doctors; they will prescribe the right dosage for you considering your health history, health status, age, and need of a remedy.
Some of the homeopathic preparations included lactose. People with an intolerance to lactose should check the information in the package label and buy lactose-free supplements.
Typically, homeopathic preparations last for three years with proper storage. Always close the containers tight and secure, keep them in a cold and dark place.
Precaution and Side Effects
You should avoid Nux vomica if you have liver disease, it can cause liver damage.
Nux vomica in high doses or long term use without proper advice from medical professionals will cause severe symptoms, including:
- Back stiffness
- Blue skin
- Breathing problems
- Excitability and fast reflex
- Liver failure
- Stiff facial muscles
Improper usage of nux vomica also affects the nervous system.
For male infertility or erectile dysfunction, consultation with a doctor is needed before using nux vomica as a medicine. They help to find the reasons for the issue and offer effective treatment.
Nux vomica can create harmful drug interactions, particularly with antipsychotics, so discuss with your doctor about all the medications you are taking.
As there is no evidence for talking about possible effects of nux vomica on fetuses or newborns, pregnant and breastfeeding women must avoid nux vomica.
Anyone who is thinking of using nux vomica must contact a doctor or certified homeopathic practitioner to know the right way of usage and dosage.
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