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Nux Vomica: Ancient poison turned in modern medicine

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Fri, Sep 24, 2010 @ 10:43 AM

Tags: Nux Vomica

nux vomica plant

Nux vomica is the name of an evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia, especially India and Myanmar, and cultivated elsewhere.  Its dried seeds or beans, and sometimes its bark are used in herbal remedies and homeopathic medicines. The seeds contain organic substances, strychnine and brucine.  Strychnine is a poison that in doses of 5 milligrams can be dangerous. Since the seeds contain strychnine, the native tribes in South America have also used extracts for centuries as a poison for the tips of arrows.  The homeopathic version uses a very dilute solution of Nux vomica therefore it is not poisonous and is used in many treatments.

In traditional Chinese treatment of cancer, it was used in combination with other herbs. Nux vomica was used in small amounts in traditional Chinese herbal treatments for liver cancer and numerous other health problems such as swelling reduction, pain reduction, and to treat abscesses. Some physicians used Nux vomica in the treatment of stomach cancer in the late nineteenth century.  Today, it is rare to find any form other of Nux Vomica other than the homeopathic preparation. Nux Vomica in homeopathy is diluted and has a low dosage of Strychnine.  This makes homeopathic Nux Vomica safe for consumption.

Nux Vomica alleviate indigestions, stimulants the bowel movements and cures chronic constipation.  It is used as a healing tonic and appetite stimulant. Nux Vomica increases the flow of stomach juice. It improves pulse and raises blood pressure and can be used as a tonic for the circulatory system in heart failure. It is used to decrease itchiness and as a local antiseptic.

Nux vomica is also recommended for upset stomach, vomiting, abdominal pain, hangovers, heartburn, insomnia, certain heart diseases, circulatory problems, eye diseases, depression, migraine headaches, nervous conditions, problems related to menopause, cold and coughs and respiratory diseases in the elderly.

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