For Those Who Use Nux vomica in Their Clinical Practice

Strychnos Nux-vomica: A Poisonous Plant with Various Aspects of Therapeutic Significance

Nux vomica (or Strychnos Nux vomica (Family: Loganiaceae)) is a poisonous plant, commonly used in various medical systems such as traditional Chinese and Indian systems of medicine, and Homeopathy.  Despite being poisonous it is commonly used for treating diseases such as paralytic and neuralgic affections, dyspepsia, itching, urinary disorders, joint pain, dysentery, emotional disorders, epilepsy,

Despite being poisonous it is commonly used for treating diseases such as paralytic and neuralgic affections, dyspepsia, itching, urinary disorders, joint pain, dysentery, emotional disorders, epilepsy, rheumatism and insomnia, etc.

A recent review by Maji Amal K and Banerji Pratim titled, “Strychnos nux-vomica: A Poisonous Plant with Various Aspects of Therapeutic Significance”, Special Issue: Interventions and Studies in Clinical Pharmacy, Journal of Basic and Clinical Pharmacy 2017, provides an insight of usage of Nux vomica in various systems of medicines.

The work delineates the important aspects such as

  • Ethnomedical uses,
  • Phytochemistry,
  • Uses of different parts of Nux vomica (Bark, Leaves, Flowers),
  • Pharmacological activities – Hepatoprotection, Antioxidant, Antinociceptive, Anti-Allergic, Anti-inflammatory, Antimicrobial, Anticancer, Antipyretic, Gastroprotective, Antidiabetic, Neuropharmacological, Antialcoholic etc.
  • Clinical studies
  • Toxicity aspects etc.

This review describes a comprehensive summary on traditional uses, phytochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicity of nux vomica. It quotes,”To date, more than 90 chemical compounds have been isolated

“To date, more than 90 chemical compounds have been isolated from different parts of nux vomica and some active compounds exhibit various pharmacological effects such as anticancer, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, neuroprotective, hepatoprotective, antidepressant, vasodilatory, spasmolytic, and so on. However, the strychnine and brucine were found to be the major active principles, responsible for its therapeutic potential and toxicity. As nux vomica is categorized as a potential toxic plant, much attention should be required to reduce its toxic effects using appropriate and validated detoxification techniques. Pharmacological studies on the processed extract of nux vomica (detoxified) exhibited greater efficacy with low toxicity than unprocessed extract. However, further research should be designed to determine safe and effective dose ceiling limit of processed extract for its therapeutic properties”.

The work may be referred and downloaded at link

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