Colocynth is an herb. The ripe fruit is used as a medicine.
Despite serious safety concerns, colocynth is used in combination products for treating constipation, liver, and gallbladder ailments.
How it works
Colocynth contains the chemical cucurbitacin, which is extremely irritating to the mucous membranes, including the mucous membranes in the stomach and intestines.
Not ProvenConstipationLiver problemsGallbladder problemsOther conditions
Colocynth is UNSAFE for use. It was banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991.Taking even very small amounts of colocynth can cause severe irritation of the stomach and intestine lining, bloody diarrhea, kidney damage, bloody urine, and inability to urinate. Other side effects include convulsions, paralysis, and death. There have been reports of death following ingestion of just 1-1/2 teaspoons of the powder.In case of poisoning, a dilute tannic acid solution should be taken, followed by large quantities of drinks that contain eggs (albuminous drinks).
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Colocynth isUNSAFE. Don't take it.Are there any interactions with medications?
Colocynth is a type of laxative called a stimulant laxative. Stimulant laxatives can decrease potassium levels in the body. Low potassium levels can increase the risk of side effects of digoxin (Lanoxin).Warfarin (Coumadin)
Colocynth can work as a laxative. In some people colocynth can cause diarrhea. Diarrhea can increase the effects of warfarin and increase the risk of bleeding. If you take warfarin do not to take excessive amounts of colocynth.Water pills (Diuretic drugs)
Colocynth is a laxative. Some laxatives can decrease potassium in the body. "Water pills" can also decrease potassium in the body. Taking colocynth along with "water pills" might decrease potassium in the body too much.Some "water pills" that can decrease potassium include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, Hydrodiuril, Microzide), and others.