Scientific Name: Rumex crispus
- Anthraquinone glycosides (chrysophanol & emodin)
- Iron and other minerals
- Oxalates (high in leaf)
- Hepatic (Cholagogue)
- Laxative (Stimulant)
Mechanism of Action & Pharmacology:
- Anthraquinone glycosides have a mild laxative action and are absorbed in the jejunum and hydrolyzed during absorption. They are then re-secreted back into the bowel where they irritate, and hence, stimulate the intestines to undergo peristalsis.
- Tannins provide an astringent action on the GIT acting as a gentle intestinal tonic and are antioxidants.
- Tincture extracts have shown antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and have demonstrated potential cytotoxic & anti-cancerous effects as a potent antioxidant and exerting cell-death via apoptosis.
- Topically in ointments & creams
Safety & Toxicity Concerns:
- Fresh root is emetic & purgative. Fresh leaf in high doses may cause acute oxalate toxicity.
- High doses may cause an aggravation of inflammatory skin disorders, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and can aggravate irritable bowel and spastic colon.
- Excessive use exacerbates atonicity of the colon and can lead to dependence on laxatives for a bowel movement to occur.
- Hypokalemia may occur with long-term use.
- All anthraquinone-rich herb CIs apply (e.g. Pregnancy, prolonged use, acute inflammatory bowel disease, etc.). However,it is generally gentler and less extreme in its effects when compared to other laxative herbs.
- Use caution in gout and predisposition to kidney stones due to oxalates.
- Due to decrease in transit time, may potentially interfere with absorption of practically any medication.
- Avoid concomitant use with potassium-depleting agents (e.g. thiazide diuretics, corticosteroids) as may cause hypokalemia.
- May affect activity of cardiac glycosides & antiarrhythmic agents if potassium deficiency resulting from long-term laxative abuse is present.