July 24, 2016

Digitalis

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What other names is Foxglove known by?

Dé de Bergère, Dead Man's Bells, Digitale, Digitale Laineuse, Digitale Pourpre, Digitale Pourprée, Digitalis lanata, Digitalis purpurea, Doigtier, Fairy Cap, Fairy Finger, Foxglove, Gant-de-Bergère, Gant-de-Notre-Dame, Gantelée, Gantière, Grande Digitale, Lady's Thimble, Lion's Mouth, Purple Foxglove, Scotch Mercury, Throatwort, Witch's Bells, Woolly Foxglove.

What is Foxglove?

Foxglove is a plant. Although the parts of the plant that grow above the ground can be used for medicine, foxglove is unsafe for self-medication. All parts of the plant are poisonous.

Chemicals taken from foxglove are used to make a prescription drug called digoxin. Digitalis lanata is the major source of digoxin in the US.

Foxglove is used for congestive heart failure (CHF) and relieving associated fluid retention (edema); irregular heartbeat, including atrial fibrillation and "flutter;" asthma; epilepsy; tuberculosis; constipation; headache; and spasm. It is also used to cause vomiting and for healing wounds and burns.

Likely Effective for...

  • Irregular heart rhythms (atrial fibrillation). Taking foxglove by mouth may improve irregular heart rhythms such as atrial fibrillation or flutter.
  • Congestive heart failure (CHF). Taking foxglove by mouth may improve CHF and CHF-related swelling.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Asthma.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Constipation.
  • Headache.
  • Spasm.
  • Wounds.
  • Burns.
  • Causing vomiting.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of foxglove for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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