Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Brionia, Bryone, Bryone Blanche, Bryone Dioïque, Bryonia alba, Bryonia cretica, Bryonia dioca, Bryoniae Radix, Couleuvrée, Devil's Turnip, English Mandrake, Herbe de Feu, Ladies' Seal, Mandragore Grimpante, Navet du Diable, Rave de Serpent, Tamus, Tetterberry, Vigne Blanche, Vigne du Diable, White Bryony, Wild Hops, Wild Nep, Wild Vine, Wood Vine.


Bryonia is a plant. People use the root for medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, bryonia is used as a laxative to relieve constipation and as an emetic. Emetics are medicines that are used to cause vomiting.

Bryonia is also used to treat stomach and intestinal diseases, lung diseases, arthritis, liver disease, and metabolic disorders; and to prevent infections. It is also used to increase urination to relieve fluid retention.

How does it work?

Bryonia root contains a resin that has a strong laxative effect. Resin is a gum-like material.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Stomach or intestinal diseases.
  • Lung diseases.
  • Arthritis.
  • Liver disease.
  • Metabolic disorders.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Preventing infections.
  • Causing vomiting.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of bryonia 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).

Side Effects

Bryonia is LIKELY UNSAFE for anyone to use. At fairly low doses, it can cause many side effects including dizziness, vomiting, convulsions, colic, bloody diarrhea, abortion, nervous excitement, and kidney damage. Larger doses may cause fatal poisoning. Just touching fresh bryonia can cause skin irritation. Eating the berries can cause death.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Bryonia is UNSAFE for pregnant women when taken by mouth and LIKELY UNSAFE for breast-feeding women when taken by mouth. It can cause a miscarriage in addition to serious health consequences for the pregnant or breast-feeding woman.

Children: Bryonia is LIKELY UNSAFE for children when taken by mouth. Eating the berries can cause death.

Stomach and intestinal (gastrointestinal, GI) disorders: There are many reasons not to use bryonia. It can cause serious side effects and death. Additionally, it can irritate the stomach and intestines and can make GI problems worse.


The appropriate dose of bryonia depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for bryonia. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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