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

Contrayerba, Contrayerve, Contre-Poison, Dorstenia contrajerva Dorstenia contrayerva, Herbe-Chapeau.


Contrayerva is an herb. The root is used to make medicine.

Despite safety concerns, people take contrayerva to increase endurance (stamina) and to counteract poison released by snakebites.

How does it work?

Contrayerva might work by acting as a stimulant and by causing sweating.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Snakebites.
  • Increasing endurance (stamina).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of contrayerva 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

Contrayerva might be UNSAFE for use. Taking it by mouth can cause heart problems. Touching the plant can make the skin extra sensitive to sunlight and, as a result, more likely to become sunburned.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It might be UNSAFE for anyone, including pregnant and breast-feeding women, to use contrayerva.


The appropriate dose of contrayerva 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 contrayerva. 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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Botanical.Com A Modern Herbal. (Accessed 31 July 1999).

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