Gelsemium

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

Bignonia sempervirens, Carolina Jasmine, Evening Trumpet Flower, False Jasmine, Faux Jasmin, Gelsémie, Gelsémie Toujours Verte, Gelsemii Rhizoma, Gelsemin, Gelsemio, Gelsemium nitidum, Gelsemium sempervirens, Gelsemium Toujours Vert, Gelsemiumwurzelstock Jessamine, Gou Min, Jasmin de Caroline, Jasmin Jaune, Jasmin Nid d’Abeilles, Jasmin de Virginie, Trumpet Flower, Woodbine, Yellow Jasmine, Yellow Jessamine Root.

Overview

Gelsemium is a plant. Some people call it “woodbine.” This can be confusing because American ivy and honeysuckle are also known as “woodbine.” If you want gelsemium, look for its scientific name, which is Gelsemium sempervirens, Gelsemium nitidum, or Bignonia sempervirens.

Despite serious safety concerns, the root and underground stem (rhizome) of gelsemium are used to make medicine. Gelsemium is used as a painkiller for migraine headaches and for face pain (trigeminal neuralgia) caused by certain facial nerves. It is also used for asthma and other breathing problems.

How does it work?

Gelsemium contains substances that might act in the brain to reduce pain.

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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Asthma.
  • Pain due to migraine headaches.
  • Pain due to a condition of facial nerves called trigeminal neuralgia.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of gelsemium 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

Gelsemium is UNSAFE. All parts of the plant are very poisonous. Even small amounts can cause serious toxicity, including death. Symptoms of poisoning include headache, vision problems, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, muscle problems, seizures, breathing problems, slowing of the heart, and others.

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Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Special Precautions & Warnings

It is UNSAFE for anyone to use gelsemium, but some people have extra reasons not to use it:

Children: Do not give gelsemium to children. It can poison them, even in very small amounts.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s UNSAFE to use gelsemium. It is very poisonous.

Heart disease and weakness: Gelsemium is especially dangerous if you have a heart problem.

Dosing

The appropriate dose of gelsemium 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 gelsemium. 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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References

Williamson EM, Evans FJ, eds. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations. Essex, England: CW Daniel Company Ltd., 1998.

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