Chinese Senega, Herbe au Lait, Klapperschlangen, Laitier, Milkwort, Mountain Polygala, Polygala, Polygala de Sénéca, Polygala de Virginie, Polygala Glomerata, Polygala japonica, Polygala Root, Polygala Reinii, Polygala Sénéca, Polygala senega, Polygalae Radix, Polygala tenuifolia, Racine de Polygala, Racine de Serpent à Sonnettes, Radix Polygalae, Rattlesnake Root, Senaga Snakeroot, Seneca, Sénéca, Seneca Snakeroot, Senega, Senega Snakeroot, Seneka, Snake Root, Yuan Zhi.
Senega is a plant. The root is used to make medicine.
Senega is used for swelling (inflammation) of the throat, nose, and chest; for lung conditions including asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema; and for rattlesnake bite. It is also used to cause sweating, increase saliva, loosen phlegm, and cleanse the bowels.
Some people use senega as a gargle for sore throat.
How does it work?
The chemicals in senega irritate the stomach lining, which causes production of larger amounts of lung secretions. This may explain how senega works as an expectorant. Expectorants loosen phlegm and make it easier to cough up.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Swelling (inflammation) of the throat, nose, and chest.
- Other conditions.
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).
There isn’t enough information about the safety if applying senega to the skin during pregnancy. It’s best not to use it.
There also isn’t enough information to know whether taking senega by mouth or using it on the skin during breast-feeding is safe. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Fever: Senega can affect the central nervous system. Don’t use it if you have a fever.
Stomach and intestinal conditions including ulcers, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease: Don’t use senega if you have one of these conditions. It can irritate the intestine.
The appropriate dose of senega 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 senega. 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.
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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Foster S, Tyler VE. Tyler's Honest Herbal, 4th ed., Binghamton, NY: Haworth Herbal Press, 1999.