Euphorbia (generic name)

treats Epilepsy, Chronic bronchitis, Eczema, and Inflammation
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Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

Amygdaloides latex, asthma spurge, bisabolane sesquiterpenoid, caper spurge, dieterpenoids (segetanes, jatrophanes, paralianes), Euphpekinensin, Euphorbia acaulis, Euphorbia alkaloid, Euphorbia antiquorum, Euphorbia balsamifera, Euphorbia capitata, Euphorbia characias, Euphorbia chrysocoma, Euphorbia dendroides, Euphorbia dracunculoides, Euphorbia ebracteolata, Euphorbia fischeriana, Euphorbia fulgens, Euphorbia genus, Euphorbia helioscopia, Euphorbia hermentiana, Euphorbia heterophylla, Euphorbia hirta, Euphorbia kansui, Euphorbia lancifolia, Euphorbia latex, Euphorbia lathyris, Euphorbia leuconeura, Euphorbia marginata, Euphorbia myrsinites, Euphorbia neriifolia, Euphorbia obtusifolia, Euphorbia paralias, Euphorbia peplus, Euphorbia pekinensis, Euphorbia pilulifera, Euphorbia poisonii, Euphorbia pulcherrima, Euphorbia pubescens, Euphorbia rigida, Euphorbia royleana, Euphorbia serpyllifolia, Euphorbia tinctoria, Euphorbia tirucalli, Euphorbia triangularis, Euphorbia variegate, Euphorbia wallichii, ixbut, gopher spurge, Mediterranean spurge, petty spurge, pillbearing spurge, spotted spurge, snakeweed, thyme-leaves spurge, triterpenes, wolf's milk extract, ZeQi.

Background

There are over 2,000 species of Euphorbia in the world, ranging from annual weeds to trees. Most originate in Africa and Madagascar, and a significant percentage of these are succulent. All contain latex and have a unique flower structure.

Native Americans used the plant for many medicinal purposes including treatment of skin infections (applied on the skin) and gonorrhea (internally). Traditionally, Euphorbia species have been used internally as laxatives and externally for rheumatism and skin conditions. However, nearly all the Euphorbias are poisonous and exude an acrid milky fluid when broken.

Euphorbia is stated to possess antitussive, antifungal and antitumor properties. There is mixed evidence showing euphorbia's effectiveness for chronic bronchitis, eczema, epilepsy and oral inflammation. Small doses tend to be expectorant and diaphoretic. Larger doses produce emesis (vomiting) usually without much pain or spasm, nausea or dizziness. The roots and leaves of euphorbia are a strong laxative. Petty spurge sap has traditionally been used as a wart cure.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Chronic bronchitis: Euphorbia helioscopia may benefit senior patients with chronic bronchitis. However, additional study is needed in this area to make a strong recommendation.
Grade: C

Eczema: Early study of Euphorbia acaulis has demonstrated an effect on patients with both wet and dry eczema. More trials are needed to evaluate the effect of Euphorbia acaulis for eczema.
Grade: C

Epilepsy: Euphorbia alkaloid, which is the active ingredient in Euphorbia fisheriana, may have anticonvulsant effects. Thus, this alkaloid might be useful in patients with epilepsy. Additional study is needed in this area.
Grade: C

Inflammation (oral): Euphorbia balsamifera has been studied in patients with acute dental pulpitis, and may be comparable to that of pulpal nerve caustics. Additional study is necessary to make a strong recommendation.
Grade: C

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Analgesic (pain reliever), antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, bloating, cancer, catarrh (inflammation of mucous membrane), diaphoretic (induces sweating), digestive problems, dysentery (severe diarrhea), emetic (induces vomiting), expectorant (encourages coughing up of mucous), gonorrhea, hay fever, immune system regulation, laryngeal spasm, laxative, multi-drug resistance, molluscicidal (kills mollusks), parasites/worms, respiratory disorders, rheumatism, skin conditions, tumors, warts.
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