Gravel Root

How does Gravel Root work?

Gravel root might work for certain conditions by reducing swelling (inflammation).

Are there safety concerns?

There's a lot of concern about using gravel root as medicine, because it contains chemicals called hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), which may block blood flow in the veins and cause liver damage. Hepatotoxic PAs might also cause cancer and birth defects. Gravel root preparations that are not certified and labeled "hepatotoxic PA-free" are considered LIKELY UNSAFE.

It's also LIKELY UNSAFE to apply gravel root to broken skin. The dangerous chemicals in gravel root can be absorbed quickly through broken skin and can lead to dangerous body-wide toxicity. Steer clear of skin products that aren't certified and labeled "hepatotoxic PA-free."

There is not enough information to know if it's safe to apply gravel root to unbroken skin. It's best to avoid use.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's LIKELY UNSAFE to use gravel root preparations that might contain hepatotoxic PAs during pregnancy. These products might cause birth defects and liver damage.

It is also LIKELY UNSAFE to use gravel root preparations that might contain hepatotoxic PAs if you are breast-feeding. These chemicals can pass into breast-milk and might harm the nursing infant.

It's not known whether products that are certified hepatotoxic PA-free are safe to use during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Stay in the safe side and avoid using any gravel root preparation if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Allergy to ragweed and related plants: Gravel root may cause an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking gravel root.

Liver disease: There is concern that the hepatotoxic PAs in gravel root might make liver disease worse.


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