Karaya Gum

woman with abdominal pain

What other names is Karaya Gum known by?

Bassora Tragacanth, Goma Karaya, Gomme Karaya, Gomme Kuteera, Gomme Sterculia, Gomme de Sterculia, Indian Tragacanth, Kadaya, Kadira, Katila, Kullo, Mucara, Sterculia, Sterculia Gum, Sterculia tragacantha, Sterculia urens, Sterculia villosa.

What is Karaya Gum?

Karaya gum is a sap-like material taken from a tree that grows in India. People use it to make medicine.

Karaya gum is used as a bulk-forming laxative to relieve constipation. It is also used to increase sexual desire (as an aphrodisiac).

In manufacturing, karaya gum is used as a thickener in medications, cosmetics, and denture adhesives; and as a binder and stabilizer in foods and beverages.

Possibly Effective for...

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Stimulating sexual desire (aphrodisiac).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of karaya gum 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).

Quick GuideDigestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions

Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions

How does Karaya Gum work?

Karaya gum swells in the intestine, which stimulates the digestive tract to push stool through.

Are there safety concerns?

Karaya gum seems safe for most people when taken with plenty of fluids. It can block the intestines if you do not drink enough fluid.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of karaya gum during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Blockage in the intestine (bowel obstruction): Don't use any bulk-laxative, including karaya gum, if you have a bowel obstruction.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Karaya gum contains a type of soft fiber called mucilage. Mucilage can decrease how much medicine the body absorbs. Taking karaya gum at the same time you take medications by mouth can decrease the effectiveness of your medication. To prevent this interaction take karaya gum at least one hour after medications you take by mouth.

Dosing considerations for Karaya Gum.

The appropriate dose of karaya gum 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 karaya gum. 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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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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