Scurvy Grass

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What other names is Scurvy Grass known by?

Cochléaire, Cochléaire Officinale, Cochlearia officinalis, Coclearia, Cranson, Cranson Officinal, Herbe aux Cuillères, Herbe au Scorbut, Hierba del Escorbuto, Scrubby Grass, Spoonwort.

What is Scurvy Grass?

Scurvy grass is an herb. Its leaves and flowering parts are used to make medicine.

Scurvy grass gets its name from the fact that sailors used to take it to prevent a disease called scurvy. People get scurvy when they don't get enough vitamin C (vitamin C deficiency), which is found in citrus fruits. Scurvy was a frequent problem among sailors who couldn't get fresh fruit while at sea.

People take scurvy grass for vitamin C deficiency, gout, arthritis, stomachache, and fluid retention. It is also used as a "blood purifier."

Some people apply scurvy grass directly to the affected area for skin irritations, canker sores, and gum disease.

Scurvy grass (Cochlearia officinalis) is sometimes called watercress. Be careful not to confuse it with watercress (Nasturtium officinale). You can tell the difference because scurvy grass flowers have a strong fragrance and taste when they are rubbed.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Vitamin C deficiency.
  • Gout.
  • Arthritis.
  • Stomachache.
  • Skin irritation, when applied directly to the affected area.
  • Gum disease, when applied directly to the affected area.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of scurvy grass 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 GuideVitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough?

Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough?

How does Scurvy Grass work?

Scurvy grass contains a high concentration of vitamin C. It may also be able to fight bacteria and act as a laxative.

Are there safety concerns?

There isn't enough information available to know if scurvy grass is safe. It can cause stomach and intestinal irritation when large amounts are taken by mouth. It can also irritate the skin when applied directly to the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

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

Are there any interactions with medications?



Lithium
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Scurvy grass might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking scurvy grass might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.

Dosing considerations for Scurvy Grass.

The appropriate dose of scurvy grass 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 scurvy grass. 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.

Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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