Baie de Brindall, Camboge, Gambodia, Gambooge, Garcinia hanburyi, Gomme-Gutte, Gummigutta, Gutta Cambodia, Gutta Gamba, Tom Rong.
Gamboge is a gum-like substance (resin) from the trunk of the Garcinia hanburyi tree. Don't confuse gamboge with garcinia (Garcinia cambogia).
Despite serious safety concerns, people take gamboge for constipation, generally in combination with other laxatives. They also take it for expelling intestinal worms.
Some gamboge products are “stretched” by adding rice and wheat starches, sand, and vegetable fragments. You can spot these adulterated products because they are usually coarser and hard.
How does it work?
Gamboge has a strong laxative effect.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Intestinal worms.
- 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).
Digestive tract conditions including Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, appendicitis, stomach pain, ulcers, obstruction, nausea, or vomiting: Gamboge is a stimulant laxative. It might make these conditions worse.
Digoxin (Lanoxin)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Gamboge is a type of laxative called a stimulant laxative. Stimulant laxatives can decrease potassium levels in the body. Low potassium levels can increase the risk of side effects of digoxin (Lanoxin).
Medications for inflammation (Corticosteroids)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Some medications for inflammation can decrease potassium in the body. Gamboge is a type of laxative that might also decrease potassium in the body. Taking gamboge along with some medications for inflammation might decrease potassium in the body too much.
Stimulant laxativesInteraction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Gamboge is a type of laxative called a stimulant laxative. Stimulant laxatives speed up the bowels. Taking gamboge along with other stimulant laxatives could speed up the bowels too much and cause dehydration and low minerals in the body.
Warfarin (Coumadin)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Gamboge can work as a laxative. In some people gamboge can cause diarrhea. Diarrhea can increase the effects of warfarin and increase the risk of bleeding. If you take warfarin do not to take excessive amounts of gamboge.
Water pills (Diuretic drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Gamboge is a laxative. Some laxatives can decrease potassium in the body. "Water pills" can also decrease potassium in the body. Taking gamboge along with "water pills" might decrease potassium in the body too much.
The appropriate dose of gamboge 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 gamboge. 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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Osol and Farar. The Dispensatory of the United States of America. 25th ed. JB Lippincott Co., 1955.