Heather

What other names is Heather known by?

Brande, Bregère, Bregotte, Brezo, Bruyère, Bruyère Callune, Bruyère Commune, Bucane, Calluna vulgaris, Calluna Vulgaris Flos, Callunae Vulgaris Herba, Callune, Callune Fausse Bruyère, Erica vulgaris, Grosse Brande, Ling, Scotch Heather.

What is Heather?

Heather is a plant. The flower, leaf, and plant top are used to make medicine.

People take heather as a tea for kidney and lower urinary tract conditions, prostate enlargement, fluid retention, gout, arthritis, sleep disorders, breathing problems, cough, and colds. They also take it for digestive disorders such as diarrhea, spasms, and stomach pain (colic), and for diseases of the liver and gallbladder. It is sometimes used to cause sweating.

In combination with other herbs, heather is used for treating diabetes, menstrual discomfort, menopause, and nervous exhaustion. Other uses include stimulation of digestion and regulation of the circulatory system.

Some people add heather to bathwater for treating wounds.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Kidney and lower urinary tract conditions.
  • Prostate enlargement.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Spasms.
  • Stomach pain (colic).
  • Liver diseases.
  • Gallbladder problems.
  • Gout.
  • Arthritis.
  • Wounds, when used in the bath.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of heather 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).

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Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough?

How does Heather work?

There isn't enough information to know how heather might work.

Are there safety concerns?

Heather might be safe for most people, but the possible side effects are not known.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

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

Dosing considerations for Heather.

The appropriate dose of heather 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 heather. 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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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.


Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011

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