Jalap

What other names is Jalap known by?

Convolvulus purga, Exogonium purga, Indian Jalap, Ipoméep, Ipomoea purga, Jalap des Indes, Jalap Officinal, Jalap Vrai, Jalapa, Jalape, Mechoacán.

What is Jalap?

Jalap (Ipomoea purga) is a plant. Don't confuse it with pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) or Mexican scammony root (Ipomoea orizabensis), also known as jalap.

People use the root of jalap to make medicine. Despite serious safety concerns, this medicine is used to empty and cleanse the bowels (as a cathartic or purgative), and to increase urine flow to relieve water retention (as a diuretic).

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Emptying and cleansing the bowels (cathartic, purgative).
  • Increasing the body's loss of water by increasing urine production (diuretic).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of jalap 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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How does Jalap work?

Jalap is a stimulant laxative herb. That means it contains substances that increase water loss and cause contractions of bowel muscles to push out stool.

Are there safety concerns?

Jalap is UNSAFE. It has powerful effects on the bowel that might cause irritation of the digestive tract, including diarrhea, vomiting and a loss of important chemicals such as potassium.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

While jalap is UNSAFE for anyone to use, some people should be especially careful to avoid it.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's UNSAFE to use jalap if you are pregnant. It might start your period, and that could cause a miscarriage.

Digestive tract problems, such as ulcers, Crohn's disease, or other conditions: It's especially important to avoid jalap if you have one of these conditions. Jalap can irritate the digestive tract and make your condition worse.

Symptoms of appendicitis (abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting): Stimulant laxatives such as jalap can cause harm if you have appendicitis.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Stimulant laxatives
Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

Jalap is a type of laxative called a stimulant laxative. Stimulant laxatives speed up the bowels. Taking jalap along with other stimulant laxatives could speed up the bowels too much and cause dehydration and low minerals in the body.

Some stimulant laxatives include bisacodyl (Correctol, Dulcolax), cascara, castor oil (Purge), senna (Senokot), and others.



Digoxin (Lanoxin)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

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

Jalap is a laxative. Laxatives can decrease how much medicine your body absorbs. Decreasing how much medicine your body absorbs can decrease the effectiveness of your medication.



Warfarin (Coumadin)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Jalap can work as a laxative. In some people jalap 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 jalap.



Water pills (Diuretic drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Jalap is a laxative. Some laxatives can decrease potassium in the body. "Water pills" can also decrease potassium in the body. Taking jalap along with "water pills" might decrease potassium in the body too much.

Some "water pills" that can decrease potassium include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril, Microzide), and others.

Dosing considerations for Jalap.

The appropriate dose of jalap 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 jalap. 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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Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011

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