Mercury Herb

Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Chou de Chien, Foirolle, Merculiare, Mercurial, Mercuriale, Mercuriale Annuelle, Mercuriale des Jardins, Mercurialis annua, Ortie Bâtarde, Ortiga Muerta, Vignette.


Mercury herb is a plant. People use the flowering plant, root, and root-like stem (rhizome) of the plant to make medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, mercury herb is used for treating constipation, fluid retention, swelling with pus, as well diseases of the stomach, intestines, and urinary tract.

How does it work?

The root and stem of mercury herb might work as laxatives to help stool move through the intestine.


Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Inflammation with pus.
  • Constipation.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Digestive tract diseases.
  • Bladder and kidney diseases.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of mercury herb 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).

Side Effects

Mercury herb is UNSAFE when the fresh plant is taken by mouth. It can cause diarrhea, bladder problems, paralysis, liver and kidney failure, and death.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

Special Precautions & Warnings

While mercury herb is UNSAFE for anyone to use, some people are especially sensitive to the toxic effects. Be particularly careful not to use mercury herb if you have one of the following conditions:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's UNSAFE to use mercury herb if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. It contains chemicals that might harm the baby.

Plant allergies: Mercury herb pollen might cause allergic reactions, nose irritation, and asthma in some people who are sensitive to mercury herb and related plants. Some of these plants are Mercurialis annua and Olea europaea, Fraxinus elatior, Ricinus communis, Salsola kali, Parietaria judaica, and Artemisia vulgaris.


The appropriate dose of mercury herb 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 mercury herb. 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.

FDA Logo

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.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors


Garcia-Ortega P, Martinez J, Martinez A, et al. Mercurialis annua pollen: a new source of allergic sensitization and respiratory disease. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1992;89:987-93. View abstract.

Vallverdu A, Garcia-Ortega P, Martinez J, et al. Mercurialis annua: characterization of main allergens and cross- reactivity with other species. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 1997;112:356-64. View abstract.