What other names is Salacia known by?

Chundan, Kathala Hibutu Tea, Ponkoranti, SO, S. oblonga, Salacia oblonga, Salacia reticulata.

What is Salacia?

Salacia is an herb that is native to India and Sri Lanka. The root and stem are used to make medicine.

Salacia has a long history of use as a treatment for diabetes in Ayurveda, traditional Indian medicine. Mugs made from salacia wood are used by people with diabetes to drink water.

In addition to treating diabetes, salacia is used for treating gonorrhea, asthma, itchiness, joint pain (rheumatism), obesity, thirst, and menstrual problems.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Diabetes. Early research suggests that consuming salacia tea with each meal might lower hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) levels in people with type 2 diabetes. HbA1C is a measure of blood sugar control. A single dose of salacia, in combination with a meal, also seems to reduce after-meal insulin levels and reduce after-meal blood sugar in healthy volunteers and in people with type 2 diabetes. These reductions indicate better blood sugar control. Other early research suggests that taking salacia with food for 6 weeks seems to reduce pre-meal blood sugar and HbA1C levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of salacia for these uses.

How does Salacia work?

Chemicals in salacia seem to prevent sugars in food from being absorbed by the body.

Are there safety concerns?

Salacia is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth, short-term. Single doses of salacia can be consumed safely in doses up to 1000 mg. Consuming salacia tea with food seems to be safe for most people for up to three months. There isn't enough information to know if salacia is safe when used for long periods of time.

Salacia can cause uncomfortable side effects such as gas, belching, pain in the abdomen, nausea, and diarrhea in some people.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking salacia if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: Salacia can decrease blood sugar levels. Your diabetes medications might need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.

Surgery: Salacia might lower blood sugar levels. There is some concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using salacia at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Are there any interactions with medications?

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Salacia might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking salacia along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Dosing considerations for Salacia.

The appropriate dose of salacia 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 salacia. 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.

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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Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011