Cashew is a tree that is native to Brazil. It also grows in parts of Asia and Africa. Its nut, also known as cashew, is commonly eaten as food. People also use the nut to make medicine.
Cashew is used for diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, stomach and intestinal (gastrointestinal) ailments, skin problems, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
When taken by mouth: Cashew is LIKELY SAFE in normal food amounts. It is POSSIBLY SAFE when used as a medicine at up to 11% of calories in the diet. Some people are allergic to cashew. Cashew nuts may also cause bloating, constipation, weight gain, and joint swelling in some people. But these side effects are rare.
When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if cashew is safe. If the unroasted cashew is used it might cause skin irritation, redness, and blisters. Some people are allergic to cashew when touched.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if cashew is safe to use as medicine when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick with food amounts.
Allergy to certain other nuts or pectin: Cashew might cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to hazelnut, Brazil nut, pistachio, almond, peanut, sumac, mango, pink peppercorn, citrus seeds, yuzu, or pectin. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking cashew.
Diabetes: Eating large amounts of cashew might increase blood sugar levels. But not all research agrees. If you have diabetes and use cashew, be sure to monitor you blood sugar carefully. The doses of your diabetes medications might need to be adjusted.
Surgery: Since cashew might affect blood sugar levels, there is some concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop eating large amounts of cashew at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
The appropriate dose of cashew for use as treatment 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 cashew. 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.
Interactions with pharmaceuticals
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Cashew might increase blood sugar when eaten in large amounts. Diabetes medications are used to lower blood sugar. Taking cashew along with diabetes medications might decrease the effects of diabetes medications. 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.
Interactions with herbs & supplements
There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.
Interactions with foods
There are no known interactions with foods.
Cashew contains chemicals that might work against certain bacteria. Some of the fats in cashew might help to lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 31/07/2023 10:00:00 and last updated on 22/01/2022 10:14:55. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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Natural Medicines rates safety based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Likely Safe, Possibly Safe, Possibly Unsafe, Likely Unsafe, Unsafe, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate. For more information about Natural Medicines’ Safety Rating System, click here.
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