Guayule is a desert shrub native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico (90471,90472). It produces latex with similar physical properties to natural rubber, but without the proteins that cause allergic reactions (26502,26503,26504). Preliminary tests show that guayule latex film may be an effective barrier to virus transmission, even after long-term storage (26502). There is currently insufficient evidence available in humans to support the medicinal use of guayule for any indication.

People use this for...

Hypoallergenic alternative to rubber.

Pregnancy And Lactation: Insufficient reliable information available; avoid using.

There is insufficient reliable information available about the effectiveness of guayule.

Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

Dosing & administration

  • Standardization & formulationThere is no well-known standardization for guayule.

Adverse effects


Insufficient reliable information available.

Interactions with pharmaceuticals

None known.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

None known.

Interactions with foods

None known.

Interactions with lab tests

None known.

Interactions with diseases

None known.

Mechanism of action

General: Guayule contains cyclic-type triterpenes argentatin A and argentatin B, as well as latex (90471).

Anticancer effects: Evidence from in vitro research suggests that argentatin A, a chemical isolated from guayule, has cytotoxic effects on various human cancer cell lines, including prostate, breast, colon, and central nervous system cancer cells, as well as leukemia cells (26505).

Other: Guayule is a natural source of latex, which could be used as an alternative to rubber (90471,90472). In laboratory tests, guayule latex was not permeable to a 27 nm-diameter test virus and withstood synthetic blood over a range of pressures, even after the guayule latex was stored for four years (26502).


Insufficient available evidence.


26502Cornish K, Lytle CD. Viral impermeability of hypoallergenic, low protein, guayule latex films. J Biomed Mater Res 1999;47(3):434-7. View abstract.
26503Siler DJ, Cornish K, Hamilton RG. Absence of cross-reactivity of IgE antibodies from subjects allergic to Hevea brasiliensis latex with a new source of natural rubber latex from guayule (Parthenium argentatum). J Allergy Clin Immunol 1996;98(5 Pt 1):895-902. View abstract.
26504Pan Z, Durst F, Werck-Reichhart D, et al. The major protein of guayule rubber particles is a cytochrome P450. Characterization based on cDNA cloning and spectroscopic analysis of the solubilized enzyme and its reaction products. J Biol Chem 1995;270(15):8487-94. View abstract.
26505Parra-Delgado H, Garcia-Pillado F, Sordo M, et al. Evaluation of the cytotoxicity, cytostaticity and genotoxicity of argentatins A and B from Parthenium argentatum (Gray). Life Sci 2005;77(22):2855-65. View abstract.
90471Nakayama FS. Guayule future development. Industrial Crops Prod 2005;22:3-13.
90472Foster MA, Coffelt TA. Guayule agronomics: establishment, irrigated production, and weed control. Industrial Crops Prod 2005;22:27-40. has licensed professional monographs from TRC Healthcare. Full monographs are available to Pro practitioner accounts.
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