Nux vomica
Nux vomica


Nux vomica is a tree. The seed is used to make medicine. Nux vomica contains strychnine and brucine, two toxic chemicals.

People use nux vomica for erectile dysfunction (ED), swelling of the stomach, constipation, anxiety, migraine, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. Nux vomica is also unsafe.
When taken by mouth: Nux vomica is UNSAFE. Nux vomica contains strychnine, which is a poison. Taking 1-2 grams of nux vomica containing 60-90 mg of strychnine can be fatal. Even lower amounts of nux vomica (30-50 mg) can cause serious side effects including restlessness, anxiety, dizziness, neck and back stiffness, spasms of jaw and neck muscles, convulsions, seizures, breathing problems, liver failure, and death.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

No one should take nux vomica, but certain people are especially at risk for toxic side effects. These side effects are especially dangerous if you have any of the following conditions:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Nux vomica is UNSAFE and can harm both mother and child. Don't use it.

Liver disease: The strychnine in nux vomica can cause liver damage or make liver disease worse. Don't use it.


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.
Likely effective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly effective Effectiveness definitions
Likely ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Possibly ineffective Effectiveness definitions
Insufficient evidence Effectiveness definitions
  • Nerve damage in the hands and feet caused by cancer drug treatment. Very early research suggests that taking nux vomica, short-term, might slightly improve nerve pain in the hands and feet. But taking nux vomica can be unsafe.
  • Anxiety.
  • Cancer.
  • Constipation.
  • Depression.
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED).
  • Flu (influenza).
  • Heart and blood system disorders.
  • Limb paralysis.
  • Migraine.
  • Painful response to cold especially in the fingers and toes (Raynaud syndrome).
  • Pink eye and other eye diseases.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Stimulating the appetite.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the stomach (gastritis).
  • Symptoms of menopause.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of nux vomica for these uses.

Dosing & administration

The appropriate dose of nux vomica 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 nux vomica. 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

It is not known if Nux Vomica interacts with any medicines. Before taking Nux Vomica, talk with your healthcare professional if you take any medications.

Interactions with herbs & supplements

There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Interactions with foods

There are no known interactions with foods.


Nux vomica contains strychnine and other chemicals that affect the brain and cause muscle contractions. This can lead to convulsions and death. Strychnine in amounts that are too small to produce symptoms can still be a serious problem. Small amounts of strychnine build up in the body with continued use, especially in people with liver disease. This can cause death in a period of weeks. Strychnine poisoning can be detected with laboratory tests.
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This monograph was last reviewed on 15/01/2022 00:01:38 and last updated on 19/08/2014 15:35:53. Monographs are reviewed and/or updated multiple times per month and at least once per year.
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