Indian Physic

Other Name(s):

American Ipecacuanha, Bowman's Root, Gillenia, Gillenia trifoliata, Gillénie Trifoliée, India-física, Indian Hippo, Porteranthus trifoliatus, Spiraea trifoliata.


Indian physic is a plant. The dried root and root bark are used to make medicine.

Be careful not to confuse Indian physic (Gillenia trifoliata) with Canadian hemp (Apocynum cannabinum), since both are known as Indian physic. Also be careful not to confuse Indian physic (Gillenia trifoliata) with black root (Leptandra virginica), since both are known as bowman's root.

People take Indian physic to treat digestion problems and to cause vomiting.

How does it work?

There isn't enough information to know how Indian physic might work.

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Digestion problems.
  • Causing vomiting.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Indian physic 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).


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

Side Effects

It is not known if Indian physic is safe or what the possible side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of Indian physic during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


The appropriate dose of Indian physic 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 Indian physic. 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.


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Reviewed on 6/14/2021

Gruenwald J, Brendler T, Jaenicke C. PDR for Herbal Medicines. 1st ed. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company, Inc., 1998.

McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997.

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