Other Name(s):

Caley Pea, Chícharo Hirsuto, Chickling Vetch, Chick-Pea, Doncenón, Everlasting Pea, Flat-Podded Vetch, Gesse, Gesse Articulée, Gesse des Bois, Gesse Clymène, Gesse Commune, Gesse Chiche, Gesse Hérissée, Gesse Sauvage, Gesse Tubéreuse, Guisante de Olor, Jarosse, Lathyrus cicera, Lathyrus clymenum, Lathyrus hirsutus, Lathyrus incanus, Lathyrus odoratus, Lathyrus pusillus, Lathyrus sativus, Lathyrus sylvestris, Pois Carré, Pois de Senteur, Singletary Pea, Spanish Vetchling, Sweet Pea, Wild Pea.


Lathyrus is a plant. People use it as medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, Lathyrus sativus is used in unleavened Indian bread. Lathyrus seeds are eaten as food and used as animal fodder throughout the world.

The flowers of sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) are grown for their color and fragrance.

How does it work?

There isn't enough information to know how lathyrus might work for any medical use.

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Any medical use.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of lathyrus 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).


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Side Effects

Lathyrus is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth. It is poisonous to nerves. It can cause muscle rigidity, muscle spasms, weakness, paralysis of leg muscles, weak heartbeat, decreased breathing, seizures, and death.

Lathyrus poisoning and its complications are rare in western countries, yet they have been documented for more than a century in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Despite the attempt to ban the sale of Lathyrus sativus in several states of India, distribution continues. To deactivate the poison, several methods have been tried. Typically they involve soaking the seeds in water followed by steaming or sun drying. Roasting the seeds at high temperatures for twenty minutes also helps to destroy the poison. However, these methods are only 80-85% effective.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's LIKELY UNSAFE to use lathyrus because it contains poisonous chemicals. Avoid use.


The appropriate dose of lathyrus 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 lathyrus. 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

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