Tragacanth

Other Name(s):

Adragante, Astragale Adragant, Astragale de Marseille, Astragalus gummifer, Coussin-de-Belle-Mère, Goat's Thorn, Gomme Adragante, Gomme de Dragon, Green Dragon, Gum Dragon, Gummi Tragacanthae, Gum Tragacanth, Hog Gum, Syrian Tragacanth, Tragacanth Gum, Tragacanthe, Tragacanto.

Overview

Tragacanth is a plant. The sap-like material (resin) of the plant is used to make medicine.

Tragacanth is used both for diarrhea and constipation.

It is also an ingredient in toothpastes, hand lotions, denture adhesives, and vaginal creams and jellies.

In foods, tragacanth is important for stabilizing and thickening ingredients in salad dressings, foods, and beverages.

In pharmaceutical products, tragacanth is used as a binding agent.

How does it work?

Tragacanth contains ingredients that stimulate the movement of the intestines.

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of tragacanth 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).

QUESTION

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Side Effects

Tragacanth seems to be safe when taken by mouth as a medicine. But be sure to take it with plenty of water. It can block the intestines if you do not drink enough fluid.

Tragacanth also seems to be safe when applied to the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings

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

Quillaia allergy: Tragacanth can cause breathing problems in people who are sensitive to quillaia bark.

Interactions


Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Tragacanth is a thick gel. Tragacanth can stick to medications in the stomach and intestines. Taking tragacanth at the same time as medications that you take by mouth can decrease how much medication your body absorbs, and decrease the effectiveness of your medication. To prevent this interaction, take tragacanth at least one hour after medications you take by mouth.

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Dosing

The appropriate dose of tragacanth 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 tragacanth. 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
References

Anon. Final report on the safety assessment of Tragacanth Gum. J Am Coll Toxicol 1987;6:1-22.

Eastwood MA, Brydon WG, Anderson DM, et al. The effects of dietary gum tragacanth in man. Toxicol Lett 1984;21:73-81. View abstract.

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182

Jenkins DJ, Wolever TM, Leeds AR, et al. Dietary fibres, fibre analogues, and glucose tolerance: importance of viscosity. Br Med J 1978;1:1392-4. View abstract.

Smee DF, Sidwell RW, Huffman JH, et al. Antiviral activities of tragacanthin polysaccharides on Punta Toro virus infections in mice. Chemotherapy 1996;42:286-93. View abstract.

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