Contraindications of fumitory



Photo of fumitory

What is fumitory and what is is for?

Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis) is a plant of the Papaveraceae family, valued since ancient times as an excellent remedy as tonic and diuretic.

It is used to treat jaundice and chemical poisoning, for its ability to purify the liver and kidneys.

For its mucilage content, applied external route is useful to soften the tissue and speed healing of boils, sores and abscesses.

For medicinal purposes, we use the leaves and flowers of the plant, harvested in spring, when it is flowering.

*More information about the properties of fumitory in the listing below.

Dose of fumitory

– The plant can be taken as an infusion of 2 – 4g. per 200ml. of water, three times a day. Do not prolong the treatment more than 15 days.


What is fumitory contraindicated for?

Fumitory plant is safe when used at recommended doses. Contraindications presented are due to its alkaloid content, the contraindications for long treatments, certain diseases and physiological states:

  • Pregnancy and lactation: the plant is contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation because it contains isoquinoline alkaloids (canadine, protopine -fumarine-, fumaricine, fumariline, estilopine, cryptonine, sanguinarine, coryladine). These components can pass through the placenta or breast and reach the fetus or baby.
  • The long treatments are contraindicated: Fumitory treatments should not last more than 10-15 days, with rest periods 10 to 15 days. The alkaloids are toxic if taken too often, and may cause hypertension (low dose) or hypotension (high dose).
  • Cardiovascular disease: the plant produces effects on blood pressure, and sometimes has been used to treat hypertension. Some authors warn that fumaria can increased hypertension in some cases. It is NOT recommended to use the plant in case of taking heart medication, drugs or plants for blood circulation, or if you have had a stroke. Check with your doctor about the safety of treatment.
  • Respiratory diseases: Fumaria officinalis exerts a relaxing (antispasmodic) effect on smooth muscles. In high doses, it can cause difficulty breathing. Poisoning causes respiratory paralysis, tremors and seizures.
  • Epilepsy: the Food and Drug Administration of the United States (FDA.) contraindicates the use of this plant in people with epilepsy. Fumitory has depressive effects on the central nervous system.
  • Glaucoma: Because of its effects on blood pressure, fumitory treatments are contraindicated in people with glaucoma.

punto rojo More information on fumitory

This article was endorsed by Montserrat Enrich - Journalist specializing in edible wild plants and plant uses.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

5 January, 2021

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