Related Terms

  • Ignatia, Ignatia amara, Ignatius bean, Lu Song Guo, Saint Ignatius bean, St. Ignatius bean, Strychnos ignatia.

Background

  • Ignatia amara is a homeopathic remedy derived from the seeds of the St. Ignatius bean, Strychnos ignatii, a tree found in the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia. It is used as a homeopathic remedy because of its effects on the nervous system.
  • Commonly called “homeopathic Prozac,” ignatia is often used in treating grief stages. Ignatia was commonly used in the 1800s but has not been studied in modern scientific trials. Although there is little scientific evidence regarding the medicinal use of ignatia, it was added to Materia Medica (book of written descriptions of homeopathic medicines) in the early 1800s.
  • Chinese doctors have used ignatia for emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety. Folk healers also used ignatia to treat headaches, sore throats, coughs, and menstrual problems.
  • Ignatia is not widely used because it contains strychnine, which can be fatal to humans.

Evidence Table

    Disclaimer

    These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

    E – E


    C – C

*Key to grades:

Tradition

    Disclaimer

    The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

Dosing

    Disclaimer

    The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

  • Adults (over 18 years old)

    • There is no proven safe or effective dose for ignatia.
  • Children (under 18 years old)

    • There is no proven safe or effective dose for ignatia in children.

Safety

    Disclaimer

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

  • Allergies

    • Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to ignatia or to a member of the Loganiaceae family.
  • Side Effects and Warnings

    • Ignatia is possible safe when used as a homeopathic remedy. However, due to the strychnine content, taking Ignatius bean by mouth may cause restlessness, anxiety, heightened sense perception, enhanced reflexes, equilibrium disorders, painful back and neck stiffness, twitching, spasms of jaw and neck muscles, convulsions triggered by visual or touch stimulation with possible opisthonos (rigid muscle contraction), extreme muscle tension, hyperthermia (abnormally high body temperature), seizures, metabolic acidosis (blood is too acidic), fatal cardiac arrest, rhabdomyolysis (degeneration of skeletal muscle), agitation and difficulty breathing after respiratory spasms. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned strychnine from non-regulated products in 1989.
    • Avoid ignatia in patients with liver disease since strychnine accumulates in individuals with liver damage and can cause further damage. Ignatia may also cause myoglobinuric renal failure, and caution is advised in patients with compromised kidney function.
  • Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

    • Ignatia is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to toxic effects.

Interactions

    Disclaimer

    Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

  • Interactions with Drugs

    • Concomitant use of analeptics (agents that stimulate breathing, heart activity) or phenothiazines (antipsychotic drugs) with ignatia may cause symptoms of ignatia poisoning. Avoid combined use.
  • Interactions with Herbs & Dietary Supplements

    • Insufficient available evidence.

Attribution

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ().

Bibliography

    Disclaimer

    Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to . Selected references are listed below.

  • Oberbaum M, Schreiber R, Rosenthal C, et al. Homeopathic treatment in emergency medicine: a case series. Homeopathy 2003;92(1):44-47.
    View Abstract
  • Wasilewski BW. Homeopathic remedies as placebo alternatives–verification on the example of treatment of menopause-related vegetative and emotional disturbances. Sci Eng Ethics 2004;10(1):179-188.
    View Abstract