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Arum

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Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • Adam-and-Eve, adder's root, Araceae (family), Árón plamatý (Czech), Aronenkraut (German), Aronstab (German), Aron-stab (German), arsenic, Arum dioscorides, Arum maculatum, arum tacheté (French), bobbins, calcium oxalate crystals, Chindlichrut (German), cocky baby, cuckoo point, cuckoopint, cyanogenic glycosides, cypress powder, Dansk ingefær (Danish), dieffenbachia, Dittichrut (German), dragon root, Ekelblume (German), Eselsohr (German), fläckig munkhätta (Swedish), flekkmunkehette (Norwegian), foltos kontyvirág (Hungarian), friar's cowl, gaglee, gefläckter Aronstab (German), gefleckter Aronstab (German), gemeiner Aronstab (German), gevlekte aronskelk (Dutch), gigaro scuro (Italian), gouet (French), gouet tacheté (French), kings and queens, kontyvirág (Hungarian), ladysmock, lectin, lords and ladies, obrazki plamiste (Polish), parson and clerck, plettet arum (Danish), plettet ingefær (Danish), Portland arrowroot, quaker, ramp, Ronechrut (German), soluble oxalates, spotted arum, starchwort, tähniline aarum (Estonian), Trommelsschlägel (German), wake robin, Zehrwurz (German).
  • Combination product examples: Roxalia® sore throat (homeopathic preparation containing Arum Triphyllum 3c).

Background
  • Plants of the genus Arum are poisonous because they contain calcium oxalate. Currently, there is no standard, accepted medicinal use of the plant, although Arum may have been used to treat prostate disease and skin conditions. Extracts from Arum are being studied for their ability to fight against sperm and therefore, may be used to prevent pregnancy (contraceptive).
  • Traditionally, Arum may have been used to treat colds, inflammation of the throat, and diarrhea. It may also have been used as a diaphoretic (fever-inducer) and diuretic (increase urine production). The leaves of the plant have also been applied to the skin for rheumatic-type pain.
  • At this time, research supporting the use of Arum for any medical condition is lacking.

Evidence Table

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. GRADE *
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

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.

  • Aphrodisiac (increases sexual desire), arthritis, colds/flu, diaphoretic (fever inducer), diarrhea, diuretic (increases urine), expectorant (dissolves thick mucus), intestinal worms, pain, prostate cancer (general), sexually transmitted disease (), skin diseases, sore throat, vomiting

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older)

  • There is no proven effective dose for Arum. One teacup of a decoction or infusion made with one ounce of the plant to one quart water has been taken every 2-3 hours. A dose of 10-30 grains of Arum powdered root has also been used.

Children (under 18 years old)

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

Safety

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 known allergy/hypersensitivity to Arum, its constituents, or members of the Araceae family.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Avoid use in all patients, as Arum species are considered toxic with a lack of medicinal value.
  • The toxic element arsenic that is found in Arum plants is used as a homeopathic preparation, the safety of which is unclear.
  • Arum poisoning and swelling of the lips, tongue, and palate have been reported.
  • If processing the plant, sanitary practices should be followed in order to avoid contact with toxic constituents.
  • Arum plants contain calcium oxalate, a common constituent of human kidney stones.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Arum species are toxic, and use is not recommended in pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • The effects of Arum taken with antibiotics, calcium salts, or iron salts are not well understood.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • The effects of Arum taken with antibacterials and other minerals are not well understood.

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

Bibliography
  1. Alencar, V B, Alencar, N M, Assreuy, A M, et al. Pro-inflammatory effect of Arum maculatum lectin and role of resident cells. Int J Biochem Cell Biol 2005;37(9):1805-1814.
  2. Ali-Shtayeh, M S, Yaniv, Z, and Mahajna, J. Ethnobotanical survey in the Palestinian area: a classification of the healing potential of medicinal plants. J Ethnopharmacol 2000;73(1-2):221-232.
  3. Al Rmalli, S W, Haris, P I, Harrington, C F, et al. A survey of arsenic in foodstuffs on sale in the United Kingdom and imported from Bangladesh. Sci Total Environ. 1-20-2005;337(1-3):23-30.
  4. Majumder, P, Mondal, H A, and Das, S. Insecticidal activity of Arum maculatum tuber lectin and its binding to the glycosylated insect gut receptors. J Agric Food Chem. 8-24-2005;53(17):6725-6729.
  5. Mladenov, I. V., Haralambieva, I. H., Iankov, I. D., and Mitov, I. G. Characterisation of 20-kDa lectin-spermagglutinin from Arum maculatum that prevents Chlamydia pneumoniae infection of L-929 fibroblast cells. FEMS Immunol.Med.Microbiol. 2-18-2002;32(3):249-254.
  6. Roychowdhury, T, Uchino, T, Tokunaga, H, et al. Survey of arsenic in food composites from an arsenic-affected area of West Bengal, India. Food Chem Toxicol 2002;40(11):1611-1621.
  7. Van Damme, E J, Goossens, K, Smeets, K,et al. The major tuber storage protein of araceae species is a lectin. Characterization and molecular cloning of the lectin from Arum maculatum L. Plant Physiol 1995;107(4):1147-1158.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.


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