Bryonia alba/diocia Common name: White bryony
Part Used: Dried root
Constituents: Cucurbitacins, alkaloids, polyhydroxy-unsaturated fatty acids, volatile oil, tannins, resin (poisonous).
Medicinal actions: Adonyne, sedative, immuno-modulating, hypotensive, counter-irritant & rubifacient, diaphoretic, cathartic, emetic, anti-rheumatic, anti-tumor, anti-viral, expectorant
Medicinal use: Bryonia is considered to possess toxic effects in relatively small doses, and is therefore infrequently used. It has a specific for the fever of rheumatic fever and for the cardiac complications of rheumatic fever. It is useful in pulmonary edema and pleurisy with associated cardiac insufficiency. Is also used for rheumatic conditions of the joints. It helps to relieve pain and stiffness by reducing fluid in the joint space. Used topically for joint/muscular pains, sciatica and myalgia.
Pharmacy: Tincture (1:10, 60%), 0.5 – 1ml TID; 10 ml weekly maximum. Dried root: 0.5-2g, TID. Infusion: 1 tsp/cup q 1-2 hours.
Toxicity: Symptoms of toxicity are poorly understood though include: colic, vomiting, diarrhea, gastro-enteritis, cardiac depression with weak, thready pulse, fall of temperature, mydriasis, congestive headaches, dizziness, delirium, cold perspiration, and death.
Contraindications: Avoid in pregnancy, lactation, with some GIT disorders.
Interactions: None known.