Guaiacum officinale Common name: Guaiacum, Lignum-vitae
Part used: The heartwood and gum resin
Constituents: Resin acids (15-20%) (guaiazulene, guaiaconic, guaianetic and guaiacic), saponins, polyterpenoid, vanillin, lignans (containing essential oil guajol), sterols
Actions: Anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory, laxative, diaphoretic, diuretic, astringent, stimulant, adaptogen, local anesthetic, expectorant, alterative, peripheral circulatory stimulator, bitter,
Medical uses: An anti-inflammatory that promotes circulation and clears toxins from tissues. Is specific for rheumatic complaints, especially where inflammation and pain is present. It is used in chronic rheumatism and rheumatoid arthritis, particularly when an astringent is needed. It will aid in the treatment of gout and may be used as a preventative in it’s occurrence. Promotes excretion of uric acid. Can be used internally and topically for gout, joint pain and swelling, chronic rheumatism, RA, OA, duputyrens contracture. Increases circulation and eases pain when rubbed into painful joints.
Pharmacy: Decoction: 1/4 tsp/cup, simmer 20 min, 1/2 cup TID. Tincture: (1:5, 90%), 1-4ml TID. Friction rub: tincture over rheumatic area. Dried wood: 1-2g TID.
Contraindications: Pregnancy, lactation, kidney stones. Caution with gastritis & peptic ulcers, high resin content may lead to stomach upset. Avoid in allergic & acute inflammatory conditions.
Toxicity: None known.
Interactions: Avoid with high blood pressure medication.