THE FUMETERRE (Fumaria Officinalis)
Where did she come from?
Smoke, or “jaundice herb,” is mainly used for its regulatory action on hepatobiliary function, liver failure or congestion. It is an excellent deer of the body.
This species is native to Europe and North Africa; it grows mainly in fields, uncultivated land and vineyards.
The origin of the word fumeterre is nevertheless quite controversial: Fumaria comes from the Latin fumus terrae (smoke of the earth), because some thought that the fumterre was born “from the vapours of the earth” as its greyish foliage seemed vaporous. For others, however, this name is due to the fact that the juice of the plant makes the plant cry as smoke does. Its synonyms are not, however, without evoking its therapeutic activity: earthen fiel, jaundice grass.
How can we describe it botanically?
Fumeterre is an annual herbaceous plant about 50 centimetres long. The stem, often lying down, has deeply divided leaves of greyish green hue. The purple pink, zygomorphous flowers have a spur and are arranged in clusters. The fruit is a globular silicule. Very common it grows between stones, in old walls or uneducated land.
What is it made of?
Fumeterre consists mainly of alkaloids, protoberberins, indeno-benzazepines, vialoids, mucilages and esters.
What are its main pharmacological properties?
Smoke is traditionally used in many countries to treat in particular skin disorders (dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis…). The action is believed to be due to the fumaric acid. It has an otherwise anti-histamine action due in large part to the presence of protopine, a major alkaloid in the fumariaced family.
It was shown that the presence of all the active ingredients of the aerial parts of this plant was nevertheless essential to have an effective action on digestive disorders. Indeed, no hepatovesicular action is found when the chemical components are taken in isolation.
The fumterre is therefore bile duct and amcholeric; it stimulates bile secretion and reduces pathological hypersecretion. In addition, it has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and GABA-ergic properties (increasing the fixation of GABA on its central receptors, and serotonin). It is also an acetylcholinesera inhibitor (potentialities in Alzheimer’s disease), and an anti-arrhythmic (total extracts).
What are the indications of fumeterre?
- Bile dyskinesia, dyspepsia
- Spasms of the bile ducts and gallbladder
- Bile lithiases
- Digestive spasms
- Gastrointestinal disorders, irritable bowel syndrome
- Skin allergies: eczema, hives, prurigo, psoriasis, lichen plan, pearl associated with digestive dysfunction
- Liver problems
- Spasmodic colopathy with or without constipation
- Fermentation, meteorism
- Headaches and migraines associated with digestive dysfunction
What are the job precautions?
- Contra-indicated in pregnant or lactating women
- Contraqualated in case of obstruction of the bile ducts, stones and/or bile or liver diseases
- Contraindicated in case of hypersensitivity to active substances
- Prolonged use of fumterre can be dangerous by accumulation of alkaloids
Are there risks of drug interactions?
Like all substances containing active ingredients, the risk of drug interactions should be taken into account.
The fumterre is no exception to this rule, here is the list of drug interactions to consider:
- Do not use in patients taking cyclosporin
How to take it and at what dosage?
Here is the dosage of Fluid Extracts of Fresh Plants Standardized in Glycere solution (EPS):
1 c. coffee morning and evening for 1 month, renewable 3 months, to dilute in a large glass of water.