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Chaulmoogra Oil Herb - Dosage and Useful Properties

Taxonomic Class

Flacourtiaceae

Common Trade Names

None known.

Common Forms

Available as a topical oil and a salt form of oil for subcutaneous injection.

Source

Active components are extracted from the seeds of Hydnocarpus wightiana, Hydnocarpus anthelmintica, and Taraktogenos kurzii.

Chemical Components

The seeds contain about 50% of the brownish yellow chaulmoogra oil; the remaining components include chaulmoogric acid, fatty acids (palmitic and oleic acids), gorlic acid, and hypnocarpic acid.

Actions

Chaulmoogra oil has demonstrated efficacy against Mycobacterium leprae in laboratory experiments and case reports . It has also been listed as an antileprotic.

Reported Uses

Folk literature and ancient Hindu and Chinese documents suggest that chaulmoogra oil is an effective treatment for leprosy.

Dosage

No consensus exists.

Adverse reactions

GI: GI discomfort (with subcutaneous injection).

Skin: calcinosis cutis (forms precipitate under the skin with subcutaneous injection; Ohtaka, 1992).

Interactions

None reported.

Contraindications And Precautions

Avoid using chaulmoogra oil in pregnant or breast-feeding patients; effects are unknown.

Special Considerations

Advise the patient who suspects a leprosy diagnosis that more traditional and acceptable forms of antimicrobial therapy exist and that he should seek medical advice from a health care provider experienced in the therapy and care of leprosy .

Urge the patient not to attempt administration of chaulmoogra oil unless under close supervision of a health care provider experienced in the therapy and care of leprosy.

Advise women to avoid using chaulmoogra oil during pregnancy or when breast-feeding.

Points of Interest

Despite a decrease in the incidence of leproys worldwide, as of 1991, there were 6 million cases of Ieprosy that required treatment . These cases predominate in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific; only a few cases exist in Canada, Europe, and the United States.

The components of chaulmoogra oil have served as the fundamental structure for synthesis of modern antileprotics.

Commentary

Chaulmoogra oil should be avoided because more accepted, safer therapies for leprosy exist. Its role in the treatment of any disorder, including leprosy, is undetermined.

   

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