Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Fumaria officinalis

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Constituents---The leaves yield by expression a juice which has medicinal properties. An extract, prepared by evaporating the expressed juice, or a decoction of the leaves, throws out upon its surface a copious saline efflorescence. Fumaric acid was early identified as present, and its isomerism with maleic acid was established later. The alkaloid Fumarine has been believed to be identical with corydaline, but it differs both in formula and in its reaction to sulphuric and nitric acids. It occurs in colourless, tasteless crystals, freely soluble in chloroform, less so in benzine, still less so in alcohol and ether, sparingly soluble in water.

Fortschr Med. 1995 Jul 10;113(19):291-2.
[Fumaria officinalis (fumitory)--clinical applications]
Hentschel C, Dressler S, Hahn EG.
Arbeitsgruppe fur Naturheilverfahren und Komplementamedizin, Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg.

Fumaria officinalis-fumitory or earth smoke-is a medicinal plant which has long had a role to play in empirical medicine in numerous countries. A review of the literature, however, reveals very few studies that support its use for dermatological indications (milk crust, eczema, scabies, etc.) or as a diuretic or laxative. This contrasts with its use to treat functional diseases of the biliary system. Although no placebo-controlled studies have been done, a number of empirical reports, clinical case reports and animal experimental studies have been published. Accordingly, in Germany, Fumaria officinalis is approved for the indication "colicky pain affecting the gallbladder and biliary system, together with the gastrointestinal tract".