Information on Ipecac

Latin NameCephaelis ipecacuanha
Other NamesBrazil root
Part UsedRoot, Rhizome
Herb FormsSyrup, homeopathic tablet.
AffectsDigestive system, Respiratory system
CautionsActs as an emetic. Avoid during pregnancy.
Botanical InfoA small evergreen shrub in the Coffee family native to South America.
DescriptionIn small doses, ipecac is often an ingredient in cough medicines because of its expectorant quality, and it has a long history of use for bronchitis. It also acts as an emetic when taken in large doses. It is used in syrup form to purge children over one year of age who have ingested poison, with the exception of strychnine, lye and strong acids, and petroleum distillates such as paint thinner. The herb was used traditionally to treat amebic dysentery.

Ipecac has a taste of BITTER, ACRID and a temperature of COOL.


Syrup1 teaspoon, as directed
Homeopathic preparationfollow label directions

Ailments Treated by Ipecac

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Bronchitisexpectorantsyrup, tablet
Poisoningemetictincture, syrup


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Weiss, R. 1988. Herbal Medicine. Beaconsfield, England: Beaconsfield Publishers.
Wren, R.C. 1988. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs. Essex: C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd.