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Jamaican Dogwood

Uses|Precautions & Warnings|Side Effects|Interactions|Dosage


Disclaimer: this drug or supplement is not currently available for sale or use in the Philippines. The information provided here is for informational purposes only.

What is Jamaican dogwood used for?

Jamaican dogwood (Piscidia erythrina or P. piscipula) is a tree that originates from Central America, the West Indies, and the Gulf Coast of the United States. Rotenone is one of the active constituents of Jamaican dogwood and is used as a pediculicide and pesticide. In its raw or natural form, it is potentially toxic and should only be used with approval from your doctor.

Jamaican dogwood is traditionally used to:

  • Treat nerve pain
  • Relieve headaches and migraines
  • Promote thermogenesis
  • Treat sleep disorders and anxiety
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Relieve gastrointestinal spasms
  • Kill fleas and lice

How should I take Jamaican dogwood?

Jamaican dogwood is commercially available outside of the country as an extract or tea. This extract is meant to be diluted in an appropriate amount of water or juice. Tea preparations should be steeped in boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes or as directed by the packaging.

How do I store Jamaican dogwood?

This drug should be stored at room temperature (<30°C) and be protected from light and moisture. Do not allow this product to freeze. Always check the label before using this product. For safety, keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Do not use if the printed expiration date has passed, the product seal has been broken, or the product has changed in color, odor, or consistency.

Do not dispose of this product by pouring it down the drain, toilet, or into the environment. Ask your pharmacist regarding the proper way and location of disposal.

Precautions & Warnings

What should I know before using Jamaican dogwood?

Herbal supplements are generally safe to take in moderate amounts as directed by a health professional. However, because most herb and food supplements are not approved by the FDA for treating and preventing specific diseases, recommended daily values are not always established.

Despite being advertised as “all-natural” or “safe,” natural or food supplements must be treated as conventional medication. Certain herbal preparations can interact with other medications you are taking, increasing the risk of adverse drug reactions and toxicity.

Before using this medication, inform your doctor if:

  • You have ever had an allergic reaction to Jamaican dogwood or other supplements.
  • You have a history of allergy to other medications, food, or other substances.
  • You are taking other medications.
  • You have underlying health conditions.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There is insufficient data regarding the use and safety of this supplement during pregnancy. Because of the potential toxicity of this herb, it is best to avoid using it during pregnancy or lactation. This drug should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus, as determined by your doctor.

This drug may be excreted in breast milk. This drug should be used while breastfeeding only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the child, as determined by your doctor.

Side Effects

What side effects can occur from Jamaican dogwood?

All drugs have the potential to elicit side effects even with normal use. Many side effects are dose-related and will resolve when it is adjusted or at the end of therapy.

Potential side effects while using this drug include:

  • Numbness
  • Tremors
  • Salivation
  • Excessive sweating

You may experience some, none, or other side effects not mentioned above. If you have any concerns about a side effect or it becomes bothersome, consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Jamaican dogwood?

To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and inform your doctor and pharmacist.

If you experience an adverse drug interaction, stop taking this drug and continue taking your other medication. Inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Your dose may need to be adjusted, substituted with another drug, or discontinue using the drug.

Does food or alcohol interact with Jamaican dogwood?

This medication may be taken with or without food. If you experience any gastrointestinal discomfort, taking this medication with meals may prevent this symptom. There is no data available regarding the effects of alcohol consumption while taking this medication.

Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns regarding food-drug interactions.

What health conditions may interact with Jamaican dogwood?

This drug should be taken with caution if you have any of the following conditions or risk factors:

  • Allergy to any of the ingredients

Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns regarding specific health conditions.


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before using Jamaican dogwood.

What is the dose of Jamaican dogwood for an adult?

The recommended dosage of this drug has not been established for treating any specific disease or condition. Consult a doctor for the appropriate indication and dosage.

What is the dose of Jamaican dogwood for a child?

This drug is not recommended for use in children and the recommended dose has not been established. Consult a doctor or pharmacist for alternatives and more information.

How is Jamaican dogwood available?

This drug is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Liquid extract
  • Teabags

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of this drug, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Aug 10, 2020