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Pipsissewa

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

Uses

What is pipsissewa used for?

Pipsissewa or prince’s pine (Chimaphila umbellata) is an herb found throughout North America and parts of Eurasia. It is an evergreen plant that is commonly found in the wild growing alongside conifers, such as pine trees.

Pipssewa leaves and roots contain several active constituents, including resins, arbutin, sitosterol, ursolic acid, and hydroquinone. The fresh leaves can be chewed or eaten and have a unique bittersweet taste that imparts a refreshing sensation.

Extracts made from pipsissewa are used as ingredients in medicines and as a flavorant in beverages and candies such as root beer, cola drinks, and candies.

Pipsissewa has the following properties:

  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Antiseptic
  • Astringent
  • Diuretic
  • Rubefacient
  • Stimulant
  • Tonic
  • Fragrance or flavorant

How should I take pipsissewa?

Pipsissewa is commercially available as an ingredient in beverages. Drink preparations that contain pipsissewa as directed on the product label or by a doctor.

How do I store pipsissewa?

This drug should be stored at room temperature (<30°C) and be protected from light and moisture. After opening the product, store it in the refrigerator. 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 pipsissewa?

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 pipsissewa 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. This supplement should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus, as determined by your doctor.

This supplement 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 pipsissewa?

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:

  • Gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Skin irritation

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.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with pipsissewa?

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 pipsissewa?

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 are no known interactions with alcohol.

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

What health conditions may interact with pipsissewa?

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.

Dosage

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

What is the dose of pipsissewa for an adult?

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

What is the dose of pipsissewa for a child?

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

How is pipsissewa available?

This drug is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Juice blend/beverage

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.

Sources

Pipsissewa, https://depts.washington.edu/propplnt/Plants/Pipsissewa.htm, Accessed Aug 10, 2020

Antifungal and antioxidant activities of the phytomedicine pipsissewa, Chimaphila umbellata,  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S003194220700564X, Accessed Aug 10, 2020

Chimaphila umbellata, https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Chimaphila+umbellata, Accessed Aug 10, 2020

Chimaphila umbellata, https://www.materiamedica.info/en/materia-medica/john-henry-clarke/chimaphila-umbellata, Accessed Aug 10, 2020

Pipsissewa, http://www.intra-lifestyles.eu/tag/pipsissewa/, Accessed Aug 10, 2020

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Aug 13, 2020
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