Siberian cocklebur (Xanthium sibiricum)
Natural Standard Bottom Line Monograph, Copyright © 2013 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.
Alkaloid, alpha-hydroxytomentosin, Asteraceae (Family), atractyloside, beta-sitosterol, caffeic acid, caffeoylquinic acids, cang er cao (Chinese), cang er zi (Chinese), caulis Xanthii sibirici, cephalin, ceryl alcohol, chlorobutanol, choline, cinnamic acid, common cocklebur fruit, component A, component B, component C, dihydrotomentosin, endoperoxide, epixanthatin, fat, ferulic acid, folium seu, fructus Xanthii, fructus Xanthii siberici, gamma-sitosterol, heptacosanol, hydroxypyrrolidin, hydroxytomentosin, isohexacosane, isoxanthanol, lecithin, linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, poriferosterol, pseudoguaiane, resin, Siberian cocklebur fruit, stearic acid, stearyl alcohol, stigmasterol, stumasterol, tomentosin, vomifoliol, xanthanol, xanthiazone, xanthienopyran, xanthinin, xanthipungolide, xanthiside, Xanthium, Xanthium japonicum, Xanthium sibiricum, xanthostrumarin, xanthumin.
Siberian cocklebur, a member of the Asteraceae family, is an annual plant used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Today, Siberian cocklebur is often used in combination with other herbal products, such as magnolia flower and angelica root. It grows mainly in northern Iran, China, and parts of Asia. The fruit is an egg-shaped burr with numerous hooked spines.
Siberian cocklebur has been traditionally used for sinus congestion, chronic nasal obstructions and discharges, respiratory allergies, and rheumatoid arthritis. It has also been used to relieve aches and pains, as well as headaches associated with nasal congestion and sinusitis.
Siberian cocklebur contains toxic chemical compounds, which may cause severe hepatitis with fatal liver failure or interactions with the liver's detoxification systems. Overdosing of Siberian cocklebur may cause severe side effects including coma and death. High-quality human research on the safety or effectiveness of Siberian cocklebur is currently lacking.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
No available studies qualify for inclusion in the evidence table.
*Key to grades:A: Strong scientific evidence for this use; B: Good scientific evidence for this use; C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use; D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work); F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).
The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious and should be evaluated by a qualified health care professional.
Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, arthritis, asthma, bronchitis (chronic), common cold, diabetes, eczema, gas, headache, Helicobacter pylori infection, hives, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels), immune function, itching, leprosy, liver disorders, lung conditions, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), nasal congestion, nerve pain (sciatic), pain, rheumatoid arthritis, scabies, sinus problems (inflammation), sinusitis.
The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.
Adults (18 years and older)
There is no proven safe or effective dose of Siberian cocklebur in adults.
Children (under 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose of Siberian cocklebur in children.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.
Avoid with known allergy or hypersensitivity to Siberian cocklebur, its components, or members of the Asteraceae family.
Side Effects and Warnings
Reliable human trials demonstrating safety or efficacy for Siberian cocklebur are currently lacking. Toxicity has been reported. Use of Siberian cocklebur should be under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
Siberian cocklebur may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, and medication adjustments may be necessary.
Use cautiously in patients with "qi" and blood disorders, according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory.
Avoid use in high doses, infants or children, or in patients with liver disorders. Toxicity may occur if Siberian cocklebur is used in high doses. Toxicity symptoms may include abdominal pain, anxiety, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, facial flushing, fever, headache, irregular heartbeat, lack of strength or energy, loss of appetite, low blood sugar, restlessness, sleepiness, slight jaundice around the nose and mouth, sweating, swollen liver, and vomiting. Severe side effects may include heavy bleeding in the digestive tract, inability to urinate, spasm, shock, swelling in the lungs, exhaustion of the cardiovascular system and kidney function, liver failure, seizure, coma, and death.
Avoid with known allergy or hypersensitivity to Siberian cocklebur, its components, or members of the Asteraceae family.
Avoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding, due to a lack of sufficient scientific evidence.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
There is a lack of available scientific evidence on the safety and efficacy of Siberian cocklebur during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.
Interactions with Drugs
Siberian cocklebur may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
Siberian cocklebur may also interact with antibiotics, anti-inflammatory agents, and drugs that affect the immune system.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Siberian cocklebur may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
Siberian cocklebur may also interact with antibacterial herbs and supplements, anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements, and herbs and supplements that affect the immune system.
This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).
Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
An HJ, Jeong HJ, Lee EH, et al. Xanthii fructus inhibits inflammatory responses in LPS-stimulated mouse peritoneal macrophages. Inflammation 2004;28(5):263-270. View Abstract
Dai YH, Cui Z, Li JL, et al. A new thiaziedione from the fruits of Xanthium sibiricum. J.Asian Nat.Prod.Res. 2008;10(3-4):343-347. View Abstract
Han T, Li HL, Hu Y, et al. Phenolic acids in Fructus Xanthii and determination of contents of total phenolic acids in different species and populations of Xanthium in China. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao 2006;4(2):194-198. View Abstract
Hong SH, Jeong HJ, Kim HM. Inhibitory effects of Xanthii fructus extract on mast cell-mediated allergic reaction in murine model. J Ethnopharmacol 2003;88(2-3):229-234. View Abstract
Li WL, Zheng HC, Bukuru J, et al. Natural medicines used in the traditional Chinese medical system for therapy of diabetes mellitus. J Ethnopharmacol 2004;92(1):1-21. View Abstract
Li Y, Xu C, Zhang Q, et al. In vitro anti-Helicobacter pylori action of 30 Chinese herbal medicines used to treat ulcer diseases. J Ethnopharmacol 4-26-2005;98(3):329-333. View Abstract
Liu SM, Yao ZX, Zhang LX. Influence of Fructus Xanthii on reversibility of liver injury and DNA synthesis. Journal of Beijing 2007;30:87-89.
Sato Y, Oketani H, Yamada T, et al. A xanthanolide with potent antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. J Pharm Pharmacol 1997;49(10):1042-1044. View Abstract
Stuart BP, Cole RJ, Gosser HS. Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium, L. var. strumarium) intoxication in swine: review and redefinition of the toxic principle. Vet Pathol 1981;18(3):368-383. View Abstract
Witte ST, Osweiler GD, Stahr HM, et al. Cocklebur toxicosis in cattle associated with the consumption of mature Xanthium strumarium. J Vet Diagn Invest 1990;2(4):263-267. View Abstract
Wu ML, Wang CP, Deng JF. Fatal hepatic failure due to fructus xanthii in a child. Clinical Toxicology.Abstracts of the 2005 North American Congress of clinical toxicology annual meeting 2005;43:9.
Zhang XQ, Ye WC, Jiang RW, et al. Two new eremophilanolides from Xanthium sibiricum. Nat Prod Res 2006;20(13):1265-1270. View Abstract
Zhao Y, Yang H, Zheng YB, et al. The effects of Fructus Xanthii extract on cytokine release from human mast cell line (HMC-1) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol 2008;30(3):543-552. View Abstract
Zhu HH, Chen YP, Yu JE, et al. [Therapeutic effect of Xincang Decoction on chronic airway inflammation in children with bronchial asthma in remission stage]. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao 2005;3(1):23-27. View Abstract
Copyright © 2013 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.
March 22, 2017