5 Surprising but Less-known Lomatium Benefits Everyone Should Know

lomatium benefits

Lomatium is a type of desert parsley that is most commonly used in medicine. The best-known lomatium benefits include its significant antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, all of which work wonders in protecting from health conditions caused by viruses, fungi, and bacteria, especially those that affect the respiratory tract. Traditionally, many Native American tribes used this herb to boost immune function and manage respiratory issues for thousands of years, particularly in western North America. But does it really help? keep exploring with us.

In this article, we’ll be exploring some surprising but little-known lomatium benefits according to scientific studies. But before we get into how lomatium can help with human health, it’s worth knowing the basics of this medicinal herb a little bit more. So, let’s get started.

What is lomatium?

Lomatium, also known as biscuit root, fern leaf, or botanically lomatium dissectum, is a flowering plant species in the large family of Apiaceae related to parsley, celery, and carrot. It’s endemic to western North America where it grows in a diverse range of habitats.

The root of the plant has been used medicinally throughout history by many tribes of Native Americans, particularly in North America. Today, lomatium is available in various supplementary forms including teas, powders, and tinctures.

Let’s take a look at what ingredients it contains and what medicinal properties they possess:

Active ingredients and medicinal properties in lomatium

Lomatium contains a range of pharmacologically active ingredients that can help human health in many different ways. The most common ones of them include:

  • Furanocoumarins such as pyranocoumarin, columbianin, and nodakenetin - these are potent antiviral agents that can help inhibit viral replication and block cell response.
  • Oleo-resins - rich in sesquiterpenes and terpenes. These act as stimulating expectorants in the lungs and respiratory tract, increasing the process of liquification and elimination of mucus materials.
  • Volatile oils - these ingredients act as strong antibacterial agents that encourage immune cells like leucocytes to identify and kill bacteria, inhibiting bacterial replication and growth.
  • Ascorbic acid - it shows noticeable antimicrobial and immuno-modulating actions.

5 surprising lomatium benefits

Lomatium supplements can help with managing and preventing a range of health complications, especially those caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other inflammatory conditions. The health benefits of lomatium seem to come from the active ingredients it contains and their associated pharmacological properties. Here are some common ways in how lomatium benefits human health: 

Lomatium provides excellent antimicrobial support 

Lomatium has been found to possess significant antimicrobial properties, meaning it can help eliminate various types of microbes including viruses, fungi, and bacteria and protect the body from complications caused by them, especially those that are affecting the lungs and respiratory tract. The plant is considered possibly the best but most overlooked antiviral agent at the same time in herbal medicine.

Multiple studies support the antimicrobial activities of lomatium. For instance, one study in Tetrahedron investigating native American food and medicinal plants showed that lomatium extract has components with decisive antimicrobial actions [1].

Another 1995 study screening the antiviral actions of British Columbian medicinal plants noted that lomatium root extract has the capacity to inhibit the cytopathic effects of rotavirus [2].

Lomatium benefits respiratory health 

Lomatium has long been used to support respiratory health in traditional and folk medicines used by Native Americans of North America. Famous herbalist Michael Moore praised this herb in his book “Medicinal plants of the Pacific West” for its incredible ability to combat respiratory viruses.

Besides, the oleo-resin compounds found in this herb act as stimulating expectorants, helping in liquifying and removing mucoid materials, and easing respiratory difficulties during an infective respiratory condition.

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Restorative Medicine concluded that lomatium inhibits the release of chemokine CXCL10 and shortens the duration of infective conditions caused by influenza viruses [3].


Lomatium may strengthen immune function 

Lomatium has been shown to have positive effects in strengthening the immune system which is why it’s often used in combination with other herbs with immunomodulating properties to improve immune response. It has been reported to be significantly effective in combating “slow” viruses with accompanying a depressed immune response [4]. 

Lomatium may help promote skin healing

The antimicrobial actions of lomatium are known to be enormously helpful in alleviating symptoms of infective conditions caused by different types of microbes on the skin. Besides, the active components it contains have been shown to have noticeable anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, all of which are highly effective in promoting skin healing. This is the reason why lomatium is also used topically in various skin conditions.

Lomatium may support joint health 

The anti-inflammatory properties of lomatium may provide great support to joint health, particularly in inflammatory joint conditions. It can help better manage inflammation of the joints and also ease associated symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and swelling.

How to use lomatium

Lomatium can be used in many ways including both internally and externally. It can be taken orally by mouth, applied topically on the skin, or inhaled through preparing steam. Lomatium is available in various forms such as lomatium powder, tincture, decoction, teas, and more.

The exact dosage and method of use depend on personal health needs. Therefore, it’s recommended to work with a professional naturopath or healthcare provider to determine your best dose and method of use. 

Side effects and precautions 

Lomatium is likely safe and well-tolerated for most people. Very few people may experience pruritic skin rashes that mimic measles. If any rash is seen, discontinue using lomatium and the rash usually resolves itself within several days. To avoid this problem, you can also consider using lomatium which is free from the resin. The resin-free form of lomatium is less likely to cause any rash issues.

Moreover, lomatium may affect the efficacy of certain medications such as immunosuppressants and blood thinners. Therefore, it’s best to take lomatium under the direct medical supervision of any licensed herbalist or natural healthcare provider, especially if you’re on medications for any underlying health issues.

Final words

Lomatium is an ancient medicinal herb that has historically been used by Native Americans for thousands of years. It’s possibly the best but the most overlooked antiviral remedy in the entire natural medicine system. There are several lomatium benefits ranging from providing antimicrobial support to boosting immune health to easing respiratory issues. Consider working with a licensed herbalist or naturopath to determine what dosage and method of use would be the best for your specific health needs.

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