Health Benefits of Lomatium (As Backed By Science)

lomatium health benefits

Lomatium is a type of plant which belongs to the parsley family.  It has long been used medicinally by several Native American tribes, including the Shoshone, Paiute, and Nez Perce. Lomatium was even used by Native American healers during the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918, thus giving it the nickmae “Indian Consumption Plant.”

Modern research backs up many of the traditional uses of Lomatium. Studies show that Lomatiumcontains numerous bioactive compounds including coumarins, terpenoids, Polysaccharides, and Phenolic antioxidants.  Because of this, Lomatiumsupplements are often recommended for boosting immunity and fighting inflammation.

Before you use a Lomatiumsupplement, here is what you need to know about its health benefits, the best way to take it, and the most potent forms of Lomatium supplements.

lomatium growing in the wild
There are many species of Lomatium but Lomatium dissectum is most commonly used medicinally.


Health Benefits of Lomatium

Lomatium is often used for treating a wide range of health issues, including: flu, colds, respiratory illnesses, herpes simplex, GI problems, arthritis, and skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.  These uses for Lomatium are due to the plant’s antiviral, expectorant, immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties.


1. Antiviral Properties

Lomatium is best known for its antiviral properties.  Research shows that Lamatium contains antiviral compounds such as Suksdorfin.  These compounds inhibit the replication of various viruses, including:

  • Influenza
  • Herpes simplex
  • Respiratory Syncytial virus (RSV)
  • Urinary tract infections
  • HPV
  • HIV


2. Expectorant

Lomatium also has expectorant and bronchodilatory properties, helping to promote the expulsion of mucus and relieve congestion in the respiratory tract.  This makes it especially useful for treating respiratory infections.  Traditionally, it is used to treat:

  • Cough
  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Respiratory infections

Also read: Best Mullein Extract for Cough


3.  Immune Support

Lomatium contains numerous potent antioxidants, such as phenolic compounds and flavonoids.  Because of this, it is considered an immune booster. It is believed to stimulate the immune system, helping to enhance the body’s defense mechanisms against pathogens.


4. Anti-inflammatory Effects:

Studies have suggested that certain compounds present in Lomatium, such as coumarins and terpenoids, have anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds may interact with molecular pathways involved in inflammation, leading to a reduction in the production of pro-inflammatory molecules like cytokines and prostaglandins.

Further, Lomatium has been found to have immunomodulatory effects, meaning it can regulate or modulate immune responses. This modulation may help balance the immune system’s activity, preventing excessive inflammation and promoting a more effective antiviral response.

Inflammation also often involves the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress. Because Lomatium contains numerous potent antioxidants, Lomatium may indirectly inhibit inflammation and protect cells from damage.


5. Digestive Support

Lomatium contains natural compounds called coumarins.  Research shows that courmarins have antimicrobial and antifungal properties. By reducing harmful microbial activity, Lomatium may support a healthy balance of gut bacteria.

Unbalanced gut bacteria (gut dysbiosis) is linked to various health conditions ranging from depression to arthritis.  Thus, by balancing gut bacteria, Lomatium can have a positive impact on overall health and treat a wide range of conditions.

Traditionally, Lomatium is also known for its carminative properties, meaning it alleviates bloating and gas.  It is also believed to act as a “digestive tonic” by strengthening and toning the GI system.  However, more research is needed to confirm these benefits.


How to Take Lomatium

A typical dosage of Lomatium extract is 1ml to 2ml daily.  However, the  dosage amount can vary depending on the extraction method.  Remember, with any natural supplement, it is wise to start with a  small amount and gradually increase to the recommended dosage.

Lomatium is primarily absorbed in the digestive tract.  Taking it with food – especially those containing fats – will help increase absorption.


Note: Lomatium Rash

A possible side effect of taking Lomatium is a red rash that appears on the entire body.  If it occurs, it is usually within 1 to 3 days of taking Lomatium and goes away within 5 days of stopping treatment.  Because of this, it is recommended that you start with a low dosage of Lomatium.  If no rash appears within 3 days of taking it, gradually increase to the recommended dosage.


How to Choose a Lomatium Supplement

When choosing a Lomatium extract, you’ll need to pay attention to three main things: part of the plant used, type of supplement, extraction method, and menstruum ratio.


Part of the Plant Used

While all parts of Lomatium have some health benefits, the root of the plant contains the most health-promoting compounds.  Avoid Lomatium supplements which do not list which part of the plant they contain.

lomatium root


Choose a Liquid Extract

Lomatium supplements are available in many different forms.  Liquid extracts are considered the most potent form of Lomatium because they are better absorbed by the body (higher bioavailability).   By contrast, the compounds in dried Lomatium powder supplements have a lower bioavailability.


Alcohol Extracts Are Best

Lomatium liquid extracts are made by soaking dried root in either alcohol or glycerin.  As a general rule, alcohol Lomatium extracts are more potent and will provide more health benefits.

This is because alcohol is better at extracting a wider range of compounds.  For example, while glycerin is good at extracting polyphenol compounds such as the courmarin in Lomatium, it is not good at extracting terpenoids.

Further, alcohol does a better job of preserving the health-promoting compounds in Lomatium, so these extracts will have a longer shelf life.

Unfortunately, most of the Lomatium extracts for sale as made with glycerin.  This has to do with the fact that many people do not understand that the amount of alcohol in herbal extracts is incredibly low and is even safe for children to consume. Glycerin also tastes better than alcohol.  There are some situations where a glycerin extract may be preferred, such as for people struggling with alcoholism, but alcohol Lomatium extracts are still the most potent form.


Menstruum Ratio

Menstruum ratio refers to how much plant matter compared to solvent was used to create the extract.  Good Lomatium extracts will have a menstruum ratio of 1:3 (one part dried Lomatium root to three parts solvent).

The smaller the second number, the stronger the extract will be.  For example, a menstrum ratio of 1:2 is stronger than a menstruum ratio of 1:3.


Warning about Harvesting Your Own Lomatium

Lomatium grows extensively around the United States and is easy to find and harvest yourself.  However, there are several HIGHLY POISONOUS plants which resemble Lomatium such as hemlock and wild parsnip (Patinaca sativa). Unless you are experienced with plant identification, I don’t recommend you forage your Lomatium.  Better to be safe than sorry!

harvesting lomatium
This is Lomatium, but it could also be hemlock or other deadly plants!


Best Lomatium Extracts

The following Lomatium extracts are made with the alcohol extraction method (thus more potent), have their menstruum ratios listed and are also made by reputable brands.


1. Herb Pharm Lomatium Extract

This Lomatium extract has a menstruum ratio of 1:2, making it the most potent one I’ve found.  The brand is very well-known for their quality extracts.  Unfortunately though, this does make it more expensive per ounce than most other Lomatium extracts.  It’s more affordable if you buy the 4oz bottle.

  • Menstruum ratio of 1:2
  • Made with 72-82% organic cane alcohol
  • Responsibly wildcrafted in Cascade Mountains, Oregon
  • Buy Here (1oz, 4oz)

2. Planetary Herbals Lomatium Extract

Planetary Herbals is a small company run by a team of professional herbalists.  It is one of the only Lomatium extracts made with just alcohol and not glycerin.  It isn’t as potent as the Herb Pharm extract but the price per ounce is generally slightly more affordable.

  • Menstruum ratio of 1:3
  • Made with 70% grain alcohol
  • Buy here

3. Secrets of the Tribe Lomatium Extract

Secrets of the Tribe is another brand well-known for making quality plant extracts.  This one is made with alcohol and glycerin, so it doesn’t have as bad of a taste as the alcohol-only extracts.

  • Menstruum ratio of 1:3
  • Made with 50-60% alcohol and vegetable glycerin
  • Responsibly farmed
  • Third party tested
  • Made in the USA
  • Buy here

4. Hawaii Pharm Lomatium Extract

This Lomatiium extract is similar to the one made by Secrets of the Tribe listed above. It contains slightly less alcohol though, so the taste is better.  The brand Hawaii Pharm is very good about sourcing their plant materials ethically.

  • Menstruum ratio 1:3
  • Made with 42% ethyl alcohol and 10% glycerin
  • Responsibly sourced
  • Made in Hawaii
  • Buy here


Image credits:

2009.06.27-13.03.39_IMG_5157” (CC BY 2.0) by AndreyZharkikh,
Lomatium ambiguum” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Matt Lavin,
Lomatium dissectum” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Juniperus_scopulorum,
The hike has now gone significantly uphi” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by niiicedave

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