Lomatium dissectum is a powerful healing herb that is not commonly talked about nor even heard of by most. It is for this reason, I became intrigued with the herb and wanted to learn more. I commonly use and test the very supplements, herbs, and functional labs that I recommend to my clients, not only because I feel personal experience is important, but also because of the path that I’ve been on in my own health journey. Studies demonstrate Lomatium’s effectiveness with treating influenza A and certain viruses like rotavirus, and herbalist with extensive experience with Lomatium have also used it in many other ailments from UTIs to tooth abscesses.
My first experience with Lomatium was when I was on vacation with my son who had come down with a cold the second day we were there. I started to experience cold symptoms two days later, and the last thing I wanted was a cold on vacation, especially knowing I had to fly by myself with my rambunctious toddler in just a few short days. And just before leaving for vacation, we had a three to four week stretch of one virus being passed around to the next between my husband, son, and myself, followed by a cold in my husband, so quite frankly I was over illness at this point. I knew I needed to act quickly. Lomatium was one of the first herbs that I thought of because it was fresh on my mind after learning about it just prior to our trip, so I ordered it online for 2-day delivery. I wish I would have thought about it earlier for the viral episode going around in our home as it may have helped. Fortunately, I was staying at our lake house that had a sauna, so I hit up that heat machine at least once to twice a day and took an immune support formula with a blend of medicinal mushrooms that I had on hand to try to get ahead of it. When the Lomatium arrived, I still felt like I was fighting it as I could feel it in my chest and head, but I didn’t feel that it was progressing. I knew I was on the right track with my current plan, so when the Lomatium arrived, I incorporated it at a dose of 10 drops two times a day for two days, then increased it to 25 drops, twice a day. However, I would suggest staying at the lower dose for at least a week before advancing to test your tolerance. By the third day of use I felt great with no symptoms! I can’t tell you how pumped I was about this! I’m unsure if it was the Lomatium by itself that allowed me not to get sick or if it was the combination of therapies that did it; whatever it was, it worked for me, and it was what my body needed to up the defenses and overcome quickly. I have continued to take Lomatium as I have incorporated it into an anti-viral protocol that I’m doing due to a reoccurring rash that appears on my chest whenever I get sick. One significant thing that I have noticed since being on it is an improvement in my energy, which is always a good sign.
How Lomatium Became Known
Lomatium, also known as fernleaf biscuitroot and desert parsley, is a perennial wildflower native to the western United States. The Native Americans used this plant as both a food and medicine and scientific studies have shown it to have antiviral and antibacterial properties. The root extracts were shown to inhibit rotavirus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and Mycobacterium avium. (1) Lomatium dissectum became widely popular after the influenza pandemic of 1916-1918 when a physician from Nevada reported a complete lack of influenza mortality in a Native American group taking the herb. (2)
In one study, one hundred extracts of medicinal plants were screened for antiviral activity against seven viruses. Lomatium dissectum root extract was found to completely inhibit the cytopathic effects of rotavirus, which is one of the major infectious diseases in the world that causes gastroenteritis. (3) In another study, Lomatium dissectum root extract was shown to have an inhibitory effect on CXCL10 secretion, a chemokine implicated in the pathogenesis of influenza A infection. The primary cause of morbidity and mortality from influenza is cytokine and chemokine dysregulation that may occur during the immune response and not by the virus itself. (4) Herbalist familiar practicing with Lomatium, also claim that it has many other medicinal uses including, but not limited to, Candida, EBV, bacterial infections, strep infections, respiratory infections as well as prevention for the common cold and flu. (5,6).
It should be noted that before you start taking Lomatium, you need to be aware of the rare one-time detox rash that may occur in some people taking it for the first time. The rash typically shows up about five to seven days after taking Lomatium, and it’s similar in appearance to measles. It can appear randomly on different places of the body and then spread to cover the whole body. Some speculate that it’s a healing rash that is pulling out viral and fungal infections stuck in the tissues. I can believe this because I’ve experienced a “healing crisis” before with homeopathy as my tonsils literally turned black for a few days from a remedy that I was on for a recurring chronic sore throat when I was younger. After that, I never had them again. The image below is one I took of my arm after being on Lomatium for seven days. My case is not common as it didn't itch, was contained to my arm, and was present for about two weeks.
The rash is not harmful, it can just be uncomfortable and probably enough for one to not want to use it again. But if you can get past the discomfort for a couple of days, then I feel there are more rewards associated with it than risks. Some people can get a light rash that only covers a small area on their body and is gone typically in two to three days, but most cases are the full body version that may make sleep restless for a couple of nights. (5) It’s advised to start with a low dose of 5-10 drops in water once a day for the first week when taking for the first time. More information regarding the rash, ways to minimize or to potentially avoid it, and uses of Lomatium can be found on Barlow Herbal. MunityBoost by Barlow Herbal was specifically developed to help prevent the one-time rash that can develop with using Lomatium for the first time. They also have a wonderful team that will help to answer any questions that you may have regarding its use.
Before beginning an herbal protocol, you should always consult with a health practitioner as there are interactions with certain medications and dosages may vary.
I'm Meagan Reynolds- a registered dietitian and certified functional medicine practitioner in Nashville, TN who teaches people how to reclaim their health so they can be the brightest version of themselves. My specialty is in thyroid disease and the many symptoms associated with it. I'm passionate about helping my clients find the root cause of their symptoms and supporting them on their healing journey.