Stillingia

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Stillingia

Common Names

  • Stillingia treculeana
  • Queen's root
  • Queen's delight
  • Yaw root

For Patients & Caregivers

How It Works

There is no evidence to support use of Stillingia to treat cancer, infections, or other medical conditions.

Stillingia is a root extract. It is known to contain chemicals called diterpene esters, toxic irritants that can cause swelling and inflammation of the skin. One laboratory experiment suggested that diterpene esters can halt the growth of cancer cells, but stillingia has not been studied.

Stillingia root is one of the ingredients in Hoxsey Herbal Therapy, which is promoted as an alternative cancer treatment.

Purported Uses

Evidence is lacking to support these claims:

  • To treat bronchitis and relieve chest congestion
  • To treat cancer as part of the Hoxsey Herbal Therapy
  • To relieve constipation
  • To treat hemorrhoids
  • To treat laryngitis
  • To treat skin abscesses
  • To treat muscle spasms
  • To treat syphilis
Side Effects
  • Dizziness
  • Burning sensation on mucous membranes
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Skin itching and/or eruptions
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
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For Healthcare Professionals

Scientific Name
Stillingia sylvatica
Clinical Summary

Stillingia is an herb native to the southern United States. Its root has been used in traditional medicine to treat syphilis, bronchitis, constipation, hemorrhoids, and skin conditions. There are no clinical data to support the use of this herb for any of the proposed claims.

Stillingia contains diterpene esters that cause mucosal irritation and skin eruptions. Other reported toxicities include vertigo, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, muscle ache, pruritus, cough, fatigue, and sweating (1).

Stillingia is an ingredient in Hoxsey Herbal Therapy, an alternative cancer treatment.

Purported Uses
  • Bronchitis
  • Cancer treatment
  • Chest congestion
  • Constipation
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Laryngitis
  • Skin abscesses
  • Spasms
  • Syphilis
Mechanism of Action

Stillingia contains diterpene esters, toxic irritants that can cause swelling and inflammation of the skin (1). In vitro studies have shown that diterpene esters have antitumor activity (2), but stillingia has not been evaluated.

Adverse Reactions

Toxicity: Vertigo, burning sensation on mucous membranes, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, muscle ache, pruritus, skin eruptions, cough, fatigue, sweating (1).

References
  1. Newall C, et al. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals, 1st ed. London: Pharmaceutical Press; 1996.
  2. Szallasi Z, et al. Nonpromoting 12-deoxyphorbol 13-esters inhibit phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate induced tumor promotion in CD-1 mouse skin. Cancer Res 1993;53:2507-12.
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Email your questions and comments to aboutherbs@mskcc.org.

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