Ipecac is a small, recurrent tropical plant. Ipecac is used in the syrup form that is most commonly used to induce vomiting, usually after a toxic substance was accidentally ingested. Syrup of ipecac is derived from the ‘ipecacuanha’ plant. However, it is now rarely recommended. Smaller doses of ipecac are also found in many cough syrups as it is an expectorant. When Ipecac syrup is ingested, it begins to stimulate the central nervous system and stomach. The nausea results in vomiting approximately 20 to 30 minutes after ingestion. The scientific names of ipecac are Cephalelis ipecacuanha, C. acuminate. The general names of ipecac are ipecacuanha, golden root, Rio ipecac or Brazilian ipecac, Matto Grosso ipecac, and Costa Rica ipecac.
Ipecac is also known as ‘Psychotria ipecacuanha’. It is a tiny, permanent tropical plant that is native to the moist forests of Bolivia and Brazil where huge cultivated area have been recognized to sell the assortment of ipecac root. A great deal of the root crop prolongs to be cultivated from the wild, especially in South America. India also is a major producer of ipecac also. Once they mature, ipecac roots have a dark brown or red covering, bitter taste, and mildewed odor.
The major ingredients of Ipecac are the alkaloids emetine and cephaline. The roots also contain tannins and small amounts of anthrax quinone glycosides. The alkaloids have several important actions, including activation of brain centers that can induce vomiting, slowing down the sympathetic nervous system, and also slowing down protein synthesis. Ipecac syrup is generally used as a treating an individual who took poison. In most people, taking ipecac in sufficient amounts leads to vomiting within 30 minutes. The protein-inhibiting effects of emetine and other alkaloids of ipecac are responsible for the ability of the plant to inhibit growth of or kill several types of parasites, including ameba, pinworms, and tapeworms. However, the amount of ipecac required to create these effects in people are high and can lead to serious side effects.
A few people with eating troubles may fall back on Ipecac abuse as a way of managing or to weight loss. It's named "Ipecac abuse" since Ipecac is a one-time medication, meaning it should only be taken once and not several times. People suffering from Ipecac abuse will generally use it every day or several times a day to remove ingested food from the body through vomiting. As the Ipecac is the medium for inducing vomiting, the condition is called "Ipecac bulimia." Ipecac bulimia is potentially poisonous. The alkaloid emetine in Ipecac causes severe damage to heart that may eventually result in heart attack. Ipecac abuse can lead to various medical risks. These risks may comprise:
American Academy of Pediatrics no longer recommends Ipecac syrup since the vomiting that it triggers does not eliminate the poison.
In the case of accidental ingestion of poison, it is recommended to call the Poison Control hotline. They will guide through the process of giving first aid to the casualty, and whether or not Syrup of Ipecac can be used, before help reaches.