“Salt is what makes things taste bad when it isn’t in them.” – Unknown
Salt is arguably the most important ingredient in cooking.
Without it, most meals would taste bland and unexciting.
However… not all salt is created equal and there are many “types” to choose from.
We have Himalayan Pink Salt, Kosher Salt, Sea Salt, Celtic Salt (to name a few)… and then we have plain old refined table salt.
Not only do they differ in taste and texture, but there are also some differences in mineral and sodium content.
This article explores the most popular salt types… then at the end, gives you a direct comparison of their nutritional properties to help you make the right choices.
But first, let’s take a look at what salt is and why it’s such a controversial ingredient among health experts.
What is Salt and How Does it Affect Health?
Salt is a crystalline mineral made of two elements, sodium (Na) and chlorine (Cl).
Sodium and chlorine are absolutely essential for life in animals, including humans.
They serve important functions like helping the brain and nerves send electrical impulses.
Most of the world’s salt is harvested from salt mines, or by evaporating sea water or other mineral-rich waters.
Salt is used for various purposes, the most common of which is adding flavor to foods. Salt is also used as a food preservative, because bacteria have trouble growing in a salt-rich environment.
The reason salt is often perceived as unhealthy (in large amounts), is that it can bind water in the bloodstream and raise blood pressure.
The great majority of sodium in the Western diet comes from processed foods. If you eat mostly whole, unprocessed foods then you don’t need to worry about adding some salt to your meals.
Bottom Line: Salt is made of two minerals, sodium and chloride, which are essential for human life. Too much salt can raise blood pressure, but there is very little evidence that eating less salt can improve health.
Refined Salt (Regular Table Salt)
The most commonly used salt is plain old table salt.
This salt is usually highly refined. It is heavily ground and most of the impurities and trace minerals are removed.
The problem with heavily ground salt is that it can clump together. For this reason, various substances called anti-caking agents are added so that it flows freely.
Food-grade table salt is almost pure sodium chloride, or 97% or higher.
Here’s an important point… iodine is often added to table salt.
This was a successful public health preventative measure against iodine deficiency, which was (and still is) common in many parts of the world and a leading cause of hypothyroidism, mental retardation and various health problems (3, 4).
I personally take kelp tablets (seaweed) a few times per week because I rarely eat iodized salt. They are very high in iodine.
Bottom Line: Refined table salt is mostly just sodium chloride, with substances called anti-caking agents added in order to prevent clumping. Iodine is often added to table salt.
Sea salt is made by evaporating seawater.
Like table salt, it is mostly just sodium chloride.
However, depending on where it is harvested and how it was processed, it usually does contain some amount of trace minerals like potassium, iron and zinc.
The darker the sea salt, the higher its concentration of “impurities” and trace nutrients will be. However, keep in mind that due to the pollution of oceans, sea salt can also contain trace amounts of heavy metals like lead (5).
Sea salt is often less ground than regular refined salt, so if you sprinkle it on top of your food after it has been cooked, it may have a different mouthfeel and cause a more potent “flavor burst” than refined salt.
The trace minerals and impurities found in sea salt can also affect the taste, but this varies greatly between different brands.
Bottom Line: Sea salt is made by evaporating seawater. It is very similar to regular salt, but can contain small amounts of minerals. It can also contain trace amounts of heavy metals if it is harvested from a polluted sea.
Himalayan Pink Salt
Himalayan salt is harvested in Pakistan.
It is mined from the Khewra Salt Mine, the second largest salt mine in the world.
Himalayan salt often contains trace amounts of iron oxide (rust), which gives it a pink color.
It does contain small amounts of calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. It also contains slightly lower amounts of sodium than regular salt.
A lot of people prefer the flavor of himalayan salt compared to other types of salts, but personally I haven’t been able to notice a difference.
The main difference seems to be the color, which can give a meal a nice look if you sprinkle it on top after it has been cooked.
Bottom Line: Himalayan salt is harvested from a large salt mine in Pakistan. It has a pink color due to the presence of iron oxide. It also contains trace amounts of calcium, potassium and magnesium.
Kosher salt was originally used for religious purposes.
Jewish law required blood to be extracted from meat before it was eaten. Kosher salt has a flaky, coarse structure that is particularly efficient at extracting the blood (6).
The main difference between regular salt and kosher salt is the structure of the flakes. Chefs find that kosher salt, due to its large flake size, is easier to pick up with your fingers and spread over food.
Kosher salt will have a different texture and flavor burst, but if you allow the salt to dissolve in the food, then there really isn’t any difference compared to regular table salt.
However, kosher salt is less likely to contain additives like anti-caking agents and iodine.
Bottom Line: Kosher salt has a flaky structure that makes it easy to spread on top of your food. There is very little difference compared to regular salt, although it is less likely to contain anti-caking agents and added iodine.
Celtic salt is a type of salt that originally became popular in France.
It has a greyish color and also contains a bit of water, which makes it quite moist.
Celtic salt contains trace amounts of minerals and is a bit lower in sodium than plain table salt.
Bottom Line: Celtic salt has a light greyish color and is quite moist. It is made from seawater and contains trace amounts of minerals.
Differences In Taste
Foodies and chefs primarily choose their salt based on taste, texture, color and convenience.
The impurities, including the trace minerals, can affect both the color and taste of the salt.
The size of the salt can also affect how the salty flavor hits the tongue. Salt with a larger grain size can have a stronger flavor and last longer on your tongue.
However, if you allow the salt to dissolve in the food, then there shouldn’t be any major taste difference between plain refined salt and the other “gourmet” types of salt.
If you like to use your fingers to sprinkle salt on food, then dry salts with a larger grain size are much easier to handle.
Bottom Line: The main difference between the salts is the taste, flavour, color, texture and convenience.
Minerals in Different Types of Salt
There is one study that compared the mineral content of different types of salt (7).
The table below shows the comparison between Table Salt, Maldon Salt (a typical sea salt), Himalayan Salt and Celtic Salt:
As you can see, celtic salt has the least amount of sodium and the highest amount of calcium and magnesium. Himalayan salt contains a bit of potassium.
However… keep in mind that these really are tiny amounts. For example, the 0.3% content of Magnesium for celtic salt implies that you would need to eat 100 grams of salt to reach the recommended daily amount.
For this reason, the mineral content of the various salts is actually not a compelling reason to choose one salt over the other. These amounts really are negligible compared to what you get from food.
Which Salt is The Healthiest?
I looked long and hard and couldn’t find a single study actually comparing the health effects of different types of salt.
However… if such a study were done, I highly doubt they would find a major difference. Most of the salts are similar, consisting of sodium chloride and tiny amounts of minerals.
The main benefit of choosing more “natural” types of salt is that you avoid additives and anti-caking agents that are often added to regular table salt.
At the end of the day, salt is salt… its main purpose is to add flavour, not nutrition.
PhytoTrade Africa was established in 2001 as the trade association of the natural products industry in Southern Africa. Our purpose is to alleviate poverty and protect biodiversity in the region by developing an industry that is not only economically successful but also ethical, sustainable and Access and Benefit Sharing compliant.http://phytotrade.com/products/kigelia-africana/ My friend uses this stuff on burly zits but it pretty much looks like a miracle skin cure from “the Sausage Tree of Africa” He thinks it is amazing, you should totally try it. It looks incredible, here is a site to read all about it.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=kigelia+africana It really doe
~Sausage Tree~ Kigelia Africana Bignoniaceae African Whole Fruit!!!
KigeliaFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kigelia
Kigelia africana Kigelia africana: habit, fruit, flower, seeds. Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae (unranked): Angiosperms (unranked): Eudicots (unranked): Asterids Order: Lamiales Family: Bignoniaceae Tribe: Coleeae Genus: Kigelia
Binomial name Kigelia africana
Kigelia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Bignoniaceae. The genus comprises only one species, Kigelia africana, which occurs throughout tropical Africa from Eritrea and Chad south to northern South Africa, and west to Senegal and Namibia.
The genus name comes from the Mozambican Bantu name, kigeli-keia, while the common names sausage tree and cucumber tree refer to the long, sausage-like fruit. Its name in Afrikaans Worsboom also means Sausage Tree, and its Arabic name means “the father of kit bags” (Roodt 1992).
It is a tree growing up to 20 m tall. The bark is grey and smooth at first, peeling on older trees. It can be as thick as 6 mm on a 15-cm branch (Roodt 1992). The wood is pale brown or yellowish, undifferentiated and not prone to cracking (Roodt 1992).
The tree is evergreen where rainfall occurs throughout the year, but deciduous where there is a long dry season. The leaves are opposite or in whorls of three, 30–50 cm long, pinnate, with six to ten oval leaflets up to 20 cm long and 6 cm broad; the terminal leaflet can be either present or absent. The flowers (and later the fruit) hang down from branches on long flexible stems (2-6 metres long). Flowers are produced in panicles; they are bell-shaped (similar to those of the African Tulip Tree but darker and more waxy), orange to reddish or purplish green, and about 10 cm wide. Individual flowers do not hang down but are oriented horizontally. Some birds are attracted to these flowers and the strong stems of each flower make ideal footholds. Their scent is most notable at night indicating that they are adapted to pollination by bats, which visit them for pollen and nectar. They also remain open by day however, and are freely visited by many insect pollinators, particularly large species such as carpenter bees.
The fruit is a woody berry from 30–100 cm long and up to 18 cm broad; typically it weighs between 5 and 10 kg, and hangs down on long, rope-like peduncles. The fruit pulp is fibrous and pulpy, and contains numerous seeds. It is eaten by several species of mammals, including Baboons, Bushpigs, Savannah Elephants, Giraffes, Hippopotamuses, monkeys, and porcupines. The seeds are dispersed in their dung. The seeds are also eaten by Brown Parrots and Brown-headed Parrots, and the foliage by elephants and Greater Kudu (Joffe 2003; del Hoyo et al. 1997). Introduced specimens in Australian parks are very popular with cockatoos.The trees are also found in large numbers in Ingraham Institute NH-24 campus, Ghaziabad Uttar Predesh in India. Whether it is the same species has not yet been verified.
Cultivation and uses
In African herbal medicine, the fruit is believed to be a cure for a wide range of ailments, from rheumatism, snakebites, evil spirits, syphilis, and even tornadoes (Watkins 1975). An alcoholic beverage similar to beer is also made from it. The fresh fruit is poisonous and strongly purgative; fruit are prepared for consumption by drying, roasting or fermentation (Joffe 2003; McBurney 2004). In Botswana the timber is used for makoros, yokes and oars (Roodt 1992). Kigelia is also used in a number of skin care products.
The tree is widely grown as an ornamental tree in tropical regions for its decorative flowers and unusual fruit. Planting sites should be selected carefully, as the falling fruit can cause serious injury to people, and damage vehicles parked under the trees.
- Bignonia africana Lam. (basionym)
- Tecoma africana (Lam.) G.Don
- Crescentia pinnata Jacq.
- Kigelia pinnata (Jacq.) DC.
- Kigelia abyssinica A.Rich.
- Kigelia aethiopica Decne.
In Kikuyu: muratina, Swahili: mbungati, mwegea, mnyegea, mvongonya (Standard Swahili Dictionary Oxford University Press, date unknown) In Hindi Balam Kheera.”Hathi bailan’. In Luo “Yago”. In Malayalam Shiva Kundalam.In Tamil ‘Yaanai Pudukan’
A Sausage Tree in Botswana in use as an airport departure lounge
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kigelia africana. Wikispecies has information related to: Kigelia africana**************************************http://www.enviropaedia.com/topic/default.php?topic_id=280
From Senegal down to South Africa the Kigelia fruit has a long history of both consumption and topical application. It is valued as an aphrodisiac, a disinfectant and a cure for dermal complaints.
Adolescent boys and girls use the fruit for enhancing growth of the genetalia and breasts respectively. Women rub an ointment, made from Kigelia fruit pulp, onto their breasts as a skin tightening, breast firming and enlarging treatment.This treatment is also used on babies in the belief that they will grow to be fatter.
Photo courtesy – PhytoTrade Africa
Women use the ointment to ensure clear, blemish free skin and the whole fruit is used in Tonga as a loofah for scrubbing skin smooth.
In addition the fruit is used effectively in dressing sores and wounds, both in humans as well as animals, and for a wide variety of skin applications, ranging from eczema, ulcers, acne, skin cancer and fungal infections.
Scientific literature confirms the validity of many of these traditional uses due to the presence of numerous secondary metabolites. These compounds include iridoids, flavonoids, fatty acids, sterols, glycosides and napthoquinones. Antibacterial activity has been shown against both Gram-negative and Gram-postivie bacteria. Kigelia extract was shown to contract the area of wounds less than 300 mm2.
Strong anti-inflammatory activity has been indicated and determined to be due to the presence of specific COX 1 and 2 inhibitors, without showing the common side effects normally associated with this activity. In addition norviurtinal has shown cytotoxic activity through the reduction of both gross tumours and the incidence of tumour burden.
Kigelia fruit pulp and extracts can be exploited in the nutraceutical, dietary/herbal supplement, pharmaceutical, cosmeceutical and other markets. Specific products could include:
- Anti-melanoma and after-sun applications
- Anti-inflammatory agent – Extracts of Kigelia have been shown to be more effective than Indomethacin a potent synthetic anti-inflamatorry
- Antioxidant agent – An ethanol extract of kigelia has been shown to possess some anti-oxidant activit
- Cosmetic skin tightening active ingredient
- Bignonia africana Lam. (basionym)
From T – “be careful with lemon balm because what appears to be lemon balm can be a poisonous citronella like plant.”
12 Things to Do With Lemon Balm
(Find these and more lemon balm ideas, in my new Kindle ebook: Things To Make With Lemon Balm.)
Lemon balm is an easy to grow herb that not only attracts bees to the garden, but is also a great anti-viral with relaxing properties that are helpful for soothing frayed nerves and calming hyper children.
Traditionally, it’s been used to gently treat colic and upset stomach in everyone from infants to elders. A leaf can be chewed to freshen the breath or crushed and placed on a bug bite to help ease the itch.
If you’ve ever planted lemon balm, you know how one tiny plant can quickly take over a large portion of your garden! Last week, I talked about using some of its abundance to make a lip balm for cold sores. Today, I thought I’d share a dozen more things to do with this prolific little gem.
Important Note: While it’s generally considered safe for most people, lemon balm can inhibit thyroid function. If you have severe hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or are on thyroid medication check with a doctor before using large amounts internally. If you’re pregnant, nursing, on meds or have any other questions or concerns, do further research and talk with a qualified health professional before use.
12 Things to Do With Lemon Balm:
1. Make a sleepy time herbal syrup – place about 3/4 cup lemon balm leaves into a small pot and add enough water to just cover the leaves. Simmer, covered partially, until the liquid is reduced in half. Strain out & compost the leaves. While still quite warm, measure out about 1/2 cup of the concentrated tea and stir 1/4 cup raw honey into it. Add more honey to taste, if you wish. You can make larger or smaller batches – keeping a ratio of about 2 parts lemon balm infusion to 1 part honey. Store in the refrigerator for a few weeks. Dose by the spoonful at night to help calm and relax everyone from children to adults. (Keeping in mind that honey should not be given to infants under one year old.)
2. Chop fresh leaves and sprinkle on fruit salads; drizzle with honey or a dressing made of yogurt and honey.
3. Make a glycerite – Fill a jar with leaves. Cover with a mixture of 3 parts vegetable glycerine to 1 part water. Cap and let this sit in a dark place for 3 to 4 weeks. Strain. Dose is 1/2 to 1 teaspoon as needed to relax and calm. Store in your refrigerator for several months. (Adapted from Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs.)
4. Make a relaxing, tummy soothing tea – Fill a jar with fresh leaves. Pour simmering hot water into the jar then cover the top with a saucer so that none of the vapors escape. Let steep until cool enough to drink. Sweeten to taste.
5. Moisten cosmetic clay with lemon balm tea to dab on blemishes and bug bites as needed.
6. Fill a bath bag with lemon balm leaves and rose petals. Hang from the spigot and let the water run through as the tub fills. (No bath bags handy? Try a thin white sock with a knot tied at the top.)
7. Add finely chopped leaves (1 to 2 TBSP) and lemon zest (a pinch) to your favorite scone or muffin recipe.
8. Make a tincture – Add leaves to a jar until about three-quarters filled. Pour in 80 proof or higher alcohol until the jar is filled. Cap with a non-metallic lid and store in a cool, dark place for about 4 to 6 weeks, shaking periodically. Strain and store for at least a year. Adult dose is 1/4 teaspoon (which is also about 1 dropperful or 1 ml) at a time, as needed. I usually mix with equal parts honey for better patient compliance. This is a great stomach soothing, anti-viral concoction, perfect to take when you feel like you’re coming down with a cold or bug. Lemon Balm is also a component in my trusted Favorite Cold & Flu Tincture.
9. Make a vinegar – fill a jar about 3/4 full with fresh leaves. Cover with apple cider vinegar. Cap with a non-metallic lid and let steep in a cool dark place for a few weeks. Strain and use as a hair wash or add to your bath water. You can also use this in food dishes & salad dressings instead of plain vinegar.
10. Make candied lemon balm leaves – This is a favorite kid activity around here! Beat an egg white with a tiny bit of water. Dip lemon balm leaves in the mixture, then dip in sugar. Lay on a parchment lined baking sheet. You can air dry these, though we like to speed up the process by putting them in a 200 degree F oven until they look dry, but not browned. Check after 20 minutes and every 5 to 10 after that.
11. Make Lemon Balm & Honey Butter – Mix half a stick (4 tablespoons) of softened butter with a pinch of finely chopped lemon balm. Add a drizzle of honey to taste. Yummy on hot fresh bread or biscuits!
12. Make an herbal water - Fill a jar with fresh lemon balm leaves and a thinly sliced lemon. Pour in cold water until it reaches the top. Refrigerate for several hours. So refreshing on a hot day!
Do you enjoy making things from the plants that grow around you? If so, let’s keep in touch! Subscribe to my newsletter HERE to get my latest herbal projects, recipes & soap making ideas sent straight to your inbox each month. No spam ever, unsubscribe at any time.
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lemon balm Overview Information
From T – “be careful with lemon balm because what appears to be lemon balm can be a poisonous citronella like plant.”
Lemon balm is a perennial herb from the mint family. The leaves, which have a mild lemon aroma, are used to make medicine. Lemon balm is used alone or as part of various multi-herb combination products.
Lemon balm is used for digestive problems, including upset stomach, bloating, intestinal gas (flatulence), vomiting, and colic; for pain, including menstrual cramps, headache and toothache; and for mental disorders, including hysteria and melancholia.
Many people believe lemon balm has calming effects so they take it for anxiety, sleep problems, and restlessness. Lemon balm is also used for Alzheimer’s disease, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an autoimmune disease involving the thyroid (Graves’ disease), swollen airways, rapid heartbeat due to nervousness, high blood pressure, sores, tumors, and insect bites.
Lemon balm is inhaled as aromatherapy for Alzheimer’s disease.
In foods and beverages, the extract and oil of lemon balm are used for flavoring.
How does it work?
Lemon balm contains chemicals that seem to have a sedative, calming effect. It might also reduce the growth of some viruses.
Fresh BasilThe quintessential herb of summer, basil adds its subtle magic to just about every kind of dish from appetizer to salad to dessert. A member of the mint family, basil adds a slightly sweet Mediterranean-inspired flavor to a range of dishes. Grow your own or pick some up at the local market and get cooking.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/24/basil-recipes_n_1524556.htmlBasil Vinaigrette-
- 1. In a food processor, pulse the garlic until chopped. Add the basil and pulse until finely chopped. Add the oil, vinegar and crushed red pepper and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Adapted from The Garden of Eden
Note: Darcy (from the Garden of Eden) made a basil pesto, so if you would like to follow her instructions, find the recipe here.
3 cups herbs* such as basil, cilantro, parlsey, chives, etc., rinsed
1/4 cup nuts such as almonds, walnuts or pine nuts**
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice (I juiced half a lemon)
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly-ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated dry salty cheese such as Pecorino or Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano (D- Parmezano!) (walnut cheese)
Smashed Grape Cocktail
- 12 grapes
- 6 basil leaves
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. simple syrup (SIMPLE STEVIA SYRUP -D)
- 4 ounces vodka = omit (D)
- 2 cups soda water
- Place 10 grapes in the bottom of a shaker and smash up with a cocktail muddle. Pour contents through a sieve and reserve juice.
- Rinse shaker and place basil in the bottom. Lightly muddle to release oils. Top with simply syrup, grape juice and lemon juice and stir. Add ice over top. Add honey and soda water and shake.
- Cut two grapes in half and place 2 halves in each glass. Pour shaker contents in glasses and serve.
- Serves 2.
- 2 cups tightly packed fresh basil
- 1/2 cup walnuts or pine nuts
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (to taste)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- Place the basil, walnuts or pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor fitted with the S blade. Pulse to combine, until the mixture is coarsely ground.
- Turn the motor on and drizzle the olive oil in a thin stream. Add the sea salt, pepper, lemon, and nutritional yeast, and pulse a few more times to combine
Tomato And Peach Salad With Red Onion And Basil,Chilled Summer Squash and Basil Soup,Basil Ice Cream, Strawberry Basil Paletas, BASIl Hummus, Caramelized Peach Caprese Salad With Smoked Sea Salt, Greek Olive Pesto, Raspberry Basil Mojito, Grilled Corn With Basil Butter,e Zucchini With Basil, Mint And Honey
Basil Butter – Do it with Coconut Oil/Olive Oil – D
- 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup basil, loosely packed
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
Main use Active ingredient Manufacturer Stomach and bowel cramps Hyoscine butylbromide Boehringer Ingelheim
How does it work?
Buscopan tablets contain the active ingredient hyoscine butylbromide, which is a type of medicine called an antispasmodic. It is used to relieve colicky abdominal pain that is caused by painful spasms in the muscles of the gastro-intestinal (GI) or genito-urinary (GU) tract.
Hyoscine works by relaxing the muscle that is found in the walls of the stomach, intestines, bowel, bile duct and urinary tract. This type of muscle is called smooth muscle or involuntary muscle. It normally contracts and relaxes in response to natural body chemicals called neurotransmitters. The contractions are caused by a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. These contractions are not under our conscious control and we are not normally aware of them. However, if the muscles go into spasm this can cause pain.
Hyoscine stops the spasms in the smooth muscle by preventing acetylcholine from acting on the muscle. It does this by blocking the receptors on the muscle cells that the acetylcholine would normally act on.
By preventing acetylcholine from acting on the muscle in the GI and GU tracts, hyoscine reduces the muscle contractions. This allows the muscle to relax and reduces the painful spasms and cramps.
What is it used for?
- Spasms of the stomach, intestines or bile duct (gastro-intestinal tract), including those associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Spasms of the bladder or urinary system (genito-urinary tract).
How do I take it?
- Always follow the instructions given by your doctor. These will also be printed on the dispensing label that your pharmacist has put on the packet of medicine.
- The usual dose for adults and adolescents over 12 years of age is two tablets taken four times a day. To treat IBS symptoms treatment should be started with one tablet three times a day. This can be increased up to two tablets four times a day if necessary.
- The usual dose for children aged 6 to 12 years is one tablet taken three times a day.
- Buscopan tablets should be swallowed whole with a drink of water. They can be taken either with or without food.
- If you forget to take a dose take it as soon as you remember, unless it is nearly time for your next dose. In this case just leave out the missed dose and take your next dose as usual. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
- This medicine should not be taken on a continuous daily basis or for prolonged periods of time without the cause of your abdominal pain being investigated by your doctor.
- This medicine may cause blurred vision and so may affect your ability to drive or operate machinery safely. If affected do not drive or operate machinery.
- While taking this medicine you should consult your doctor immediately if you experience severe, unexplained abdominal pain that doesn’t go away, gets worse, or occurs with symptoms like fever, nausea, vomiting, changes in bowel movements, abdominal tenderness, decreased blood pressure, fainting, or blood in your stools.
- You should also consult your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following while using this medicine: red and painful eye, possibly with headache, loss of vision, or seeing haloes around lights. These symptoms may be caused by an increase in pressure inside the eyeball and require urgent investigation by your doctor.
Not to be used in
- People with an abnormally large or dilated large intestine (megacolon).
- People with a condition called myasthenia gravis, which involves abnormal muscle weakness.
- People with an eye condition called closed angle glaucoma.
- People with rare hereditary problems of fructose intolerance, glucose-galactose malabsorption or sucrase-isomaltase insufficiency (Buscopan tablets contain sucrose).
- Buscopan tablets are not recommended for children under six years of age.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Use with caution in
- Elderly people.
- People with heart problems, including a fast heart rate (tachycardia) or heart failure.
- People with an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism).
- People who are susceptible to blockages in the urinary tract and difficulty passing urine, for example men with an enlarged prostate gland.
- People with constipation or who are susceptible to blockages in the intestines.
- People with a high temperature (fever).
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
- This medicine is not usually recommended for use during pregnancy as its safety has not been established. It should only be used if the expected benefit to the mother is greater than any possible risks to the developing baby, particularly in the first trimester. Seek medical advice from your doctor.
- It is not known if this medicine passes into breast milk, although only small amounts are likely to be found due to the properties of the medicine. The class of medicines that this one belongs to may reduce the production of breast milk. The manufacturer states that this medicine is not recommended for use during breastfeeding. Get advice from your doctor before taking this medicine if you are breastfeeding.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
Uncommon (affect between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 people)
- Increase in heart rate (tachycardia).
- Dry mouth.
- Small blisters on the hands and feet (dyshidrosis).
- Allergic skin reactions such as hives or itching.
Rare (affect between 1 in 1000 and 1 in 10,000 people)
- Difficulty passing urine (urinary retention).
- Hypersensitivity reactions such as narrowing of the airways (bronchospasm), swelling of the lips, throat and tongue (angioedema), rash or anaphylactic reaction.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine’s manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How can this medicine affect other medicines?
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to make sure that the combination is safe.
There may be an increased risk of antimuscarinic side effects, such as dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, difficulty passing urine, reduced sweating and confusion, if this medicine is taken with other medicines that have antimuscarinic effects, such as the following:
- antihistamines, eg promethazine, brompheniramine, chlorphenamine, diphenhydramine, triprolidine
- antimuscarinic medicines for Parkinson’s symptoms, eg procyclidine, orphenadrine, trihexiphenidyl
- antimuscarinic medicines for urinary incontinence, eg oxybutynin, trospium, tolterodine
- antipsychotics, eg chlorpromazine, clozapine, thioridazine
- antisickness medicines, eg meclozine, cyclizine, hyoscine hydrobromide
- other antispasmodics, eg atropine, propantheline, dicycloverine
- tricyclic antidepressants, eg amitriptyline, clomipramine.
If this medicine is taken with domperidone or metoclopramide the actions of the medicines may cancel each other out. This is because metoclopramide and domperidone increase the motility of the gut, whereas hyoscine reduces it.
If you experience a dry mouth as a side effect of this medicine you may find that medicines that are designed to dissolve and be absorbed from under the tongue, eg sublingual glyceryl trinitrate tablets, become less effective. This is usually because the tablets do not dissolve properly in a dry mouth. To resolve this, have a drink of water before taking tablets designed to dissolve on or underneath the tongue.
Other medicines containing the same active ingredient
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