What is Lomatium?

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  • Written By: Allison Boelcke
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 January 2020
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Lomatium is a type of herb that belongs to the Apiaceae family and is related to parsley and the carrot. The herb naturally grows in western regions of Canada and the United States. It is most often used for medicinal purposes.

There are over 25 different species of lomatium, but the most commonly used is lomatium dissectum . Some herbalists believe the roots of this species have antiviral characteristics. The extract of the root is often prescribed by herbalists to treat viral conditions, such as herpes simplex and HIV. Lomatium dissectum is also used to treat colds and the flu. Some also believe the herb has anti-inflammatory properties and can cure infections.

Lomatium can be taken in a variety of ways. During the early twentieth century, people would often chew the root of the herb; however, it now usually undergoes a drying process before being used. The root is cleaned, then laid outdoors to dry for at least one week. Once it’s thoroughly dried, the root is sliced into thin pieces and dried for an additional week. The dried root can be combined with hot water to make a medicinal tea.

The root’s extract tends to be used more often than the dried root itself. Lomatium root extract is the combination of root pieces and alcohol. The roots soak in the alcohol, then are filtered out so the alcohol contains the root’s oils. The liquid extract is typically sold in small bottles with droppers.


Liquid extract doses are usually taken orally. Several drops are added to a small amount of water, then the solution is swallowed. The extract can also be manufactured in capsule form and taken orally. Dosage instructions often vary depending on the herbalist’s or manufacturer’s instructions.

One of the most common side effects is a body rash that doesn’t respond to allergy or anti-itching medications; however, the rash is not considered dangerous. The herb has also been found to cause problems with the digestive system and is not recommended for people who have liver or kidney diseases. Lomatium is also not recommended for pregnant women.

Lomatium can potentially cause serious allergic reactions in individuals. One of the main symptoms of an allergy to the herb is trouble breathing after coming into contact. Those who are allergic may also experience tightness of the chest.

Although the root of the herb tends to be used most often, the other parts of the herb have additional functions. The entire plant can be boiled and eaten, and has a taste and texture that is similar to root vegetables like turnips and carrots. The seeds of the herb plant can also be ground up and used as a flavoring agent for food dishes.


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