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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Upper airway edema due to nasal aspiration of undiluted juice of ecbalium elaterium: report of three cases

Ioannis Kokkonouzis, Georgios Antoniou, Stefanos Varvaressos, Georgios Κonstantopoulos, Vasiliki Ntouli, Panagiota Vergou, Valsamoula Myridaki

Am J Case Rep 2008; 9:255-258

ID: 855040

Available online: 2008-04-24

Published: 2008-04-24


Background: Ecbalium elaterium, also known as squirting cucumber, is a very well known, among the peoples of the Eastern Mediterranean zone, gherkin-like fruit used ever since the antiquity as a traditional cure for a number of diseases including constipation, rheumatic diseases, sinusitis or even malignancies.
Case Report: We present three cases of uvular edema due to nasal aspiration of undiluted juice produced from the plant Ecbalium elaterium. All of our patients were treated with oxygen administration, intravenous antihistamines, methylprednisolone and subcutaneous administration of epinephrine and they have been discharged, after a 24-hour period of close observation, in their prior state of health.
Conclusions: Despite its toxic effect, which can guide to severe allergic reactions or even death, Ecbalium elaterium has also been attributed some interesting properties such as anti-inflammatory and solid tumor-inhibiting. Yet, it must be clarified and established through major series the exact amount, the diluted concentration and the route of administration so this juice so freely given from mother nature to become a useful tool in the management of inflammatory diseases.

Keywords: nasal aspiration , Ecbalium Elaterium, uvular edema, Sinusitis