Health Guide


What is it?

Lithospermum is an herbal medicine used to improve the immune system's response to such conditions as cancer and acute illness. It also has properties that may be useful in the treatment of infection and inflammation (pain, swelling, and redness). Its use for any of these conditions may not be effective.

Other names for Lithospermum include: Koushikon, Shikon, Shiunko, Gromwell, Pearl Plant, Western Gromwell, Puccoon, Western Stoneseed, and Stoneseed.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Lithospermum you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Lithospermum. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take Lithospermum without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Haloperidol (Haldol(R)) (4,5)
  • Medicines used for mental disorders (examples: chlorpromazine (Ormazine(R), Thorazine(R)); loxapine (Loxitane(R)), mesoridazine (Serentil(R)), perphenazine (Trilafon(R)), thioridazine (Mellaril(R)), trifluoperazine (Stelazine(R))) (4,5)
  • Medicines used for Parkinson's disease (examples: amantadine (Symmetrel(R)), bromocriptine (Parlodel(R)), levodopa (Sinemet(R)), pergolide (Permax(R)), pramipexole (Mirapex(R)), ropinirole (Requip(R))) (4,5)
  • Medicines used to treat nausea and vomiting (examples: prochlorperazine (Compazine(R)), promethazine (Phenergan(R))) (4,5)
  • Molindone (Moban(R)) (4,5)
  • Pimozide (Orap(R)) (4,5)
  • Thioridazine (Mellaril(R)) (4,5)
  • Thyroid medicines (examples: levothyroxine (Eltroxin(R), Levothroid(R), Synthroid(R)), liotrix (Euthroid(R)), methimazole (Tapazole(R)), thyroglobulin (Proloid, Thyrolar(R))) (4,5)


  • Before taking Lithospermum, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • If you have a thyroid disorder or other hormone disorder, you should not take Lithospermum without first asking your health care professional.

Side Effects:

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hand, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash.

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Change in menstrual periods; decreased sexual ability in males; dry, puffy skin; feeling cold; swelling of front part of neck; weight gain (2,3)


1. Felter HW & Lloyd JU: King's American Dispensatory, 18th ed. Eclectic Medical Publications, Sandy, OR; 1983:1198-1199.

2. Zeller FJ & Breneman WR: The in vivo effect of Lithospermum ruderale on LHRH activity in the chick. Contraception 1981; 24(1):77-81.

3. Breneman WR & Zeller FJ: The effect of Lithospermum on thyroidal 32P uptake at various times of injection. Contraception 1983; 27(6):639-645.

4. Sourgens H, Winterhoff H, Gumbinger HG et al: Antihormonal effects of plant extracts on hypophyseal hormones in the rat. Acta endocrinol Suppl 1980; 234:49.

5. Sourgens H, Winterhoff H, Gumbinger HG et al: Antihormonal effects of plant extracts. TSH- and prolactin-suppressing properties of Lithospermum officinale and other plants. Planta Medica 1982; 45:78-86.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

All rights reserved