Chameleon Plant Supplement

Updated | 2021-01-26

Written and reviewed by the NatureClaim Team

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Chameleon Plant

Overview of Chameleon Plant

Scientific Name: Houttuynia cordata

Order: Piperales

Family: Saururaceae

Chameleon plant (Houttuynia cordata) is also known as fish mint due to its fish-like smell. This plant is widely distributed in Southeast Asia. In Vietnamese cuisine, it is often used as a vegetable. During the 2002 – 2004 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, human clinical trials studied the anti-viral properties of this medical plant.



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Conflicting (Unclear):

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Limited Evidence:

  • Chronic Sinusitis [1]
  • Chronic Sinusitis (postoperative) [2]
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a combination of chameleon plant and western medicine (i.e., oxygen supplementation, hemofiltration, ribavirin, antibiotics [azithromycin / cefuroxime / metronidazole], and immunoregulation with thymosin injection) was shown to be better than western medicine alone [3]
  • Ulcerative Colitis [4]

No Evidence:

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No Clinical Research:

All other conditions.

Side Effects
Side effects may include:
  • Side effects have not been studied for chameleon plant.
Precautions and Adverse Events:
  • Avoid or contact a licensed healthcare practitioner, if you are allergic to penicillin or sulfonamides.
  • Intravenous injections of chameleon plant can cause serious adverse events, such as reproductive and respiratory diseases, and even death. Injections in combination with cephalosporins, penicillin, and macrolides increased these risks. Therefore, do not use chameleon plant injections.

Pregnant or Nursing

There is not enough research on the use of supplements containing chameleon plant during pregnancy and breast-feeding, so consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before use or avoid use.



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Chameleon plant is not a "drug", the best doses have not been thoroughly established. Make sure to follow the specific product instructions and take as directed on the label or consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before use.


1. Jiang RS, Wu SH, Tsai CC, Li YH, Liang KL. Efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine compared with a macrolide in the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis without nasal polyps. Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2012 Jul-Aug;26(4):293-7. doi: 10.2500/ajra.2012.26.3778. PubMed PMID: 22801017. 2. Liang KL, Su YC, Tsai CC, Lin JS, Jiang RS, Su MC. Postoperative care with Chinese herbal medicine or amoxicillin after functional endoscopic sinus surgery: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2011 May-Jun;25(3):170-5. doi: 10.2500/ajra.2011.25.3610. PubMed PMID: 21679528. 3. Li S, Wang R, Zhang Y, Zhang X, Layon AJ, Li Y, Chen M. Symptom combinations associated with outcome and therapeutic effects in a cohort of cases with SARS. Am J Chin Med. 2006;34(6):937-47. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X06004417. PubMed PMID: 17163583. 4. Jiang XL, Cui HF. Different therapy for different types of ulcerative colitis in China. World J Gastroenterol. 2004 May 15;10(10):1513-20. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v10.i10.1513. PubMed PMID: 15133864; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4656295. 5. Wang L, Cui X, Cheng L, Yuan Q, Li T, Li Y, Deng S, Shang H, Bian Z. Adverse events to Houttuynia injection: A systematic review. J Evid Based Med. 2010 Aug;3(3):168-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-5391.2010.01091.x. Review. PubMed PMID: 21349062. 6. Afendi FM, Okada T, Yamazaki M, Hirai-Morita A, Nakamura Y, Nakamura K, Ikeda S, Takahashi H, Altaf-Ul-Amin M, Darusman LK, Saito K, Kanaya S. KNApSAcK family databases: integrated metabolite-plant species databases for multifaceted plant research. Plant Cell Physiol. 2012 Feb;53(2):e1.

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