Nopal commonly known as prickly pear cactus is a large cactus native to Mexico. It is a source of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals. Nopal is considered the symbol of identity of the Mexican people. It is a major ingredient of some Mexican and South-western cuisine. Its therapeutic purpose includes treatment of diabetes, alcohol hangover, digestive tract cleansing, viral infections, diarrhea, and enlarged prostate and high cholesterol, though there is insufficient evidence to support this.
The benefits of nopal supplementation are the following.
It is generally considered to be safe, though some people may experience mild stomach upset, nausea and mild diarrhea. In some, allergic reactions such as nasal inflammation and asthma symptoms may accompany nopal supplementation. Only limited research has been done so far on the effect of nopal supplements. So those who have liver or kidney disease should avoid Nopal Supplements. To be on the safe side, pregnant and breast feeding women can also avoid using this. It is better to consult your physician before trying Nopal supplements, as over dose may lead to low blood sugar and other adverse effects.
The recommended dosage is one to two capsules, thrice a day with water at mealtimes.