En Español (Spanish Version) Teucrium chamaedrys
Principal Proposed Uses
This toxic herb should not be used for treatment of any condition.
The herb germander is a dramatic counterexample to the widely held belief that if a treatment has been used for thousands of years, it must be safe. Germander grows wild in the Mediterranean region, especially in Greece and Syria. It has a long tradition of use for gout, as well as febrile illnesses, asthma, coughs, depression, and congestive heart failure. It was also said to improve digestion and increase appetite. What traditional herbalists appear to have missed is that germander is toxic to the liver.
In the 1980s, germander became a popular treatment for weight control in France. A small epidemic of hepatitis was the result.1-12Subsequent research demonstrated conclusively that the herb is toxic to the liver but has not precisely identified the constituents at fault.13-18 Problems have also occurred when products labeled as containing skullcaphave turned out to contain germander instead.19
Germander was subsequently banned in France and many other countries. Unfortunately, numerous websites continue to promote the use of this herb. We recommend avoiding germander entirely.
Last reviewedAugust 2013by EBSCO CAM Review Board
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.