Drosera herba

Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 02.03.2023

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Droserae herba; Herba Drosere; Herba Rorellae; Hergottslöffel; Sundew; Sunflower

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Drosera herba, also called sundew, is a drug used in herbal medicines for the treatment of poorly healing superficial wounds and for irritable and whooping cough.

Note: Round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), native to Central Europe, belongs to the carnivorous plants. It grows preferably in the high moors. For medicinal use, another African sundew species is used instead of Drosera rotundifolia, which can be easily cultivated. For centuries, sundew has been used to treat cramping and irritable coughs.

In addition to the round-leaved sundew, the parent plants of Drosera herba include the Moroccan sundew, the long-leaved sundew, the medium sundew (Drosera ramentacea BURCH), the long-leaved sundew (Drosera longifolia), and Drosera intermedia. Drosera madagascareinsis is particularly suitable as a cough tea.

HMPC: not edited

ESCOP: not edited

Commission E-Monograph: Cramping and irritable coughs

Empirical medicine: Internally supportive for whooping cough, externally for poorly healing wounds, warts, corns.

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Sundew contains flavonoids (flavone glycosides and their aglycones: quercetin, myricetin, kaempferol), mucilages, various enzymes(proteases), 1,4-naphthoquinoderivatives, etc.a. 7-methyl-juglon in addition to plumbagine (5-hydroxy-2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone) and droserone (4,8-dihydroxy-3-methylnaphthalene-1,2-dione) (0,14 to 0,22 %).

Note: Juglone is isomeric to 2-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone (Lawson), the dye of the henna leaves.

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Drosera herba has antitussive, antibacterial, antiphlogistic and bronchospasmolytic effects. Furthermore, the drug experimentally inhibits neutrophil elastase, as well as inflammatory genes that play a role in the activation of human mast cells.

Field of application/use
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Sundew is used for irritable and whooping cough according to Commission E. The drug is commonly used to treat superficial wounds that heal poorly.

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The average daily dose of Drosera herba is 3.0 g and is mostly used in the form of tea infusions or solid dosage forms for external application.

Sundew herb is available in pharmacies as a loose product. To make a tea, pour 150 millilitres of boiling water over two to five tablespoons and leave to infuse for ten minutes. Three to four cups can be drunk throughout the day.

Undesirable effects
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There are no known adverse effects.

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There are no known contraindications.

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There are no known interactions with other substances.

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Already in the 12th century, the Italian physician Matthaeus Platearius described this medicinal herb under the name herba sole as a remedy for chesty cough.

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Sundew; Sundew roundleaf;