• 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
In the 1980s, germander became a popular treatment for weight control in France. A small epidemic of hepatitis was the result.
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.
1. Polymeros D, Kamberoglou D, Tzias V. Acute cholestatic hepatitis caused by Teucrium polium (golden germander) with transient appearance of antimitochondrial antibody. J Clin Gastroenterol . 2002;34:100–1.
2. Perez Alvarez J, Saez-Royuela F, Gento Pena E, Lopez Morante A, Velasco Oses A, Martin Lorente J. Acute hepatitis due to ingestion of Teucrium chamaedrys infusions [in Spanish]. Gastroenterol Hepatol . 2001;24:240–3.
9. Larrey D, Vial T, Pauwels A, Castot A, Biour M, David M, Michel H. Hepatitis after germander ( Teucriumchamaedrys ) administration: another instance of herbal medicine hepatotoxicity. Ann Intern Med . 1992;117:129–32.
10. Pauwels A, Thierman-Duffaud D, Azanowsky JM, Loiseau D, Biour M, Levy VG. Acute hepatitis caused by wild germander. Hepatotoxicity of herbal remedies. Two cases [in French]. Gastroenterol Clin Biol . 1992;16:92–5.
11. Castot A, Larrey D. Hepatitis observed during a treatment with a drug or tea containing wild germander. Evaluation of 26 cases reported to the Regional Centers of Pharmacovigilance [in French]. Gastroenterol Clin Biol . 1992;16:916–22.
12. Mattei A, Bizollon T, Charles JD, et al. Liver damage induced by the ingestion of a product of phytotherapy containing wild germander. Four cases [in French]. GastroenterolClin Biol . 1992;16:798–800.
13. Loeper J, De Berardinis V, Moulis C, Beaune P, Pessayre D, Pompon D. Human epoxide hydrolase is the target of germander autoantibodies on the surface of human hepatocytes: enzymatic implications. Adv Exp Med Biol . 2001;500:121–4.
14. De Berardinis V, Moulis C, Maurice M, et al. Human microsomal epoxide hydrolase is the target of germander-induced autoantibodies on the surface of human hepatocytes. Mol Pharmacol . 2000;58:542–51.
16. Lekehal M, Pessayre D, Lereau JM, Moulis C, Fouraste I, Fau D. Hepatotoxicity of the herbal medicine germander: metabolic activation of its furano diterpenoids by cytochrome P450 3A depletes cytoskeleton-associated protein thiols and forms plasma membrane blebs in rat hepatocytes. Hepatology . 1996;24:212–8.
19. Bergner P. Scutellaria, skullcap: uses. Available at: http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed/archives/Best/1994/scutellaria-1.html . Accessed September 13, 2003.
Last reviewed April 2009 by
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.
Copyright © 2007 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.