The germander plant is one of many that grow in rocky soils and old walls, adorning them with its soft purple color. Its scientific name comes from Teucrium, a Trojan prince. Many virtues were attributed to this plant in ancient times, such as that of healing gout.
The physicians of Charles I, King of Spain, prescribed him germander, but it was not successful. After this incident, the prestige of the plant as a panacea declined until the present.
Germander Plant Scientific Facts
- Other names: Wall germander.
- French: Germandree.
- Spanish: Camedrio.
- Environment: European calcareous rocky soils. It has been introduced to America but is not well known.
- Description: Plant of the Labiatae family, which grows from 10 to 30 cm high. Its stem and the underside of its leaves are hairy. Its flowers are purple and grow along the stem.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The flowers and leaves.
Healing Properties and Indications
Germander contains essential oil, tannin, and bitter components. Like all bitters, it has a stimulating effect on digestion, as well as cholagogue properties, which help to stimulate the emptying of the gall bladder. It is used as an appetizer and a stomach tonic. Moreover, it helps in eliminating flatulence (excess of gas in the digestive tract).
Germander is also used in alcohol cold extract (liquors and appetizer wines). However, we do not recommend its use since the evident adverse effects of alcohol overcome the plants.
Marum germander, also called cat thyme, belongs to the same botanical genus as germander, to which it resembles, both in composition and properties. Though native to Europe, it has been naturalized to warm Central American areas.
- George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 473. Print. [germander plant]