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Gamander, curative or dangerous?

  1. The plant genus gamander with the official name Teucrium contains over 100 species. The species most commonly known as a medicinal herb is called Teucrium chamaedrys or True gamander. The shiny, lobed leaves look a bit like small oak leaves. For example, the plant is referred to in 16th century herb books as 'quercula'.

Habitat, ecology

  1. Teucrium chamaedrys feels at home on dry, rocky slopes, preferably on limestone terrain. His homeland is the Mediterranean Basin, but he manages to penetrate quite far north, with escaped specimens from gardens helping increase his habitat.


  1. At Dodoens the plant was called Gamander line and was mainly used for spleen problems, both internal and external. Teucrium in wine ghesoden ende druncken opens that clogged the spleen / ende gheneest that herdicheyt van der selver / ende es daer goet ende sonderlinghe. Tselve also does this cruyt when mixed with figs and vinegar from buyten ghelijck a plaster on that milte gheleyt. Teucrium also mixed with vinegar alone and is very good on that bite and the stick of the phenomenal creatures.

Types of gamanders

  1. Several other species have been used medicinally in the past. The still common Teucrium scorodonia, False sage, was described by Pacque in “The Flemish folk names of plants from 1896 as good for 'body water', ie against excessive sweating. Maybe we can make a modern deodorant with it. Even though the old recipe, an infusion in white wine, was intended for internal use.


  1. Hasani-Ranjbar, S., N. Nayebi, B. Larijani and M. Abdollahi, 2010. A systematic review of the efficacy and safety of Teucrium species; from anti-oxidant to anti-diabetic effects. Int. J. Pharmacol., 6: 315-325.

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