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Scientific Name: Marrubium vulgare

Constituents:

  • Diterpenoid lactones (bitter principles): marrubiin (formed from premarrubiin), marrubiol, marrubenol, vulgarol & marrubinic acid
  • Volatile oil: camphene, p-cymene, fenchene
  • Caffeic acid derivatives: chlorogenic acid & cryptochlorogenic acid
  • Flavonoids: chrysoeriol, vicenin II, luteolin & apigenin
  • Phenylpropanoid glycosides (acteoside, forsythoside, arenarioside & ballotetroside)
  • Alkaloids
  • Resin
  • Phytosterols
  • Saponins
  • Vitamin C
  • Tannins

Medicinal actions:

  • Analgesic
  • Anti-parasitic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Astringent
  • Bitter
  • Cholagogue
  • Emmenagogue
  • Expectorant (Stimulating/Amphoteric)
  • Diaphoretic
  • Hypoglycemic
  • Vulnerary

Mechanism of Action & Pharmacology:

  • Diterpenes (marrubenol and marrubiin) appear to be most active compounds. Along with volatile oil, resins have exhibited expectorant activity which may result from direct stimulation of bronchial mucosal secretions.
  • Volatile oils are antimicrobial and hypotensive.
  • Anti-inflammatory effects of marrubiin do not appear to be involved in the inhibition of cyclooxygenase or opioid receptors, but showed a moderate inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha. Flavonoids also have anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Marrubiin exhibits potent and dose-related antinociceptive effects in mice.
  • Phenylpropanoid glycosides have been implicated as the active constituents involved in inhibition of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation.
  • Whole extract and marrubiin displays anti-ulcer activity and gastroprotective effects in mice.
  • Bitter principle act as a gastric juice stimulant; marrubinic acid acts as a choleretic to increase bile secretion.
  • Tannins are astringent to mucus membranes.

Pharmacy:

  • Infusion
  • Tincture
  • Capsules
  • Syrup

Safety & Toxicity Concerns:

  • Avoid during pregnancy & lactation.
  • Monitor hypertension with long-term use (best used acutely).

Interactions:

  • None known.

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