Medicinal plants

Gundermann (Glechoma hederacea) - application and effects

Gundermann (Glechoma hederacea) - application and effects

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Sebastian Kneipp, the founder of the Kneipp cures, said about the native plant: "Gundermann, salvation of the world." That was a bit much of a good thing, but the ground cover actually contains medicinally effective substances.

Profile to Gundermann

  • Scientific name: Glechoma hederacea
  • Common names: Ivy Gundel, Gundelrebe, Angel Herb, Donnerrebe, Thunder Flower, Wideruf, Erdeweu, Erdkränzel, Stinking Heel, Stone Wrapper, Look through the Fence, Huderich, Hederich, Gundelse, Gutermann, Gundelrieme, Gundam, Soldier Parsley, Kranzkraut, Katzenruck, Heilrauf, Heilrauf, Heilrauf , Hops
  • Parts of plants used: Leaves and aerial parts of the plant
  • application areas:
    • Wound healing
    • inflammatory diseases
    • Kidney and bladder weakness
    • to cough
    • sniff
    • Body aches
    • Menstrual problems
    • rheumatic pain
    • blemished skin
    • historically and in folk medicine especially gastrointestinal catarrh


Gundermann contains glycosides, including glucopyranosides and neohesperidosides, tannins and bitter substances. The aerial parts collected and dried during flowering contain essential oil (up to 0.06 percent), including monoterpene ketones and sesquiterpenes, glechomafuran, glechomanolide, rosemary acid (approximately 1.5 percent), caffeic acid, ferulic acid, sinapic acid, flavonoids such as cymaroside , Cosmosysrin, hyperoside, isoquercitrin, luteolin-7-diglucoside, triterpene carboxylic acids and hydroxy fatty acids.

Effects - Against inflammation

Gundermann counteracts inflammation. The main carrier for this is the oil contained in the plant, which we smell when we rub the leaves between our fingers; it smells of mint and licorice, and it makes Gundermann a good spice for salads. This oil shows success against abscesses (pus formation), skin inflammation, inflammation of the gums, the mouth and throat as well as the airways.

Externally, the herb accelerates the healing of inflamed wounds. It also stimulates the metabolism. Gundermann is (slightly) antiseptic and contracts (astringent). Gundermann extract is also a good facial toner against impure skin.

Naturopathy and phytotherapy

Gundermann is a plant, so medical treatment with home-picked Gundelrebe - be it as tea, paste or spice - is naturopathy and herbal medicine (phytotherapy). The name indicates that the herb was used to treat purulent inflammation, because Gund was called pus in historical German.

Taken internally, as a spice or better than tea, extract or syrup, Gundermann is used in naturopathy to relieve chronic bronchitis as well as chronic rhinitis - and as a diuretic for diseases of the bladder and kidneys.

The angel herb in Hildegard medicine

Abbess Hildegard von Bingen, a medicinal healer, wrote recipes with Gundermann against weakness, chest pain and ringing in the ears.

Gundelrebe in folk medicine

Common names like Heilrauf already indicate that the omnipresent Gundermann was considered an all-round medicine. It should help against diarrhea, liver diseases, lung problems, jaundice and stomach problems, urine like sweat. The folk medicine of the past was based not only on the active ingredients that evidence-based medicine demonstrates today, but also on the belief in magic, magic, ghosts, witches and demons.

Names like angel herb, revocation, thunder vine or storm flower show that the ground cover was considered a powerful herb in this belief in the supernatural - like many plants that have real healing effects, the Gundel vine was considered protective magic. So farmers mixed cows into Gundermann's feed to give them a lot of milk and wiped the milk dishes with the herbs.

The term wreath herb comes from the fact that a wreath with Gundermann should make it possible to recognize witches. Gundermann was supposed to protect the house from lightning and storm damage, hence the names Donnerrebe and Gewitterblume. Magical-religious rituals mingled with practical healing applications: if Gundermann was picked at Pentecost during the sermon, it should work against every disease. On St. John's Day placed on painful parts of the body, it should end rheumatic complaints.

In the signature theory of the early modern period, the leaf was considered a plant equivalent of the kidney - because of the shape of the leaves. Therefore, they should help against diseases associated with the kidneys. A real effect as a diuretic with a weak, positive effect in kidney disease probably played a role in these esoteric associations.

Gundelrebe in Traditional Chinese Medicine

In Chinese medicine, Gundermann is considered a remedy for purulent inflammation (abscesses) and diabetes.

Applications - tea against cough and mouth rot

Tea can be prepared from Gundermann by soaking the dried or fresh leaves in water for a few minutes. For this we take 1.5 milligrams of the dried herb in 100 milliliters of water and drink two to three small cups a day. It is a home remedy for cough, mouth rot and gingivitis.

Gundermann against gout?

Our ancestors boiled the leaves in milk, and that makes sense, because milk breaks down the water-soluble ingredients as well as the fat-soluble ones. The liquid extract of the leaves can also be used in dressings and compresses against external wounds and skin inflammation, historically also against gout and sciatica pain.

Bad for acne and eczema

Several handfuls of the leaves boiled in five liters of water can be placed in a full bath. This helps especially against skin complaints such as acne, eczema, ulcers or insect bites, but also against non-diseased but impure skin. In addition, such a full bath works against inflammation of the respiratory tract and the associated symptoms such as cough and runny nose.


Gundermann is widespread, grows as ground cover at the forest and field edge, in sparse forests as in gardens, on all kinds of fallow land, embankments or meadows. He likes it moist, and he loves nutritious, calcareous and nitrogenous soils. He benefits from modern agriculture and its mineral fertilizer, since the amount of nitrogen increased continuously with industrialization.

It grows in Europe and North Asia, with a focus on Central Europe. In “free nature” he prefers forests with moist soils, in the cultural landscape he likes to populate meadows full of nitrogen and water. It expands quickly and often covers the entire floor, which earned it the common name Erdefeu. In contrast to real ivy, it does not climb up, but only on plants and stones near the ground. It blooms blue in May and June.

Collect and store

We collect the shoots a few centimeters above the ground from the end of April to June when the plant blooms. We tie the shoots together into bundles and dry them in a shady place. The dried plant parts can be stored well in paper or fabric bags.

Gundermann in the kitchen

Today Gundelrebe is hardly known as a herb. It can be used in a similar way to parsley, marjoram or cress. The taste is spicy, but does not impose itself and harmonizes with mint. It is ideal for herb dips, herb curds, green sauces, as a soup spice or for marinades.

Risk of confusion

Due to its creeping growth, the "earth ivy" can be confused with the real ivy. A closer look reveals the differences, such as the very hairy calyx of the flowers of the Gundelrebe and the hair on the leaves. The leaves also have a very wrinkled surface. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Chou, Su-Tze; Lin, Tsai-Hua; Peng, Hsin-Yi et al .: Phytochemical profile of hot water extract of Glechoma hederacea and its antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory activities. Department of Food and Nutrition, Providence University, Taichung, Taiwan, in: Life Sciences, Volume 231, Aug 2019, ScienceDirect
  • Hiller, Karl; Melzig, Matthias F .: Lexicon of medicinal plants and drugs in two volumes. First volume A to K. Heidelberg-Berlin 1999
  • Kikuchi M. et al .: Glycosides from whole plants of Glechoma hederacea L, in: Journal of Natural Medicines, Volume 62, Issue, 4, Pages 479-480, Jun 2008, Springer
  • Kim, JinPyo; Song, SeokBean; Lee, IkSoo et al .: Anti-inflammatory activity of constituents from Glechoma hederacea var. Longituba, in: Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters, Volume 21, Issue 11, Pages 3483-3487, Jun 2011, ScienceDirect
  • Masuda, Akiko; Takahashi, Chizuru; Inai, Miyuki et al .: Chemical evidence for potent xanthine oxidase inhibitory activity of Glechoma hederacea var. Grandis leaves (kakidoushi-cha), in: Journal of nutritional science and vitaminology (Tokyo), Volume 59, Issue 6, Pages 570-575 , 2013, J-Stage
  • Qiao, Zhiwei and Koizumi, Yukio and Zhang, Muxin et al .: Anti-Melanogenesis Effect of Glechoma hederacea L. Extract on B16 Murine Melanoma Cells, in: Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry, Volume 76, Issue 10, Pages 1877-1883 , 2012, Taylor

Video: Heilpflanze: Gundermann (January 2023).