Galium odoratum L. syn. Asperula odorata L.


Perennial plant, 10-40 cm tall, with a pleasant, airy aroma. Stem four-sided, erect, unbranched, practically glabrous, hairy at the base. The leaves are oppositely arranged with leaflets, ordinary, sessile, oar-shaped or lanceolate, entire edge, pointed (especially the lower ones), sharp from spines along the edge, 4-12 leaves per leaf.

The flowers are white, small, located at the ends of the stems in shield-shaped inflorescences. Fruit ripening in sections in monocot mericarps. Blooms May-August.

The above-ground part of the plant is used for medicinal purposes. The root is also used less often. The plant is cut during budding and at the beginning of flowering. Dries quickly, in the shade on screens, in well-ventilated rooms. Store the drug in a dry room with minimal humidity, as the plant is highly hygroscopic. The plant can be stored for 1 year.

Woodruff contains flavonoids, coumarins, bitters and tannins, resins, vitamin C and P, asperuloside lactone, oxalic acid, tartaric acid, catechinic acid, malic acid and silicic acid, as well as traces of essential oils.

Medicinal significance

Woodruff is not a plant used in pharmacology and is not used in official medicine, but the substances it contains have a therapeutic effect. The tannins present in the plant give the plant astringent and wound-healing properties, and also allow the plant to be evaluated as a powerful remedy for the treatment of various skin diseases of various etiologies. Lactone asperuloside has an anti-inflammatory effect and also has an antispasmodic effect on smooth muscles. The coumarins of the Woodruff give the plant antispasmodic properties, which allows the plant to be used for the treatment of neurological diseases and for the treatment of pain syndrome (also for algodysmenorrhea).

Experimentally, it has been established that galenic preparations of Woodruff (extracts, concentrations, extracts, etc.) are able to expand blood capillaries and enhance the dynamics of blood circulation without affecting blood viscosity.

Understandably, this plant is widely used in folk medicine and many different diseases are treated with it. It is used as a sedative for insomnia and tachycardia; as an expectorant of sweat and bile, urine in case of kidney stones; in case of skin diseases associated with metabolic disorders; as an astringent and tonic, as well as to treat liver diseases and inflammatory diseases of the urinary tract.

Woodruff is used as a decoction for the treatment of heart diseases, as a sedative and antispasmodic. In folk healing practices, Woodruff is used to treat angina and laryngitis. The root extract is used to stimulate sexual function in men.

Woodruff is also often used in herbal mixtures for the treatment of prostatitis. Externally, Woodruff can be used as an antiseptic and wound healing agent - for the treatment of eczema, rashes, boils, ulcers, festering wounds, infiltrates, tumors and burns.

Not recommended for use

It is important to know that the plant also has toxic properties. Care must be taken when taking Woodruff orally in safe doses. An overdose of this plant causes poisoning - nausea, vomiting, headache. This plant should not be used for medicinal purposes during pregnancy and lactation, nor should it be given to young children.