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These carnivorous plants have their primary origins in East Africa and Madagascar but are cultivated throughout the world. The main species originally used in cough preparations in Germany, D. rotundifolia, D. intermedia and D. anglica, are now rarely used currently due to threat of extinction. Instead, D. ramentacea and other Drosera species from Australia are employed. Herbal medicine preparations are made primarily from the roots, flowers, and fruit-like capsules.1
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Sundew has a long history of use for treating coughs and has been shown in one study to have cough-relieving abilities.
The historical use of sundew is similar to its use in modern herbal medicine. In 1685, Johann Schroder wrote in his book, The Apothecary or a Treasure Chest of Valuable Medicines, that sundew was a beneficial herb that “cures lung ailments and cures coughs.” Sundew tea was specifically recommended in Europe by herbalists for dry coughs, bronchitis, whooping cough, asthma, and “bronchial cramps.”2
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2014.