Lippia graveolens

scientific name: 
Lippia graveolens Kunth
Lippia berlandieri Schauer
Botanical family: 

Botanical description

Slender shrub, up to 2 m in height, aromatic, branches short-pilose.  Leaves oblong to elliptic, or ovate to ovate-oblong, 2-4 cm in length, generally obtuse or round at the tip, round or subcordate at the base, densely pilose at the sheaf, densely tomentose and glandular on the underside; margins finely crenate.  Flowers in subglobose to oblong spikes, 4-12 mm in length; corolla white.



bronchitis with expectoration:

  leaf and stem, decoction, orally1

The leaf and the stem ofLippia graveolens are widely used as a spice for human consumption.

For bronchitis with expectoration:

There is no available information establishing a means of preparation and dosage other than that referred to by traditional use.

According to published and other information:

Use for bronchitis with expectoration is classified as REC, based on the significant traditional use documented in the TRAMIL surveys, toxicity studies and available published scientific information.

TRAMIL Research11

The lyophilized aqueous extract (decoction) from the fresh leaf and stem was orally administered at a single dosage of 5 g/kg/day/5 days to 10 Swiss mice (5 males and 5 females). The vehicle control was distilled water (0.5 mL) on another group of 10 mice of similar characteristics. They were observed for 7 days after the extract administration ended.  There was no mortality, and no acute toxicity signs were observed in the parameters evaluated according to the Irwin polydimensional scheme.

There is no available information documenting the safety of medicinal use in children or in women during pregnancy or while breast feeding.

The essential oil of Mexican vegetal material contains thymol, carvacrol, 1,8-cineole, linalool, methyl-thymol and α-terpineol2.

The essential oil contains monoterpenes: borneol, camphene, carvacrol, 1,8-cineole, p-cymene, myrcene, α- and ß-pinene, terpinen-4-ol, α-terpinene, α-terpineol, α-thujene, thymol; sesquiterpenes: ß-caryophyllene, humulene; phenylpropanoids: eugenol3-4.

The aerial parts contain the oxygen heterocyclic: lapachenole; flavanones: naringenin, pinocembrin5.

The leaf tincture and infusion (2 mg/mL) were active as inhibitors of the growth of Escherichia coli, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhi, Shigella flexneri, Streptococcus pneumoniae and S. pyogenes6-7.

The dichloromethane and alcoholic extracts have antifungal activity against Candida albicans, Aspergillus flavus, Epidermophyton floccosum, Microsporum gypseum and Trichophyton rubrum8.

The decoction (30 mg/mL) was active as an antiprotozoal against Giardia intestinalis9, while the dried leaf tincture at 10% in vitro (1 mg/mL) has been reported active against Plasmodium falciparum andLeishmania mexicana, but not against L.brasilensis10.




1 OCAMPO R, 1988 Encuesta TRAMIL (Costa atlántica), Instituto de Desarrollo Agrario, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica.

2 PINO J, ROSADO A, BALUJA R, BORGES P, 1989 Analysis of the essential oil of Mexican oregano. Die Nahrung 33(3):289-295.

3 COMPADRE C, HUSSAIN R, LEON I, ENRIQUEZ R, 1987 Volatile constituents of Montanoa tomentosa and Lippia graveolens. Planta Med 53(5):495-496.

4 SALGUEIRO LR, CAVALEIRO C, GONCALVES MJ, PROENCA DA CUNHA A, 2003 Antimicrobial activity and chemical composition of the essential oil of Lippia graveolens from Guatemala. Planta Med 69(1):80-83.

5 DOMINGUEZ X, SANCHEZ H, SUAREZ M, BALDAS J, GONZALEZ M, 1989 Chemical constituents of Lippia graveolens. Planta Med 55(2):208-209.

6 DABROY LP, 1994. Confirmación de la actividad antibacteriana de algunas especies del género Lippia contra bacterias que causan infección respiratoria. Tesis Facultad de Ciencias Químicas y Farmacia. Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala, Guatemala.

7 MENDOZA JC, 1995. Confirmación de la actividad antimicrobiana de 3 especies del géneroLippia. Tesis Facultad de Ciencias Químicas y Farmacia. Universidad San Carlos de Guatemala, Guatemala.

8 CACERES A, SALVADOR L, 1994. Actividad antibacteriana y antifúngica de plantas de uso medicinal en Guatemala. Memoria del Congreso Científico. 10 años del CYTED. Cancún, México.

9 PONCE-MACOTELA M, NAVARRO-ALEGRIA I, MARTINEZ-GORDILLO M, ALVAREZ-CHACON R, 1994 In vitroantigiardiasic activity of plant extracts. Rev Invest Clin 46(5):343-347.

10 CACERES A, 2000 Plantas Antimicrobianas de Mesoamérica. 1er Congreso Peruano de Plantas Medicinales y Fitoterapía. Lima, Perú. 41-44.

11 GARCIA GM, COTO MT, GONZALEZ CS, PAZOS L, 2002 Toxicidad aguda en ratones, del extracto acuoso de hoja y tallo de Lippia graveolens. Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio de Ensayos Biológicos LEBI, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro, Costa Rica.


The information provided is for educational purposes only for the benefit of the general public and health professionals. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations. Since some parts of plants could be toxic, might induce side effects, or might have interactions with certain drugs, anyone intending to use them or their products must first consult with a physician or another qualified health care professional. TRAMIL has no responsibility whatsoever towards the user for any decision, action or omission made in relation to the information contained in this Pharmacopoeia.