Drosera species are carnivorous plants that use their hairs to trap, immobilize, and digest insects. Preying on insects is their primary means of obtaining nutrients. Drosera species have reportedly been used medicinally at least since the 12th Century in Europe, when an Italian doctor named Matthaeus Platearius described the plants as a cough remedy. Generally, Drosera is used for lower respiratory tract conditions, such as bronchitis, asthma, and coughs.
These early uses have some current data to support the clinical effectiveness of Drosera for the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including shortness of breath, wheezing, cough, sleep disturbances, and disability from chronic illness. Testing individual components of Drosera species has revealed anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and antibacterial effects. Although there is not a large amount of modern research that documents Drosera's clinical effects, it is a fairly commonly used medicine, alone or as part of a combination in approximately 200-300 registered medications.

Related Terms

Brazilian Drosera, carboxylic acids, Dionaea muscipula, Drosera, Drosera adelae, Drosera auriculata Backh. ex Planch., Drosera binata, Drosera brevifolia, Drosera burmannii Vahl, Drosera capensis, Drosera chitinase, Drosera communis, Drosera gigantea, Drosera herba, Drosera intermedia, Drosera longifolia, Drosera madagascariensis, Drosera montana, Drosera peltata spp., Drosera ramentacea spp., Drosera rotundifolia spp., Drosera villosa spp., Droseraceae, droserone, flavonoids, flavonols, Madagascan Drosera, myricetin 3-0-galactoside, naphthoquinones, plumbagin, rossoliside, sundew, tentacles, youthwort.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (Grade: C)