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 Herbal Materia Medica: Condurango 
Marsdenia condurango


Names: Eagle vine.

Habitat: Ecuador and Peru.

Parts Used: Dried bark.


  • Glycosides based on condurangogenins, which are esterified polyoxypregnanes, known as condurangoglycosides.
  • Miscellaneous: Essential oil, phytosterols, sugars, starch and fat.
Actions: Bitter, emmenagogue.

Indications: This bitter may be used in a whole range of digestive and stomach problems. It is best known for its appetite-stimulating actions, common to all bitters. However, in addition it will relax the nerves of the stomach, making it of use in the settling of indigestion where this is affected by nervous tension and anxiety.

Ellingwood describes it in these terms: "The influence of the agent is exercised directly upon the stomach as a tonic and corrective of perverted action. It is of service in gastric ulcer and in the early stages of cancer of the stomach, for which it was originally lauded as a cure. It is depended upon by some enthusiastic users to retard progress of some cases of this disease andto relieve distress and urgent symptoms when fully developed. It cannot becurative. It will be found of service, probably, in catarrhal gastritis with extreme atonicity and threatened ulceration. In these cases its virtues as atonic and restorative will find exercise to the full extent of their influence. It deserves thorough investigation and faithful trial. It may be given in the form of a warm decoction with excellent advantage. A wine of Condurango is prepared which has good influence upon the stomach. Half an ounce may be taken with the meals.

"A homeopathic writer gave Condurango internally to a man 74 years of age who had small crusts forming on his lower lip for a long time suggesting the beginning of cancer. He gave a homeopathic trituration and satisfactorily cured the case. This remedy being recommended externally should be tried internally for other cancerous conditions. In the above case a chronic catarrh of the stomach where there was vomiting of a green slime after dinner with hyperacidity and emaciation was inadvertently cured with the treatment asstated."

Combinations: It will combine well with many bitters, carminatives and nervines depending upon the specific condition and individual.

Preparations and dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the powdered bark and leave to infuse 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.

Tincture: take 1-2 ml of the tincture three times a day.

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 About The Author
David Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMHWhilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary wholeness and responsibility for it......more
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