• Clinical data 90%
  • Efficacy 80%
  • Security 80%
  • Toxicity 20%


Larrea tridentata (DC.) Cav.

General appearance

Shrub 60cm to 3m high, branched. The leaves are divided into leaflets, which when touched feel like leather, and are covered with hair and resin. The flowers are yellow and are solitary. The fruits are capsules with long hairs.

Native to Central America. Present in very dry, temperate and dry climates between 10 and 2000msnm. Associated with tropical deciduous forest, xerophilous scrub, oak and pine forests.

Major chemical constituents

Larrea tridentata contains an essential oil in which the monoterpenes borneol, its acetate, camphor, camphene, para-cymene, alpha-fenchone, limonene, linalool, beta-ocimene and alpha-pinene have been identified; the sesquiterpenes alpha agaro-furan, alpha-bergamoteno, alpha-calaneneno, copaeno, alfa-curcumeno, beta and gamma-eudesmol, farnesol, 2-rosaleno, beta-santaleno; the phenyl components acetophenone and benzaldehyde and the flavonoid edulane.

In the leaves have been identified flavonoids 6-8-diglucoside of crisoeriol, 3-3′-7-8-ether-tetra-methyl-gossipetín, 3-7-dimethyl-herbacetín, 3-7-8-ether-trimetílico of herbacetín and vecenín 2; and the dihydro-norgualeretic acid lignans, 3′-demethoxy-6-demethyl-isoguaiazin, 4-epilearreatricin and its 3′-hydroxylated derivative. From the stem, isoguaiazin lignans, its 3′-demethoxy-6-demethylated and 6-demethylated derivatives, larreatricin, its 3 ‘, 3 “-dimethoxylated, 3-4-dehydrogenated derivatives and the 4-epi-compound and larreatridenticin have been isolated. ; the triterpenes 3-beta (3-dihydroxy-cinnamoyl) -eritrodiol; and the beta-sitosterol sterol. The root contains the quinoid compound larreantin.

A resin containing the highest amount of norhydroguararetic acid that is used as an antioxidant has been found in the leaves. Flavonoids, essential oils, halogenous alkaloids have also been identified.

Medicinal uses of Larrea tridentata

There are several conditions in which the medicinal properties of the governor are applied, being its most common use in those that are of urinary kidney origin, among them: kidney or bladder stones, to undo them it is recommended to use water as cooking water of branches or of the whole plant; kidney discomfort (kidney pain, rust disease, stone sickness), cystitis (inflammation of the bladder and plaque), to alleviate it can occupy branches (young), roots, leaves or bark, in cooking administered on an empty stomach (Baja California Sur, Durango, Hidalgo, Guanajuato and Michoacán).

It is often used in gynecological problems, such as female sterility, by vaginal washes with the cooking of the leaves or tea is taken 9 days before and 9 after the rule, for 3 months in a row. To remove the wrongs, drink a cup of tea, prepared with the leaves of governor, each time the pain is presented or, it is administered for 10 days, after the rule, in order to regularize the bleeding or remove the period pains. As a concept, when women do not conceive because they are “decomposed from the womb by cooling”, a tea prepared with governor, chamomile and cinnamon is administered, in addition, to give a massage to warm the woman. Although the roots, branches or bark are often used in cooking as an abortifacient.

It is used to relieve the pain of rheumatism; the cooking of the plant or the branches placed in alcohol, they are left to rest for a day, both preparations are used in rubbing, or only the soasada plant is applied in the painful area.

It is also reported to treat anemia, catarrh, diabetes, headache, cough, ulcer, urethritis, blood pressure and infections in the feet, it is suggested to drink the decoction of the roots, branches or bark, instead of water, until recovering ; with this same decoction, the painful area is rubbed or it is used in bathrooms when there are hemorrhoids.

When there is bad digestion or stomach pain the infusion of the branches is ingested, or, these are applied hot on the belly; to relieve swelling or inflammation of the body, warm fomentations are made with the infusion of the leaves, which also serves to wash wounds and grains; in case of dizziness, the leaves are crushed and given to smell; if you have fever, the whole plant is boiled and with this the whole body is bathed and to achieve a good healing, the plant is allowed to boil until it acquires the consistency of honey, to apply it on blows and wounds.

It is mentioned useful in muscular pains and against malaria.


It has been demonstrated that the aqueous and petroleum ether extracts of this plant have anthelmintic activity in chickens infested with Eimeria tenella and antibiotic activity against pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Aqueous and methanolic extracts of the root exerted a cytotoxic action when tested in culture of human cells obtained from carcinoma -9KB and leukemic cells type P-388.

Studies carried out to detect the antitumor action of the aqueous extract of the root in mice that induced leukemia 1210 and sarcoma 180 indicated absence of activity.

The ethanolic extract obtained from the branches exerted an antibiotic activity on Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis and Streptococcus faecalis and absence of this activity on Escherichia coli and Candida albicans.


It is reported that this plant causes sheep poisoning when eaten for years; more mortality has been observed among pregnant animals when the governor is available as food. It is also indicated that it causes allergic contact dermatitis.

More information: http://www.medicinatradicionalmexicana.unam.mx/monografia.php?l=3&t=Larrea%20tridentata&id=7544

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