Lippia alba (Mill.) N.E.Br. ex Britton & P. Wilson

  • Renata Evaristo Rodrigues da Silva
  • Isabel Cristina Santiago
  • Vanessa de Carvalho Nilo Bitu
  • Marta Regina Kerntopf
  • Irwin Rose Alencar de Menezes
  • Roseli Barbosa
Part of the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of the World book series (MAPW, volume 5)


The species Lippia alba (Mill.) N.E.Br. ex Britton & P. Wilson is a subshrub belonging to the family Verbenaceae. It is widely distributed in Latin America. In Brazil, it occurs in almost all regions and is therefore known by various names, where the most common are “erva-cidreira,” “falsa-melissa,” “chá-de-tabuleiro,” “salva-do-Brasil” and “erva-cidreira-brasileira,” among others. It is an aromatic plant that contains a variety of volatile constituents including, citral, limonene, carvone, linalool, caryophyllene, myrcene, terpinene, 1,8-cineole and estragole. This variability of constituents results in a number of different chemotypes. L. alba is highly capable of adaptation to various environments as well as rapid spread and colonization, that enhance its industrial potential. Another advantage is that it grows and blooms year-round. L. alba is considered as one of the medicinal plants that is mostly used in traditional practices, in Brazil. Its pharmacological properties include analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, sedative, digestive, anti-asthmatic, anti-hypertensive, antispasmodic, emmenagogue and diaphoretic, and it is used in the treatment of syphilis and gonorrhea. The leaves and roots are most frequently used in the form of infusions, alcoholic extracts, compresses, baths and syrups. Several preclinical studies have observed a variety of pharmacological activities related to its empirical use, especially antimicrobial, anti-ulcer, anti-nociceptive, muscle relaxant and antioxidant. In Brazil, L. alba is among the 66 regulated species with medicinal purposes. Clinical trials are needed, since this species has an not yet fully explored great potential for the future production of medicines.


Lippia alba Pharmacological activity Verbenaceae 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renata Evaristo Rodrigues da Silva
    • 1
  • Isabel Cristina Santiago
    • 1
  • Vanessa de Carvalho Nilo Bitu
    • 1
  • Marta Regina Kerntopf
    • 1
  • Irwin Rose Alencar de Menezes
    • 1
  • Roseli Barbosa
    • 1
  1. 1.Química BiológicaUniversidade Regional do Cariri-URCACratoBrazil

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