Condurango: Uses, medicine, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

Condurango: Uses, medicine, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

The condurango bush is native to South America, more precisely in the Andes of Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, and cultivated there. Further cultivation takes place in East Africa. The dried bark of the trunk and branches is used as a drug (Condurango cortex).

Condurango: characteristics of the plant

Condurango is a vigorous climbing shrub with hairy stems and decussate, heart-shaped leaves. The leaves are coarse and very hairy.

The flowers of the shrub are small and green-white. They have a bell-shaped crown and are arranged in umbel-shaped inflorescences. The shrub also bears follicles, which contain seeds with a tuft of hair.

The Marsdenia genus includes over 250 species, most native to the tropics.


Condurango bark as a medicine

The drug consists of up to 5 mm thick, tubular pieces of bark covered with a grey layer (periderm) on the outside. There are usually sizeable transverse bark pores on some pieces and occasionally bark.

The inside of the pieces of bark is coloured grey-brown, and the break is fibrous. Even with a magnifying glass, stone cell nests can be seen in the secondary bark.

The smell and taste of Condurango

Due to the vanillin it contains, Condurango has a pleasant, slightly sweet smell. The taste of Condurango is harsh and slightly bitter.


The primary use of condurango bark is in appetite. The drug is a bitter agent which, due to its ingredients, has a beneficial effect on the secretion of saliva and gastric juice. The increased secretion of digestive juices stimulates the appetite and promotes digestion. The remedy is traditionally used to “support the stomach function”.

Application of Condurango in folk medicine

Condurango bark is also used in folk medicine to promote digestion, stimulate appetite and increase the secretion of gastric juices.

Clinical studies have not supported the recommendation of some traditional advisors to use condurango bark as a remedy for gastric cancer.


Condurango in homeopathy

In homoeopathy, condurango bark is primarily used for loss of appetite, inflamed gastric mucosa, various ulcers and cracked corners of the mouth.

Ingredients of Condurango

The drug contains about 1-3% of the so-called condurangin. This is a complex mixture of, among other things, steroid saponins, condurangoglycosides and condurangosides, the main active ingredients of condurango bark. The ingredients of the drug are also referred to as bitter substances with a saponin character. Surprisingly, the solubility of these substances decreases with increasing temperature. Other substances regularly found in the bark are caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, various coumarin derivatives, vanillin and flavonoids.


Condurango – for which indication?

Condurango is used as a medicinal plant in the following cases:

  • loss of appetite
  • indigestion
  • indigestion
  • upset stomach
  • a stomach ache

Condurango – dosage

The drug is crushed and taken as infusions and other bitter preparations. In phytopharmaceuticals, the bark is contained in a few combination preparations, often in the group of gastrointestinal remedies.

Condurango: the proper dosage

Unless otherwise prescribed, the average daily dose is 0.2-0.5 g of the (aqueous) extract, 2-5 g of the tincture, 2-4 g of the fluid extract or 2-4 g of the crushed drug.


Condurango – Prepared as a tea

Add 1.5 g of the crushed drug (finely chopped or coarsely shaved; 1 teaspoon corresponds to about 3 g) to cold water and boil briefly to prepare the tea. Finally, when the mixture has completely cooled, it can be passed through a tea strainer.

Another form of application is to mix the drug with wine for several days, at around 50-100 g of the drug per litre.

To stimulate the appetite, a cup of the infusion or a liqueur glass of the wine should be drunk 30 minutes before each meal.

When not to use Condurango?

Condurango should not be taken if you are allergic to latex or if you are hypersensitive to Condurango. Severe hypersensitivity reactions ( anaphylactic shock ) have sometimes been observed in people with latex allergies when taking the drug.


No use in animals

Condurango bark can be toxic to animals above a certain dose. The lethal dose LD50 for dogs and cats is 40-50 mg/kg body weight; i.e. at this concentration, half of the test animals do not survive.

Properly store Condurango

The drug should be stored dry and protected from light.

Condurango – Synonym

German plant name: Condurango

German synonyms of the plant: Kondurango, Kondurangostrauch, Kondorliane, Geierpflanze

Latin plant name: Marsdenia condurango REICHB. fil.

Latin synonyms of the plant: Marsdenia condurango REICHB. fil., Marsdenia reichenbachii TRIANA

German drug name: Condurangorinde

German synonyms of the drug: in the condurangor

Latin drug name: condurango cortex

Latin synonyms of the drug: condurango cortex

English name: Common condor vine, Condorvine, Condor plant, Condurango, Condurango blanco, Condurango bark, Eagle-vine bark, Mata-person eagle vine

Plant family Latin: Asclepiadaceae

Plant family German: Milkweed


How does Condurango work?

Although clinical studies are lacking and the pharmacological properties of Condurango have not yet been sufficiently investigated, it is known that taking preparations made from condurango bark leads to the promotion of saliva and gastric juice production and thus has an appetite-stimulating and digestive effect.

Animal experiments with mice could also determine activity directed against certain tumours.

Condurango: side effects

When dosed correctly, there are no known side effects or interactions of condurango bark with other agents.


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