Clinopodium vulgare / Borstelkrans

Borstelkrans, Clinopodium vulgare, vinden, die opvalt door de rechtopstaande stengel met daarop de vaak bolvormige sterk behaarde bloeiwijzen. Deze lijken door de beharing nogal op een borstel. Vandaar dus zijn Nederlandse naam Borstelkrans. Clinopodium is Oud-Grieks voor voetenbankje en komt van van klinoo (neerliggend) en podion (voetje), d.w.z. planten met een liggende stengel. Clinopodium verwijst naar de harige schutbladen, die een bankje voor de kleine paarse bloemen vormen.

Zo was het gebruik vroeger. (141, Dodonaeus) ‘Dioscorides schrijft dat dit kruid Clinopodium ingenomen wordt of het afkooksel er van gedronken tegen de beten van alle vergiftige dieren, tegen de breuken, inwendige scheuringen of kwetsingen en die enig lid vertrokken, gekrompen of gespannen hebben en ook zeer nuttig is diegenen die de druppelplas hebben of hun water niet veel kunnen maken.

Hetzelfde kruid is ook goed om de dode vrucht of de nageboorte af te drijven en de maandstonden te verwekken als het ettelijke dagen achter elkaar gedronken wordt.

Een soort van een klysma waarbij een popje in de baarmoeder gedaan wordt van gestampte steentijm dat met wijn gemengd is doodt en verdrijft de vrucht in het lichaam want het heeft een besnijdende kracht vanuit zijn hitte en dat vanwege zijn subtielheid en bitterheid. In het huis gerookt verjaagt het de venijnige beesten van het huis’.

(Dodonaeus) (a) ‘Vele kruidbeschrijvers van deze tijden noemen dit gewas gewoonlijk Marum, dan het is geenszins het Marum van de ouders, maar het echte Clinopodium daar Dioscorides van spreekt want hij schrijft dat Clinopodium een klein heestertje is struikachtig en rond vier en dertig cm hoog dat in steenachtige grond groeit en bladeren voortbrengt die op tijm of Serpyllum lijken en bloemen die apart van elkaar staan zoals die van de Malrove en lijken niet slecht op de voeten van de bedden of bedsteden. Met welke beschrijving dit welriekende kruid daar we nu van handelen zeer goed overeen komt en de bloemen zijn ook op zo’n manier geschikt in werveltjes of ringetjes dat sommige er van rondom de steel groeien zoals die van de malrove en sommige andere die op de top verzameld staan en als een rond voetje of geknopt hoofdje van een sponde of bedstede schijnen uit te puilen. 

Voorts wordt Clinopodium van sommige ook Cleonicum, Ocimoïdes en Zopyron in het Grieks genoemd en in het Latijn Lectipes’.

Wetenschappelijk onderzoek

Drug Dev Ind Pharm. 1999 Mar;25(3):323-8. doi: 10.1081/ddc-100102177. Antibacterial action of extracts of Clinopodium vulgare L. curative plant G Opalchenova 1, D Obreshkova

Clinopodium vulgare L. is one of the curative plants used in Bulgarian folk medicine, mainly during wars for the purposes of healing wounds. The antibacterial activity was studied based on its phytochemical properties. By colony forming unit (CFU)/ml values obtained in different intervals after inoculation of 5% extracts of Clinopodium vulgare L. in ethanol and propylene glycol, it has been proved that the plant showed a very strong action on bacteria. The effects of this action are on gram-positive and gram-negative microorganisms and also on isolated microorganisms at laboratory conditions from significant urocultures with multiple resistance. These results are very important as a basis for searching possibilities for utilizing the antibacterial properties of this plant pharmaceutically.

Biol Pharm Bull. 2002 Apr;25(4):499-504. doi: 10.1248/bpb.25.499. In vitro screening for antitumour activity of Clinopodium vulgare L. (Lamiaceae) extractsBalik Dzhambazov 1, Sashka Daskalova, Adriana Monteva, Nikola Popov.

Aqueous extract of Clinopodium vulgare L. showed strong antitumour activity when tested in vitro on A2058 (human metastatic melanoma), HEp-2 (epidermoid carcinoma, larynx, human) and L5178Y (mouse lymphoma) cell lines-6 h after treatment disintegration of the nuclei and cell lysis started. Applied at a concentration of 80 microg/ml it reduced the cell survival to 1.0, 5.6 and 6.6%, respectively. The concentrations of aqueous extract inhibiting the growth of A2058, HEp-2 and L5178Y cells by 50% (IC50 values) were calculated to be 20, 10 and 17.8 microg/ml respectively. Two groups of active substances were detected: the first one, probably combining glycosides, influenced adhesion, while the second one caused massive cell vacuolisation. The chloroform extract, which contained ursolic acid and gentriacontan had also cytotoxic, however a little bit weaker effect. All changes observed were irreversible.

Clinopodium vulgare as a promising medicinal plant.

Roman Lysiuk, Yulia Lutsenkoassistant professors of the Department of Pharmacognosy and botany at Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University

Approximately 80% of the world’s population relies on traditional healing modalities and herbals for primary healthcare and wellness. Some 25% of all prescription drugs are derived from plant sources and of them most were discovered because of their prior use by traditional healers [10]. Therefore, plants of folk medicine are promising sources for development of new effective medicines. Among such plants may be considered wild basil - Clinopodium vulgare (Lamiaceae), widely applied nowadays in Bulgarian traditional medicine.Clinopodium vulgare (L.) Fritsch (Calamintha clinopodium Spenn., Satureja vulgaris L.) grows throughout Ukraine (except of the Southern steppe areas) on the edges of deciduous and mixed forests, in brushwoods, and may occur as an adulterant of Origanum vulgare, collected in wild.The objectives of the research comprise summarizing of data concerning distribution, main morphological characters, constituents, pharmacological effects, current application and promising uses of Clinopodium vulgare. The species grows well in dry grassy places along banks and hedgerows and open woodland, widely distributed in Europe, Western Asia and North Africa. It is also found in Canada and has been introduced to the United States [8]. The plant occurs in light forests, shrubberies, shady meadows, calcareous grounds; in all Carpathian territories [2]. Clinopodium vulgare L. is an erect up to 45 cm tall perennial herbaceous plant. The oval leaves are supported by a short stem and are toothed at the edges. The flowers with tubular lipped corollas of a pinkish colour are arranged on the stem in several crowded bristly rings [8].

The species from the genus Clinopodium contain a number of triterpenes and triterpenoid saponins [4]. Several saikosaponin homologues, called clinoposaponins have been isolated from C. vulgare. Saikosaponins are well known to have an anti-hepatotoxic activity. The species of the genus were found useful as a saikosaponin source [6].Wild basil also contains the saturated hydrocarbon gentriacontan (C31H64) [4], flavonoids [7]. Feruluc, cis-cinnamic and p-coumaric acids are among the prevalent phenolcarboxylic acids [3].GC–MS analysis of the oil resulted in the identification of 40 compounds, representing 99.4% of the oil; thymol (38.9%), c-terpinene (29.6%) and p-cymene (9.1%) were the main components [9]. The chemical composition of the essential oil of Clinopodium vulgare L. ssp. arundanum (Boiss.) Nyman was analysed by means of GC and GC-MS. Thirty-seven compounds were identified, representing 89.6-90.5% of the samples. The main constituents of the oils were germacrene-D, β-caryophyllene and β-caryophyllene oxide [5].

In Bulgaria Clinopodium vulgare L. is a well known medicinal plant mainly used for healing wounds and treating warts due to virus infection; its aqueous extract, prepared by boiling grounded blades for 5 min, is recommended for antitumour treatment [4].The herb is widely used in Bulgarian traditional medicine for treatment of skin irritation and swelling, and relieving the symptoms associated with mastitis and prostatitis. Based on the ethnopharmacological use, a gel containing 20% ethanolextract of the plant (brand name ClinogelTM) was developed by the pharmaceutical group Sopharma Ltd. for treatment of inflammatory-related skin conditions and prevention of skin aging.

Clinopodium vulgare infusions are also used in traditional medicine to treat infirmities such as gastric ulcers, diabetes, and cancer [3].

Aqueous extract of Clinopodium vulgare L. showed strong antitumour activity when tested in vitro on A2058 (human metastatic melanoma), HEp-2 (epidermoid carcinoma, larynx, human) and L5178Y (mouse lymphoma) cell lines. The saturated hydrocarbon gentriacontan (C31H64), extracted with chloroform, has been proved to have antitumour properties when tested on Ehrilch ascitic and Lewis pulmonary tumour cells, as well as on permanent cell lines of human lymphotic cells MOLT-4 and K- 562 [4].

Cytotoxic activity of methanolic extract from crude Clinopodium vulgare in the brine shrimp lethality test against MCF-7 cell line (LC(50): 60.4 micro g/ml) was determined [1].Two of the main components of the Clinopodium vulgare essential oil fraction,oxygenated monoterpene thymol and monoterpene hydrocarbon γ-terpinene, exhibit significant antioxidant activity [3, 9].The study [3] provides evidence for the traditional use of the plant infusions as an anti-inflammatory drug. Compounds present in the aqueous extract have high potential to reduce the levels of NO and some pro-inflammatory cytokines, inhibit the activity of MMP-9 and xanthine oxidase, and act as free radical scavengers.The investigation [7] proved its broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. The results of the work [8] indicate the potential antibacterial efficacy of Clinopodium vulgare ethanol, ethyl acetate and acetone extract against tested pathogenic bacteria. The significant amount of phenols and flavonoids contribute in total biological activity of this plant. Considering the sufficient resource base in Ukraine and presented data on potent cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, it may be concluded that Clinopodium vulgare deserves a significant attention for development of new promising phytopharmaceuticals, comprising the valuable medicinal plant.


1. Badisa R.B. Cytotoxic activities of some Greek Labiatae herbs / Badisa R.B., Tzakou O., Couladis M., et al. // Phytother Res. – 2003. – No. 17(5). – pp. 472-476. 2. Bojˇnansky V. Atlas of Seeds and Fruits of Central and East-European Flora. The Carpathian Mountains Region. / Bojˇnansky V., Fargašova Ag. – Springer, 2007. – 1046 p.3. Burk D. R. Suppression of lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory responses in RAW 264.7 murine macrophages by aqueous extract of Clinopodium vulgare L. (Lamiaceae) / David R. Burk, Patti Senechal-Willisa, Linda C. Lopeza, et al. // Journal of Ethnopharmacology. – 2009. – No. 126. – pp. 397–405.4. Dzhambazov B. In Vitro Screening for Antitumour Activity of Clinopodium vulgare L. (Lamiaceae) Extracts / Dzhambazov B., Daskalova S., Monteva A., et al. // Biol. Pharm. Bull. – 2002. – No. 25(4). – pp. 499—504.5. Kokdil G. Composition of the essential oil of Clinopodium vulgare L. ssp. arundanum (Boiss.) Nyman collected from two different localities in Turkey / Kokdil Gamze // Flavour and Fragrance Journal. – 1998. – No. 13. – pp. 170-172.6. Miyase T. Saikosaponin homologues from Clinopodium spp. The structures of clinoposaponins XII-XX. / Miyase T., Matsushima Y. // Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bullten. – 1997. – No 45 (9). - pp. 1493-1497.7. Opalchenova G. Antibacterial action of extracts of Clinopodium vulgare L. curative plant / Opalchenova G., Obreshkova D. // Drug development and industrial pharmacy. – 1999. - No. 25 (3). - pp. 323-328.8. Stefanovic O. In vitro antibacterial efficacy of Clinopodium vulgare L. extracts and their synergistic interaction with antibiotics / Stefanovic O., M.S. Stankovic, L. Comic // Journal of Medicinal Plants Research. – 2011. – No. 5(17). - pp. 4074-4079.9. Tepe B. Chemical composition and antioxidant activity of the essential oil of Clinopodium vulgare L. / Tepe B., Sihoglu-Tepe A., Daferera D. et al. // Food Chemistry. - 2007. – No. 103. – pp. 766–770.10. WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2002-2005 (WHO/EDM/TRM/2002.1). - Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 2002.