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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 Jun;19(6):507-11.

Herb-induced hepatitis by Teucrium polium L.: report of two cases and review of the literature.

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  • 14th Department of Internal Medicine, Hippocration General Hospital of Thessaloniki, Medical School of Aristotle University, Greece.


Herbal medicinal products are being increasingly used throughout the world. Herbal 'remedies' are, however, not risk free and many cases of hepatotoxicity have been reported. Teucrium polium grows mostly in the Mediterranean basin and is popular, because of hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic properties. We report two cases of T. polium-induced hepatitis in Greek female patients, who used the plant's extract to control the cholesterol levels. Both patients presented with very high aminotransferases after consuming herbal tea for 2 or 3 months. One patient also developed jaundice. Histologic examination of liver biopsies showed hepatitis with moderate or severe necroinflammatory activity. Discontinuation of the herbal remedy resulted in normalization of the liver enzymes in both patients. Our findings, and those of other authors, suggest that T. polium may not be safer than T. chamaedrys and T. capitatum, which have also been reported to occasionally cause hepatotoxicity.

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