Liverwort herb (Hepatici nobilis herba)

Published July 14, 1993.
List of German Commission E Monographs (Phytotherapy)


Name of Drug

Hepatici nobilis herba, liverwort herb.

Composition of Drug

Liverwort consists of the fresh or dried above-ground parts of Hepatica nobilis Gars. [Fam. Ranunculaceae], as well as preparations thereof.

Pharmacological Properties, Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology

None known.

Clinical Data 1. Uses Preparations of liverwort herb are used for liver ailments, liver diseases of all origins, jaundice, gallstones and gravel, enlargement and congestion of the liver, icterus, portal vein problems, as an auxiliary agent for hepatitis and liver cirrhosis, for gastric and digestive discomforts, for stimulation of appetite, as a general tonic, for sensation of fullness, for the regulation of bowel function, stimulation of pancreatic function, regulation of the blood lipid level, for varicose veins, hemorrhoids, stimulation of circulation, cardiocirculatory stimulation, increase in the blood supply in the myocardium, as a sedative, for strengthening of the nerves, for blood purification and stimulation of the metabolism, and for the relief of menopausal symptoms.

The claimed efficacy has not been documented.

2. Risks

The plant contains protoanemonin. It is known that severe irritations with itching and pustule formation (ranunculus dermatitis) occur on skin and mucous membranes when preparations of fresh protoanemonin-containing plants or protoanemonin are applied. Upon internal use, higher dosages may lead to irritations of the kidneys and urinary tract.

Application is contraindicated during pregnancy.

Protoanemonin is destroyed upon drying.


Since the effectiveness for the claimed uses has not been documented, and considering the risks, a therapeutic application of protoanemonin-containing preparations cannot be justified.