Grindelia/Gum plant


A perennial or biennial small herb/shrub growing up to 1m (3ft) in height. The alternate, serrated leaves are light-green in colour. One flower per head with bright yellow petals. The bracts surrounding the flower head seep a glutinous resin. The fruit is small and its distribution is similar to the dandelion seeds, blown with the wind.

Family: Asteraceae

Which probiotic is it in?: Grindelia is a key herb in Breathe

Habit and cultivation: Native to both North and South America, found on road sides and in meadows. Drought tolerant, it grows in high alkaline soils and flowers from May all the way through to November.

Actions (known for): Anti-spasmodic, expectorant and hypotensive.


Used by the Native Americans for respiratory support and as a disinfectant for skin disorders. Also used as an antidote against poison ivy. This may have been the first known chewing gum (Native Americans chew the sticky flower heads when the plant is in bud).

Parts used:

Dried aerial parts.

Constituents (bio available chemicals):

Diterpenes of the grindelane type, including: grindelicacid and its 17-hydroxy derivative, 13-isogrindelic acid, 17-grindeloxygrindelic acid and many others. Flavonoids including: acacetin, kumatakenin, quercetin and its 3-dimethyl ether derivative and resins.

Nutritional constituents:


Asthma, whooping cough, bronchitis, tachycardia with anxious response. Externally used for dermatitis caused by poison ivy.


Infusion: 1 cup of boiling water poured onto 1 tsp of dried herb and infused for 10 – 15mins and drunk 3 x daily. Tincture: 1-2ml 3 x daily.

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia

Bronchial asthma associated with tachycardia.

Cautions for therapeutic doses

May irritate kidneys and stomach if dose is too high. Not to be used during pregnancy and lactation.

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