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Lady's Mantle

Scientific Name(s): Alchemilla mollis., Alchemilla vulgaris., Alchemilla xanthochlora.
Common Name(s): Alchemilla, Common lady's mantle, Ladder brake, Lady's mantle, Lion's foot

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Sep 3, 2018.

Clinical Overview

Use

Lady's mantle has been traditionally used both topically and internally as a treatment for wounds, GI complaints, and female ailments (eg, menstrual or menopausal complaints); however, clinical studies are lacking to support these uses. Animal studies do not support the use of lady's mantle in diabetes, and limited studies of use in wound healing have been conducted.

Dosing

Clinical studies are lacking to support specific dosing recommendations for lady's mantle. A gel made from the leaves has been used topically for mouth ulcers. Oral dosages of 5 to 10 g of the herb in 1 L of water daily, or of 2 to 4 mL of the liquid herb extract have been traditionally used for the treatment of diarrhea.

Contraindications

Contraindications have not been identified.

Pregnancy/Lactation

Avoid use. Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.

Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

None known with use at low doses.

Toxicology

No data.

Scientific Family

  • Rosaceae (rose)

Botany

Alchemilla, an aggregate of species collectively referred to as "lady's mantle," is native to cool, temperate regions of Europe and Asia, with some species cultivated in North America, and grows in meadows, woodland clearings, and pastures. It is a perennial herb that grows up to 40 cm in height and consists of a short rhizome carrying ascending or sprawling stems and large (up to 8 cm in width) circular or kidney-shaped grey-green leaves at the base. The main ribs of the leaf protrude to the lower face and have small teeth at their tips. The inflorescence is a compound terminal cyme of dense clusters of small, yellow-green flowers, with sepals occurring in 2 rings of 4 without petals. The fruit is of the achene type (formed from one carpel). The entire plant is covered in fine, soft, short hairs.1, 2, 3 A synonym is Alchemilla vulgaris.

History

In the Middle Ages, alchemists used rain water or dew collected in the leaf center for its purported magical and medicinal powers, a custom derived from the plant's generic name "alchemilla," which is from the Arabic word "alkimiya," meaning "universal cure for disease." The plant has long been associated with the Virgin Mary due to the shape of its leaf lobes, which resemble the edges of a mantle, and was one of several herbal plants used in wreaths during Corpus Christi celebrations. Traditional uses for lady's mantle include as a mild astringent, anti-inflammatory, antidiarrheal, diuretic, menstrual cycle regulator, treatment for digestive disorders, and relaxant for muscular spasms. Externally, lady's mantle has been widely used in bath preparations, wound healing, skin bruises, and as an herbal cosmetic.2, 3, 4, 5

Chemistry

Lady's mantle, similar to most members of the Rosaceae family, contains flavonoids and phenolic acids, which may account for its antioxidant activity.6, 7, 8, 9 The flavonoids quercetin, rutin, and kaempferol have been identified, as well as the phenols gallic acid and caffeic acid, although concentrations among species vary.3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11 The presence of tannins (elagitannins such as pedunculagin and alchemillin) at concentrations of 6% to 8% has also been described.2, 3 Aldehydes, alcohols, terpenes, esters, acids, and hydrocarbons have been identified in the essential oil.12

Uses and Pharmacology

Cardiovascular effects

Animal data

In one study examining the vascular effects of methanol and aqueous extracts of A. vulgaris in rats, the methanol extract was high in quercetin and had a relaxant effect on aortic tissue, while the aqueous extract was higher in gallic acid content and resulted in enhanced contractility.11, 13 Oral administration of the methanol extract had a hypotensive effect.13

Clinical data

No clinical data exist regarding the use of lady's mantle for hypertension or other cardiovascular diseases.

Diabetes

Animal data

Despite the plant's purported use in diabetes, lady's mantle showed no effect on hyperphagia, polydipsia, body weight loss, hyperglycemia, or hyperinsulinemia in a study involving mice with streptozotocin-induced diabetes.14

Clinical data

No clinical data exist regarding the use of lady's mantle in diabetes.

Wound healing

Animal data

Inhibition of the activity of the proteolytic enzymes elastase, trypsin, and alpha-chymotrypsin has been attributed to the tannin content of lady's mantle extracts.3, 15, 16 Promitotic activity in epithelial cells and myofibroblasts was demonstrated in rats administered A. vulgaris extract.17 In a study of rats with induced endometrial adhesions, A. mollis aerial plant parts administered daily by gavage resulted in modulation of inflammatory cytokines (including tumor necrosis factor, endothelial growth factor, and interleukin 6).18

Clinical data

In an open-label study in patients with recurrent aphthous ulcers, topical applications of A. vulgaris gel resulted in faster self-reported healing of ulcers.19, 20

Other uses

In vitro, lady's mantle leaf extract demonstrated some activity against human bacterial and fungal pathogens, including Helicobacter pylori.9, 21 An inhibitory effect against influenza viruses was also observed in vitro.22 In a rat model of endometriosis, A. mollis extract significantly reduced adhesion scores and reduced mean endometrioma volume (from 101.35 to 11.87 mm3).18

A. vulgaris administered as part of a mixture of 4 plants was studied for its potential weight loss properties in humans. Significant and progressive weight reductions were observed over 3 months, with higher levels of weight loss observed in subjects with body mass index (BMI) 25 to 30 kg/m2 compared to those with BMI greater than 30 kg/m2.23

Dosing

Clinical studies are lacking to provide dosing guidelines. Lady's mantle has been used topically as a 3% gel for oral, nonherpetiform ulcers.19, 20

Oral dosages of 5 to 10 g of the herb in 1 L of water daily,3 or of 2 to 4 mL of the liquid herb extract have been traditionally used for the treatment of diarrhea.24

Pregnancy / Lactation

Avoid use. Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.24

Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions

Information regarding adverse reactions with the use of lady's mantle is limited.3, 24

Toxicology

Information regarding toxicity of lady's mantle is limited. No morphological changes or cytotoxicity were observed in an in vitro study.17 The tannin content of lady's mantle extracts may be toxic at higher than usual doses.24 In another study, the quercetin content of lady's mantle was too low to be mutagenic.25

Index Terms

  • Alchemilla

References

1. Alchemilla mollis (Buser) Rothm. USDA, NRCS. 2016. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 2016). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA. Accessed July 28, 2016.
2. Bisset N, ed. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals: A Handbook for Practice on a Scientific Basis. Stuttgart, Germany: CRC Press; 1994.
3. Ghedira K, Goetz P, Le Jeune R. Alchemilla vulgaris L.: Alchémille (Rosaceae). Phytotherapie. 2012;10(4):263-266.
4. Luczaj LJ. A relic of medieval folklore: Corpus Christi Octave herbal wreaths in Poland and their relationship with the local pharmacopoeia. J Ethnopharmacol. 2012;142(1):228-240.22575705
5. Smolyakova IM, Andreeva VY, Kalinkina GI, Avdeenko SN, Shchetinin PP. Development of extraction techniques and standardization methods for a common lady's mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris) extract. Pharm Chem J. 2012;45(11):675-678.
6. Olafsdottir ES, Omarsdottir S, Jaroszewski JW. Constituents of three Icelandic Alchemilla species. Biochem Syst Ecol. 2001;29(9):959-962.11445296
7. Condrat D, Crisan F, Szabo MR, Lupea AX. Flavonoids in angiosprmatophyta and spermatophyta species and their antioxidant activity. Rev Chim. 2009;60(11):1129-1134.
8. Condrat D, Mosoarca C, Zamfir AD, Crisan F, Szabo MR, Lupea AX. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of gallic acid in Alchemilla vulgaris, Allium ursinum, Acorus calamus and Solidago virga-aurea by chip-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and high performance liquid chromatography. Cent Eur J Chem. 2010;8(3):530-535.
9. Denev P, Kratchanova M, Ciz M, et al. Antioxidant, antimicrobial and neutrophil-modulating activities of herb extracts. Acta Biochim Pol. 2014;61(2):359-367.24945135
10. Fraisse D, Heitz A, Carnat A, Carnat AP, Lamaison JL. Quercetin 3-arabinopyranoside, a major flavonoid compound from Alchemilla xanthochlora. Fitoterapia. 2000;71(4):463-464.10925029
11. Takir S, Sezgi B, Süzgeç-Selçuk S, et al. Endothelium-dependent vasorelaxant effect of Alchemilla vulgaris methanol extract: a comparison with the aqueous extract in rat aorta. Nat Prod Res. 2014;28(23):2182-2185.24938755
12. Falchero L, Coppa M, Fossi A, Lombardi G, Ramella D, Tava A. Essential oil composition of lady's mantle (Alchemilla xanthochlora Rothm.) growing wild in Alpine pastures. Nat Prod Res. 2009;23(15):1367-1372.19809907
13. Takir S, Altun IH, Sezgi B, Süzgeç-Selçuk S, Mat A, Uydeş-Doğan BS. Vasorelaxant and blood pressure lowering effects of Alchemilla vulgaris: A comparative study of methanol and aqueous extracts. Pharmacogn Mag. 2015;11(41):163-169.25709228
14. Swanston-Flatt SK, Day C, Bailey CJ, Flatt PR. Traditional plant treatments for diabetes. Studies in normal and streptozotocin diabetic mice. Diabetologia. 1990;33(8):462-464.2210118
15. Jonadet M, Meunier MT, Villie F, Bastide JP, Lamaison JL. Flavonoids extracted from Ribes nigrum L. and Alchemilla vulgaris L.: 1. In vitro inhibitory activities on elastase, trypsin and chymotrypsin. 2. Angioprotective activities compared in vivo [in French]. J Pharmacol. 1986;17(1):21-27.3635653
16. Lamaison JL, Carnat A, Petitjean-Freytet C. Tannin content and inhibiting activity of elastase in Rosaceae [in French]. Ann Pharm Fr. 1990;48(6):335-340.2131766
17. Shrivastava R, Cucuat N, John GW. Effects of Alchemilla vulgaris and glycerine on epithelial and myofibroblast cell growth and cutaneous lesion healing in rats. Phytother Res. 2007;21(4):369-373.17236169
18. Küpeli Akkol E, Demirel MA, Bahadir Acikara O, et al. Phytochemical analyses and effects of Alchemilla mollis (Buser) Rothm. and Alchemilla persica Rothm. in rat endometriosis model. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2015;292(3):619-628.25700659
19. Shrivastava R, John GW. Treatment of aphthous stomatitis with topical Alchemilla vulgaris in glycerine. Clin Drug Investig. 2006;26(10):567-573.17163290
20. Abascal K, Yarnell E. Treatments for recurrent aphthous stomatitis. Altern Complement Ther. 2010;16(2):100-106.
21. Krivokuća M, Niketić M, Milenković M, et al. Anti-Helicobacter pylori activity of four Alchemilla species (Rosaceae). Nat Prod Commun. 2015;10(8):1369-1371.26434119
22. Makau JN, Watanabe K, Kobayashi N. Anti-influenza activity of Alchemilla mollis extract: possible virucidal activity against influenza virus particles. Drug Discov Ther. 2013;7(5):189-195.24270383
23. Said O, Saad B, Fulder S, Khalil K, Kassis E. Weight loss in animals and humans treated with "Weighlevel", a combination of four medicinal plants used in traditional Arabic and Islamic medicine. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:874538.18952688
24. Duke J, Bogenschutz-Godwin M, duCellier J, Duke P. Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. 2nd ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2002.
25. Schimmer O, Häfele F, Krüger A. The mutagenic potencies of plant extracts containing quercetin in Salmonella typhimurium TA98 and TA100. Mutat Res. 1988;206(2):201-208.3050500

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