Scrophularia nodosa

Botanical Name : Scrophularia nodosa
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Genus: Scrophularia
Species: S. nodosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names: Figwort, Woodland figwort, and Common figwort, Knotted Figwort.

Habitat : Scrophularia nodosa is native to Europe, incl Britain, south and east from Norway to Spain and temperate Asia to the Yensei region. It grows on damp ground in woods, hedgebanks, by streams etc. An occasional garden weed.

Description:
Scrophularia nodosa is a perennial herbaceous plant. It grows upright, with thick, sharply square, succulent stems up to 150 cm tall from a horizontal rootstock. Its leaves are opposite, ovate at the base and lanceolate at the tip, all having toothed margins. It is in flower from Jun to September, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are in loose cymes in oblong or pyramidal panicles. The individual flowers are globular, with five green sepals encircling green or purple petals, giving way to an egg-shaped seed capsule.

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Cultivation :
Succeeds in most moist to wet soils in full sun or partial shade. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed then it can be sown outdoors in situ in the autumn or the spring. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Edible Uses: Root – cooked. It smells and tastes unpleasant, but has been used in times of famine. There must be some doubts about the edibility of this root.

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Medicinal Uses:
Scrophularia nodosa is a plant that supports detoxification of the body and it may be used as a treatment for various kinds of skin disorders. The whole plant is alterative, anodyne, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, mildly purgative and stimulant. It is harvested as the plant comes into flower in the summer and can be dried for later use. A decoction is applied externally to sprains, swellings, burns, inflammations etc, and is said to be useful in treating chronic skin diseases, scrofulous sores and gangrene. The leaves can also be applied fresh or be made into an ointment. Internally, the plant is used in the treatment of chronic skin diseases (such as eczema, psoriasis and pruritis), mastitis, swollen lymph nodes and poor circulation. It should not be prescribed for patients with heart conditions. The root is anthelmintic

Powerful medicines whenever enlarged glands are present including nodosities in the breasts. Figwort is used to cleanse and purify the body. Figwort is used to treat skin diseases such as eczema, acne and psoriasis. It has been called the Scrofula Plant, on account of its value in all cutaneous eruptions, abscesses, wounds, etc., the name of the genus being derived from that of the disease for which it was formerly considered a specific (tuberculosis of the lymph glands in the neck). It has diuretic and anodyne properties. A decoction is made of it for external use and the fresh leaves are also made into an ointment. Of the different kinds of Figwort used, this species is most employed, principally as a fomentation for sprains, swellings, inflammations, wounds and diseased parts, especially in scrofulous sores and gangrene. The leaves simply bruised are employed as an application to burns and swellings. Figwort is used for lingering and congenital illnesses of the lymphatic system and the skin. It has a stimulating and strengthening effect on the bladder and kidneys. The glycosides it contains make it suitable for treating mild heart conditions that call for stimulating the metabolism and eliminating water retention in the body. For this purpose, use figwort as a tea or tincture.

The herb and root have been used to treat cancer of the fleshy parts. The powdered root in water has been used as a tea to treat condyloma. The juice of the root and leaf are applied externally to tumors and cancers. The ointment treats painful tumors, and the fresh poultice may be used for inflamed tumors and glandular indurations. When figwort is used externally, the tea is also given internally as further therapeutic support. In traditional Chinese medicine, Figwort (S. ningpoensis) is a standard remedy. Because of its ability to stimulate the pancreas, it is used in the treatment of diabetes Known as huyen sam or xuan shen, it is also a remedy for fever and sadness, swellings and pain of the throat, furuncles, and to aid digestion.

A decoction of the herb has been successfully used as a cure for the scab in swine. Cattle, as a rule, will refuse to eat the leaves, as they are bitter, acrid and nauseating, producing purging and vomiting if chewed.

Folklore:
The plant was thought, by the doctrine of signatures to be able to cure the throat disease scrofula because of the throat-like shape of its flowers.

Known Hazards: Avoid in patients with ventricular tachycardia (increased heart rate). Lack of toxicological data excludes use during pregnancy .

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrophularia_nodosa
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Scrophularia+nodosa

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