Herbs & Plants

Umbilicus rupestris

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Botanical Name :Umbilicus rupestris
Family: Crassulaceae
Genus:     Umbilicus
Species: U. rupestris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Saxifragales

Synonyms: U. pedulinus. Cotyledon umbilicus-veneris.

Common Names :Navelwort, Penny-pies, Wall Pennywort,Kidneywort

Umbilicus rupestri is native to Europe, from Britain and France south and east to N. Africa and the Mediterraean.    It grows on Crevices of rocks and walls, especially in acid and damp conditions.But it avoids alkaline soils.

Umbilicus rupestris is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.3 m (1ft).It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan. The pallid spikes of bell-shaped, greenish-pink flowers appear from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects? Self.The plant is self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil

Both the name “navelwort” and the scientific name Umbilicus come from the round shape of the leaves, which have a navel-like depression in the center.

An easily grown plant, succeeding in any near neutral, gritty, moisture retentive but well-drained soil in sun or light shade. Plants are often found growing on walls, even succeeding on old brick and mortar walls Plants are hardy to about -15°c. A very attractive plant for the rock garden[53], the leaves often stay green all winter.

Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer. Division in spring. Very easy, pant them straight out into their permanent positions. Leaf cuttings

Edible Uses: Leaves – raw or cooked. A very acceptable mild flavour in the winter and early spring, they can be used in quantity in salads at this time. The leaves become rather stronger-tasting in the summer and are not so pleasant then.

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic;  Diuretic;  Poultice.
The leaves are mildly analgesic. The juice and extract of the plant have an old reputation for the treatment of epilepsy. The leaves are also made into a poultice and used in the treatment of piles, slight burns and scalds. A decoction of the leaves is considered to be cooling and diuretic and the juice taken inwardly is said to be excellent for treating inflammations of the liver and spleen.

Umbilicus rupestris is not the same “Pennywort” as the one used in Asian medicine, which is the unrelated Asiatic Pennywort, Centella asiatica.

Navelwort is also assumed to be the “Kidneywort” referred to by Nicholas Culpepper in the English Physician, although it may actually refer to the unrelated Anemone hepatica. Culpepper used astrology, rather than science, to classify herbs, and as such is not a reliable source. He claimed: “the juice or the distilled water being drank, is very effectual for all inflammations and unnatural heats, to cool a fainting hot stomach, a hot liver, or the bowels: the herb, juice, or distilled water thereof, outwardly applied, heals pimples, St. Anthony’s fire, and other outward heats. The said juice or water helps to heal sore kidneys, torn or fretted by the stone, or exulcerated within; it also provokes urine, is available for the dropsy, and helps to break the stone. Being used as a bath, or made into an ointment, it cools the painful piles or hæmorrhoidal veins. It is no less effectual to give ease to the pains of the gout, the sciatica, and helps the kernels or knots in the neck or throat, called the king’s evil: healing kibes and chilblains if they be bathed with the juice, or anointed with ointment made thereof, and some of the skin of the leaf upon them: it is also used in green wounds to stay the blood, and to heal them quickly.”

Umbilicus rupestris is used in homeopathic medicine. Navelwort is referred to as Cotyledon umbilicus by Homeopaths, since that was the original scientific name of navelwort when Homeopathy was developedCLICK & SEE

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


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