Herbs & Plants

Pimpinella saxifraga

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Botanical Name :Pimpinella saxifraga
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Pimpinella
Species: P. saxifraga
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

SynonymsSalad Burnet. Burnet Saxifrage. Pimpinella sanguisorba

Habitat :Pimpinella saxifraga is native to the British Isles and temperate Europe and Western Asia. It is neither a Burnet, which its leaves resemble, nor a Saxifrage although it has a similar herbal effect as a diuretic.

Its leaflets are more numerous, five to ten pairs, and shorter than thoseof the Great Burnet. The flowers in each head bear crimson tufted stigmas, the lower ones thirty to forty stamens, with very long, drooping filaments. Both the flower and leafstalks are a deep-crimson colour.

Turner (Newe Herball, 1551), in his description of the plant, tells us that ‘it has two little leives like unto the wings of birdes, standing out as the bird setteth her wings out when she intendeth to flye. Ye Dutchmen call it Hergottes berdlen, that is God’s little berde, because of the colour that it hath in the topp.’ The great Burnet and the Salad Burnet both flower in June and July.

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The Salad Burnet forms much of the turf on some of the chalk downs in the southern counties. It is extremely nutritious to sheep and cattle, and was formerly extensively cultivated as a fodder plant on calcareous soils but is now little grown in that way. Cattle do not seem to like it as well as clover when full grown, but when kept closely cropped sheep are fond of it. It has the advantage of keeping green all the winter in dry barren pastures, affording food for sheep when other green crops are scarce. The results of cultivation have, however, not been very satisfactory, except on poor soil, although it contains a larger amount of nutritive matter than many grasses.

In the herb gardens of older days, Salad Burnet always had its place. Bacon recommends it to be set in alleys together with wild thyme and water mint, ‘to perfume the air most delightfully, being trodden on and crushed.’

 Cultivation: It is easily propagated by seeds, sown in autumn, soon after they are ripe. If the seeds be permitted to scatter, the plants will come up plentifully, and can be transplanted into an ordinary or rather poor soil, at about a foot distant each way. If kept clear from weeds, they will continue some years without further care, especially if the soil be dry. Propagation may also be effected by division of roots in spring or autumn.

Edible Uses:
When used for salad, the flower-stalks should be cut down if not required for seed. The leaves, for salad use, should be cut young, or may be tough.

Medicinal Action and Uses:  The older herbalists held this plant in greater repute than it enjoys at the present day. Pliny recommended a decoction of the plant beaten up with honey for divers complaints.

Dodoens recommended it as a healer of wounds, ‘made into powder and dronke with wine, wherin iron hath bene often quenched, and so doth the herbe alone, being but only holden in a man’s hande as some have written. The leaves stiped in wine and dronken, doth comfort and rejoice the hart and are good against the trembling and shaking of the same.’ Parkinson grew Burnet in his garden and the early settlers in America introduced it from the Mother Country. ‘It gives a grace in the drynkynge,’ says Gerard, referring to this use of it in cool tankards. We are also told that it affords protection against infection,
‘a speciall helpe to defend the heart from noysome vapours and from the infection of the Plague or Pestilence, and all other contagious diseases for which purpose it is of great effect, the juice thereof being taken in some drink.’and that ‘it is a capital wound herb for all sorts of wounds, both of the head and body, either inward or outward, used either in juice or decoction of the herb, or by the powder of the herb or root, or the water of the distilled herb, or made into an ointment by itself or with other things to be kept.’ It is still regarded as a styptic, an infusion of the whole herb being employed as an astringent. It is also a cordial and promotes perspiration.

Turner advised the use of the herb, infused in wine or beer, for the cure of gout and rheumatism.

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Disclaimer:     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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Herbs & Plants

Salad Burnet(Sanguisorba minor)

Botanical Name :Sanguisorba minor
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Sanguisorba
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Order: Rosales
Species: S. minor

Syn. Poterium Sanguisorba
Common Names : Salad Burnet , Lesser Burnet, Garden burnet, Small burnet, burnet
Parts Used: Leaves

Habitat :Small burnet is native to Europe, western Asia and Siberia, and northern Africa . It is nonnative in North America, South America, Australia, and New Zealand. Most North American small burnet populations originated in Europe . A few small burnet accessions came from the Middle East . Small burnet was deliberately introduced as a pasture and rehabilitation forb. It is very rarely invasive , typically occurring in small populations in only a few counties of the states in which it grows. In western North America, small burnet occurs sporadically from British Columbia east to Montana and south to California, New Mexico, and Nebraska . It is also sporadically distributed to the east  from Ontario east to Nova Scotia and south to Tennessee and North Carolina .


Small burnet is a perennial  herb. Stems are erect, ranging from 0.8 inch (2 cm) in height on droughty sites to 28 inches (70 cm) on moist sites . There are 12 to 17 pinnately compound basal leaves that are 2 to 8 inches (4-20 cm) long, egg-shaped, and sharply toothed. Cauline leaves become few and much reduced up the stem. The inflorescence is a terminal spike with dense, mostly imperfect, sessile flowers. Lower flowers are often staminate, with upper flowers pistillate or perfect. Flowers have 4 broad, petal-like sepals; true petals are lacking. The fruits are achenes, paired in a persistent, usually winged, 3- to 5-mm-long hypanthium. Hypanthia are sometimes wingless . The seeds are small, with about 50,000 seeds/lb. The stem base ends in a usually branched caudex, with a long, stout taproot beneath . Roots of plants in southern England were estimated at more than 16 inches (40 cm) in length, while small burnet roots in New Zealand were traced to 3-foot (1 m) depths . Small burnet sometimes has short rhizomes .

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Small burnet is drought tolerant. Drought resistance is partially attributable to its long, stout taproots, which have high water-storing capacity. Small burnet can also adjust its water-use efficiency as environmental conditions change

Culinary Uses:
It is used as an ingredient in both salads and dressings, having a flavor described as “light cucumber” and is considered interchangeable with mint leaves in some recipes, depending on the intended effect. Typically, the youngest leaves are used, as they tend to become bitter as they age.

Salad burnet is an interesting pot herb to add to salads, the young and tender leaves have a cucumber like taste. Combine burnet with basil and oregano in a herbal vinaigrette for salad dressing.

Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)

*0 Calories per 100g
*Water : 0%
*Protein: 11.1g; Fat: 2g; Carbohydrate: 80.4g; Fibre: 18g; Ash: 6.5g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg

Medicinal Uses:
Common Uses: Abrasions/Cuts *
Properties:  Astringent* Cardic tonic Cordial* Styptic* Diaphoretic*

Both the root and the leaves are astringent, diaphoretic and styptic, though the root is most active. The plant is an effective wound herb, quickly staunching any bleeding. An infusion is used in the treatment of gout and rheumatism. The leaves can be used fresh, or are harvested in July and dried (the plant should be prevented from flowering). The root is harvested in the autumn and dried. An infusion of the leaves is used as a soothing treatment for sunburn or skin troubles such as eczema.

Salad burnet has the same medicinal qualities as medicinal burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis). It was used as a tea to relieve diarrhea in the past.

Salad burnet , while not considered on of the major additions to the herbal pharmacopoeia, is still a decorative and endearing herb.The plant name, Sanguisorba, derived from the Latin, gives clue to its ability to staunch blood from wounds, and is closely related to the alchemilla genus which are used in the same manner. The plant is healing, tonic, styptic and cooling, having much the same medicinal qualities as the less tasty medicinal burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis). Like borage, burnet wasbest known for its ability to “lighten the heart” and was most often served in wine.

Other Uses: Plants have extensive root systems and are used for erosion control, they are also used to reclaim landfills and mined-out terrain

Disclaimer: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.