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Home » Plant infomation

Saponaria officinalis  L.


Botanical Name


Saponaria officinalis L.

English Name


Soapwort, Bouncing bet, Sweet william, Sweet betty, Goodbye summer



Saponaria officinalis var. glaberrima Ser., Lychnis saponaria Jessen





General Info


A perennialplant growing to about 70cm - 1m tall. Stems leafy, unbranched and often tinged with red. Leaves broad, lanceolate, sessile, opposite and between 4 and 12 cm long. Flowers sweetly scented, radially symmetrical and pink, or sometimes white; each of the five flat petals have two small scales in the throat of the corolla which are about 2.5 cm wide. They are arranged in dense, terminal clusters on the main stem and its branches. The long tubular calyx has five pointed red teeth.

Herb Effects

Alterative, antiscrophulatic, cholagogue, depurative, diaphoretic, mildly diuretic, expectorant, galactogogue, purgative, sternutatory and tonic (Whole plant and root);


Soapwort - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Plants For A Future



Medicinal Use

A decoction of the whole plant can be applied externally to treat itchy skin. The whole plant, especially the root is useful in treating acne, angina, arthrosis, asthma, boils, bronchosis, cervix cancer, splenic cancer, catarrh, cholecystosis, cold, chest congestion, constipation, cough, depression, dermatosis, diarrhea, dropsy, dysmenorrhea, eczema, exanthema, hepatosis, high cholesterol, jaundice, sore throat, oxyuriasis, poison ivy, pertussis, pharyngitis, psoriasis, rashes, rheumatism, scabies, scrofula, syphilis and tonsilitis.


Care should be taken when used as saponins may be toxic. An overdose can cause nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting.


James A Duke and Maryl Fulton. Handbook of Medicinal Herbs - 2nd Edition, P: 681, CRC Press July 2002.



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