Herb Library
Back to Herb Menu        Back to Main Index
DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

(Poterium sanguisorba)

PROPAGATION: By seed. Readily self-sows. Has a long tap root so division is not recommended. Can be grown indoors. Perennial. Good foliage plant for flower borders.
NEEDS: Full to part sun. Keep open and airy to prevent mildew problems. Average soil and conditions. Soil should drain well.
HARVEST: Fresh leaves as desired for salads. Whole plant useful. Best leaves in spring.


Fresh used leaf for digestion.
Infusion used as a compress for cooling sunburn.
Root (dried) in decoction form is used to stop bleeding.
Tannins provide styptic properties. Reputed wound healer.
Reputed drying action used to treat hemorrhages, diarrhea and vaginal discharges. Used to treat ailments of the heart.
A digestive aid, tonic, mild diuretic
Used externally for sunburn and troubled skin.

Harvest young tender leaves (older ones bitter); use in salads, soups, herb butters, dips and as garnish; use whole to flavor and garnish drinks. Goes well with rosemary and tarragon. Dried leaves used for tea. Leaves can be fresh frozen as well. Used to make flavored vinegar (let stand several months as the flavor of burnet is delicate).

Name in Greek means 'drinking cup' or 'blood absorber'.

©2000 by Ernestina Parziale, CH