Herb: Sneeze-Wort

Latin name: Achillea ptarmica

Family: Compositae

Medicinal use of Sneeze-Wort:

Cardiac, diaphoretic, digestive, emmenagogue, odontalgic, sternutatory, styptic. The leaf is chewed to relieve toothache.

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)

June to


Habitat of the herb:

Damp meadows, marshes and by streams.

Edible parts of Sneeze-Wort:

Leaves - raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring in salads.

Other uses of the herb:

The dried, powdered leaves are used as a sneezing powder. Yields an essential oil that is used medicinally. The report does not say what part of the plant the oil is obtained from, it is most likely to be the leaves harvested just before flowering. The leaves are used as an insect repellent.

Propagation of Sneeze-Wort:

Seed - sow spring or early autumn in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, the divisions can be planted direct into their permanent positions. Basal cuttings of new shoots in spring. Very easy, collect the shoots when they are about 10cm tall, potting them up individually in pots and keeping them in a warm but lightly shaded position. They should root within 3 weeks and will be ready to plant out in the summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Damp meadows, marshes and by streams.

Known hazards of Achillea ptarmica:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.