Herb latin name: Lithospermum erythrorhizon

Family: Boraginaceae (Borage Family)

Medicinal use of Lithospermum erythrorhizon:

All parts of the plant are antitumor, cardiotonic, contraceptive, depurative and febrifuge. It is used internally in the treatment of irritant skin conditions, measles, chicken pox, boils, carbuncles, hepatitis and skin cancer. Externally it is used to treat nappy rash, burns, cuts, wounds, abscesses, eczema and haemorrhoids. The plant is an ingredient of commercial skin care creams. The plants are harvested when in flower, the roots in the autumn. They are dried for later use.

Description of the plant:


70 cm
(2 feet)

June to

Habitat of the herb:

Grassy slopes in mountains and hills all over Japan.

Other uses of Lithospermum erythrorhizon:

A purple dye is obtained from the root. It is harvested in the spring. It is much liked but the colour is fugitive and production costs high.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings. Division in the autumn.

Cultivation of Lithospermum erythrorhizon:

Grassy slopes in mountains and hills all over Japan.

Known hazards of Lithospermum erythrorhizon:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.