Herb: Gromwell


Latin name: Lithospermum officinale


Family: Boraginaceae (Borage Family)



Medicinal use of Gromwell:

The mature seeds are diuretic, lithontripic and oxytocic. They are ground into a powder and used in the treatment of bladder stones, arthritis and febrile conditions. An infusion of the leaves is used as a sedative. The root is depurative. A syrup made from a decoction of the root and stems is used in the treatment of eruptive diseases such as smallpox, measles and itch. All parts of the plant contain a substance that inhibits the secretion of the pituitary gonadotrophic hormone. Extracts of the herb possess contraceptive properties.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
75 cm
(2 feet)

Flovering:
June
to July

Habitat of the herb:

Hedges, bushy places and woodland borders, usually on basic soil.

Edible parts of Gromwell:

The leaves are used as a tea substitute.

Other uses of the herb:

A purple dye is obtained from the roots. It is best harvested in the spring.

Propagation of Gromwell:

Seed - sow spring 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.

Cultivation of the herb:

Hedges, bushy places and woodland borders, usually on basic soil.

Known hazards of Lithospermum officinale:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.