Herb: Waxflower Shinleaf

Latin name: Pyrola elliptica

Family: Pyrolaceae (Wintergreen Family)

Medicinal use of Waxflower Shinleaf:

The leaves have analgesic properties and were used as a poultice on bruised shins and other sores and wounds. A tea made from the whole plant was used to treat epileptic fits in babies. A decoction of the whole plant has been used as eye drops to treat sore eyes, sties and inflamed eyelids. A tea made from the leaves was used as a gargle for sore throats and cankers in the mouth. A tea made from the roots is tonic.

Description of the plant:


20 cm
(7 3/4 inch)

to July


Habitat of the herb:

Rich, mainly dry woods.

Propagation of Waxflower Shinleaf:

Seed - the only information we have on this species is that it is difficult from seed and germinates infrequently. We would suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. Sow it into soil collected from around an established plant, only just covering the seed, and put the pot in a shady part of a cold frame. Pot up any young seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle, once again using soil from around an established plant. Plant out into their permanent positions when the plants are large enough. You should not need to use soil from around an established plant to do this since the soil in the pot will contain the necessary micorrhiza. Division with great care in the spring. Pot up the divisions using some soil from around an established plant, grow on in a lightly shaded part of a greenhouse or frame and do not plant out until the plants are growing away vigorously.

Cultivation of the herb:

Rich, mainly dry woods.

Known hazards of Pyrola elliptica:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.